But is hypocrisy really so bad? Given what it takes to get elected, and what we expect of politicians once in office, we may want to think again about political hypocrisy. Hypocrisy may not be an attractive human quality, but in politics, it is often a desirable one – and may sometimes be better than the alternative.
Hypocrites, in constructing an electable persona for themselves, are clearly demonstrating that they understand their personal limitations. They recognize the need to adapt what they happen to believe to what is politically prudent. So it’s possible to see hypocrisy as evidence of politicians who will do what they say once in office because they set no special premium by their private preferences.
Our instinctive dislike of hypocrisy can get in the way of seeing what is really at stake when it comes to choosing a leader. Indeed, we might even make better decisions if we could realize that far from being a liability in a leader, hypocrisy is an essential part of democratic politics.
more from the Boston Globe Ideas here.