Imagine a blacked-out, Hawaiian shirt-clad Nick Nolte stepping away from his infamous mugshot, stumbling to a podium, and slurring an anti-drunk driving diatribe at the nation. Laughing? How about world record holding competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi stepping to a microphone and lecturing the nation about the virtues of moderation, and healthy eating, mere moments after inhaling 110 hot dogs in 10 minutes? More? Picture Seinfeld’s “Kramer” delivering his infamous “N-word” rant, and, in his next breath, ascendantly barking at his audience about the necessity of civility for healthy discourse. Comical, right? In these hypothetical “do as I say, not as I do” sketches, the various characters betray an utter lack of credibility. It’s likely they’d be laughed or booed off a stage. Perhaps members of the audience would (astutely) point to the blatant hypocrisy with acerbically-barbed taunts like:
— “Dude..you’re black-out drunk, and handcuffed!” —
— “Man..your mouth is STUFFED with hot dogs!” —
— “Bro…you’re a vulgar bigot!” —
This all sounds logical/obvious, right? Let’s dig a little deeper.
What if an American politician, responsible for HUNDREDS of bombing runs in past/ongoing bombing campaigns in: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen — came to a podium and stated:
“There’s no country on earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders.”
Would you laugh him off the stage? Boo him off the stage? Effusively remind him — “dude..you’re raining down missiles in TONS of countries”..? What if I told you that this American politician had received a Nobel Peace Prize? Are you laughing, or crying?
What if this aforementioned American politician stepped to a podium and resolutely assured hundreds of millions of Americans:
“Let me say it as simply as I can: Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.”
–ONLY to prosecute more whistleblowers (those attempting to reveal government corruption/abuse including documented war crimes, torture and a pervasive/unconstitutional surveillance state) than all other American politicians in his position — COMBINED! He’d lose ALL credibility, right? Hardly! He’s actually received and accepted a “transparency award” (I’d link to a picture of the award ceremony, but the press was barred from attending). “Bro…you’re doing transparency wrong!”
What if this American politician, who:
— has a “Kill List” which includes targets who are “U.S. citizens, as well as teenage girls as young as 17 years old “
— has drone-bombed weddings, funerals, civilians first responders and HUNDREDS of innocent children
— has been responsible for arming murderous drug cartels in Mexico AND human heart-eating al Qaeda fighters in Syria
..came to a podium after the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary massacre (and similarly after all national tragedies involving violence) and proclaimed through tears:
“We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years, and each time I learn the news, I react the not as a president but as anybody would, as a parent. And that was especially true today. I know there’s not a parent in America who doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do.
The majority of those who died today were children, beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. (Pause.) They had their entire lives ahead of them — birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own. (Pause.)
Among the fallen were also teachers, men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams.
So our hearts are broken today — for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children, and for the families of the adults who were lost.
Our hearts are broken for the parents of the survivors as well, for, as blessed as they are to have their children home tonight, they know that their children’s innocence has been torn away from them too early, and there are no words that will ease their pain.”
“DUDE…you’re guilty of doing this exact same thing” — only to a larger number of children — leaving behind a larger number of heartbroken parents whose “children’s innocence has been torn away” by errant drone bombs, or misguided intelligence reports. “Dude…here’s a list of some of the innocent children you’ve killed in drone strikes.” Now, picture an earnest, tearful offering to the families of those slain by violent sociopaths coming from these lips..
I suppose the best (only) way to address such confounding observations is to continue asking question. Where is the outrage? The booing hordes? The scoffing masses? Where are the antiwar celebrities? The lampooning comedians? The intellectually honest media reports? An exposé? Where are the bumper stickers? The “Dude…You’ve Got a Kill List” t-shirts? Why do we grant figures of “authority” so much leniency? How much hypocrisy must a person display to lose any/all credibility?
When will we shout from the our homes..offices..automobiles.. windows..doors..lawns..