Hypocrisy undercuts credibility and morals

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Pradyot Sharma

Variety Editor

In an era of politics where bipartisanship is at record lows, a more grave concern is the belief espoused by the actions of members of the conservative establishment, which essentially screams, “The means do not matter as long as the end is justified.”

For decades, the Republican Party has claimed to be the party with the moral high ground. Members have advocated for traditional conservative values — fighting for issues like abortion, leading to their endearment among evangelical voters.

This same voter base has catered to Fox News, as it has claimed to be the voice of the conservatives, defending them from the attacking liberals.

Yet just over the last week, we have been aware of potential ethical misconduct on the part of leading Fox News host Sean Hannity reporting on Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who claims Hannity was a client.

Hannity has conceded that he has consulted Cohen on legal matters, which is cause enough for him to recuse himself from reporting on the matter.

This situation follows a statement by Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, saying President Donald Trump “gets a mulligan” for his alleged affair with porn star Stormy Daniels.

Evidence of disregard for morality goes further. During the Alabama Senate race last year, senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway answered a question on whether Alabamians should vote for Roy Moore by saying, “I’m telling you that we want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through.”

While ethical questions have been raised about the personal lives of politicians on both sides of the issue before, the pseudo-conservative politicians now believe the voter base isn’t going to shift because their beliefs entrap them in voting for the conservatives. Thus, they shamelessly advocate for individuals with characteristics for which they would vocally condemn others, saying “he believes in our cause.”

Voters need to realize voting is their right and an expression of choice. You do not have to support someone who claims to share — but does not live by — the principles you hold.  To advocate for a candidate whose morals you do not espouse can lead to the conclusion that you endorse their lifestyle.

Getting what you want should never be more important than how you get it. Moreover, the voters need to reevaluate whether they are compromising their ethics by voting for whom they perceive to be the lesser of two evils.

The conservative establishment needs to understand that the end does not justify the means. You can choose to believe it does, but if you do, don’t claim the moral high ground to justify your actions. Doing so is not morality, but plain hypocrisy.

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