The tedium of 'do as I say, not as I do', whataboutism and the creation of false narratives
Recent events on the geopolitical global stage have thrown up, in its starkest relief yet, the frightening growth in public displays of hypocrisy and blatant dishonesty being demonstrated by many of the world's political leaders.
What is this phenomenon, how does it manifest itself, what are the causes, and how should it be addressed?
It's probably best to start with a few examples of what we have been seeing. They are all over the press (usually) but more on that later.
The recent US elections and their immediate aftermath were rife with opportunities for a double standard or three! 'Mail in ballots, bad...(unless it's us voting!)'...'You can only vote from your registered address...(unless you're the President or his cohorts)' 'The vote was rigged but only at the top of the ticket' (how is that even possible) followed by all the lies, deception and mis/dis-information that led to the violent insurrection at the US Capitol building in Washington, DC by the supposed supporters of 'Law & Order' yeah, right!.
Prior to those events we had witnessed the speed march that saw the appointment of a Supreme Court Justice to the bench less than six weeks prior to a Presidential Election in complete and absolute contradiction to pronouncements by Republican politicians when confronted with a similar situation in 2015.
Covid has also provided a rich breeding ground for hypocrisy of the first degree. Virus deniers now suggesting former President Trump should be thanked for the delivery (of the presumably unnecessary) vaccine. Anti-maskers elevating the issue to one of personal freedom whilst accepting that seatbelts in cars are necessary....the list is too long and ludicrous to go on, I think you get the point. Pronouncements by politicians that advance their own positions when politically expedient, nothing new here, just elevated to a whole new level.
The UK has been similarly affected, largely due to the 'Britain Trump'! The joint threads of the Covid pandemic and the unraveling that is Brexit (withdrawal from the EU) have become interwoven as the government uses the social & economic turmoil to pursue a short term objective of enriching their friends (cronyism and corruption on an industrial scale) and the longer term strategic goal of dismantling and selling off the beloved National Health Service (NHS) to multinational corporations drawn from their raft of donors and (mainly) US suitors.
Climate change is another topic that has been singled out for the denialism treatment...'how can there be global warming when it is so cold here' completely (and deliberately) confusing the underlying cause of what is potentially the greatest existential threat to humankind ever. Forest fires are caused by 'not sweeping the forest floors', 'It's cyclical' (not to this extent), we cannot move away from fossil fuels, it's too expensive to do so', renewables don't work if the sun doesn't shine or the wind blow' (overly but popularly simplistic). Again the list goes on...
This behavior grants others in the public eye to behave similarly. Take one example (of many) in the world's favourite sport, Football. Tell a lie, tell it loudly, and often enough, and it basically becomes true. The controversial VAR technology is a case in point. VAR stands for Video Assistant Referee and is designed to take some human error out of decisions in football (soccer) games. Similar technology has been available and in use in other sports for many years now, rugby, cricket, tennis...mostly without issue (over and above the very obvious instances). But when it comes to the hot-headed, testosterone laden, mega-bucks, utterly partisan atmosphere that is the world of professional football...it all changes!
Black is white and vice versa and no-one will prove or convince you other ways! But when the same decision goes the way of your team, then it's all ok?!?
So why is this happening?
The common thread that links a lot of these issues in the current context is the rise (and fall) of populism as engineered by the Master Puppeteers and facilitated by their control of mainstream media (MSM) and the noisy denouncement of anything else as 'fake news'. Fox News is owned by Rupert Murdoch, a man who has assumed the citizenship of 3 different countries in order to circumvent media ownership rules, he also still controls substantial media interests in the UK where he and 4 other billionaires (most of whom are very partisan in their political views and spend little if any time in the UK proper) control 90% of the national press.
Murdoch was once asked why he was pro-Brexit and he replied "because when I talk to the EU they ignore everything I say but No 10 (UK Prime Minister's office) they do exactly what I tell them|", it's all about power and access and similar things can be seen and said of the Barclay and Koch brothers, although both have seen the departure of family members and let's not forget Murdoch himself is 90 and Roger Ayles, the arch villain architect of Fox as well as inflammatory radio orator Rush Limbaugh have both 'left the building'.
Maybe things are changing? Is there any upside? Well in Washington there is a new sheriff in town and despite predictions to the contrary he appears to mean business. His appointment of Merrick Garland (who was nominated to the US Supreme Court in 2016) as the new Attorney General has a little added spice, legislation has now gone forward to increase the number of justices on the Supreme Court by 4 thereby potentially nullifying the Republicans attempts to rig the composition on partisan lines, and there is a huge push to install legislation to harmonize and open up equitable access to voting through two pieces of long overdue federal acts. An end to the Senate's filibuster may be in sight (a device designed to maintain the will of a declining majority not defend minorities as its supporters would suggest), it remains the only legislative upper house in a democracy anywhere in the world that requires a super majority so can essentially block everything it doesn't like!
In the UK it's a slightly different situation as the populists are still clinging to power (with a sizeable majority in Parliament and the largely ceremonial second house). However, as the rats now start to leave the sinking ship and turn on each other, the lasting damage wrought by Brexit and continuing attacks on devolved regional assemblies and other national institutions may prove impossible to fully restore.
Political agendas, where one side wants to retain the status quo, hold on to power and keep the wealth division as is and the other side wants equality of opportunity, a political system that reflects and is responsive of the true will of the people will sadly only engender polarization in politics and encourage the kind of behaviour we're now seeing. It needs to be called out at every turn. People want peace, freedom and prosperity, it's a battle as to how and for who!
And that is why the blockchain, bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general scare so many power brokers. It threatens the status quo in a way that hasn't been seen since the establishment of reserve banks and the move away from the gold standard. Easiest way to discredit the interloper is to decry them across all media as a scam and ponzi scheme, whilst quietly buying in and legislating in their own self interests.
We need to stay alert!