Sunday, August 13, 2006
Ilya's post brings to mind an important, albeit pernicious, undercurrent in political discourse today: hypocrisy or the other side of the coin, authenticity. Al Gore is proven to be a hypocrite, he comes nowhere close to approaching the carbon neutral lifestyle that he advocates for others. So he is a typical limousine liberal. That said, what of his views. This is ultimately the important point, what are the merits of the argument. Liberal commentators have for years bludgeoned Rush Limbaugh or Newt Gingrich or other advocates of "family values" for their hypocrisy. Newt Gingrich for one left his wife while on her death bed for one of his staffers, thus constantly referred to as a "first rate political intellect and fifth rate personal character". It is quite easy in these instances to resort to ad hominem attacks, literally taking it to the man. But what of the merits of their arguments? Do we take it to the man because we find that easier than challenging the premise of their arguments or the resulting conclusion? I suspect the answer is yes.