We all see the hypocrisy in the Republican Party, which preaches values while engaging in the worst forms of corruption, cronyism, incompetance, and cruelty this nation has seen in ages. It's part of the Faustian bargain they made decades ago to gain and keep power.
But a news item from today reminds me of a point I've long sought to make here on Blue Oregon: We on the left must be wary lest we fall into the same trap. We must be as harsh on ourselves as we are on our ideological opponents. After all, hypocrisy is not an inherently conservative value.
Maybe nobody knew about Neil Goldschmidt's "private" crimes for certain - but many, many knew enough to be suspicious, only to leave things alone for reasons of personal gain, fear of a ruined career, or perhaps fear of damage to "the Movement."
Today, it is reported that Gerhard Schroeder, Germany's former Chancellor (who just lost in the recent election to Germany's version of the Republicans), has decided to take a prominent job with Gazprom, the sketchy (at best) Russian oil company. Turns out Schroeder had championed a dubious Gazprom pipeline, and defended Russian President Vladimir Putin against some pretty harsh and well warranted charges. Another instance of a leftist doing something wrong. Few in Germany are defending Schroeder. After all, does this not speak as loudly to his character as anything else he has done?
And that is good. Schroeder should be shamed, and Goldschmidt should have been outed long ago. In the grand historical picture, both men may come out titans of the good cause, as persons who did more good than evil. But let not their evil be forgotten. And let it not go unpunished.
For if we are content to sit idly by, and watch our leaders' corruption in silence, all in the name of advancing our "values," then we have thin values indeed, and we deserve neither power nor pride. We must have the courage, and the conviction, to stay true to our values, even to our own cost. To paraphrase a man of values: If it is your hand that sins, cut it off - or at least slap it in a meaningful way.
Footnote: On a related matter, I wonder: is the opposition of California Democrats to commission redistricting just another instance of a similar problem?