Hypocrisy ain’t all it’s cracked up to be

An interesting article from Unherd this week points out one of the main disconnects when the Right engages the Progressive Left. The writer, Ben Sixsmith, suggests that while conservatives rightly point out hypocrisy on the Left (“an environmentalist who takes a plane, or an advocate of socialism with a second home”), it is largely a useless tactic:

“Right-wingers often argue, correctly, that Left-wingers use charges of personal bigotry as a means of avoiding difficult debates. Yet conservatives often do the same with the charges of personal inconsistency. The difference is that bigotry is a powerful charge, while inconsistency has fewer such damning connotations.”

Sixsmith concludes that, “One should have enough pride in one’s own beliefs not to spend all of one’s time holding others to theirs.”  While pointing out hypocrisy might change someone’s mind, the writer asks, “If your opponents lived with scrupulous consistency, would you have to admit that they were right all along?” He makes a good point.