Hypocrisy Is Handsome

02 May

The State of North Carolina is getting ready to vote next week on, among other things, Amendment One, which would amend the state constitution to make anything other than heterosexual marriages unlawful domestic unions. Translation: It would make gay marriage unconstitutional (and do lots of other things that are very harmful, as a friend of mine recently pointed out). I don’t live in North Carolina anymore, so I won’t be voting on this, but plenty of my friends do, and some of them happen to be gay. Suffice it to say that they have been rather outspoken against the proposed amendment on Facebook and elsewhere. I actually don’t have a terribly strong opinion on this issue, as I’m: a) already married; and b) to a woman.

Since I’m not planning to get gay married, gay marriage isn’t a pressing issue for me. Sure, we can talk about the morality of civil rights issues, and that’s all well and good, but I’m not sure if being gay is the same thing as being black or being female. Some people think it is. Some people think it isn’t. And I just don’t know. But, for the sake of argument, let’s say I was in North Carolina next week, and I voted FOR Amendment One. Would it not then be hypocritical of me to go out and attempt to get married to another man? What if I voted for some pro-life legislation, only to turn around and beg my pregnant partner to have an abortion? All clear-cut hypocrisy.

So, I was rather surprised to learn that Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), who replaced Sen. Ted Kennedy after his death, and who almost derailed the health reform effort by voting against the Affordable Care Act, has actually used provisions of the law to provide health insurance to his 23-year-old daughter, Ayla. He might as well have voted against ice cream and then asked for two scoops of chocolate when it didn’t work. What that should underscore is that the Affordable Care Act is already doing a number of great things. Things so good, in fact, that even people who opposed them want in on the action.

1 Comment

Posted by on May 2, 2012 in Uncategorized



One response to “Hypocrisy Is Handsome

  1. Joel Michaels (@joelmichaels)

    May 2, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    The difference between the two is plainly obvious, and I think you’re being flippant with the word “hypocrisy”. Whereas A1 deems participation in a certain activity “unconstitutional”, the ACA attempts to make such participation compulsory. A1 prohibits people from acting of their own free will in a manner that harms no one, whereas the ACA enables “poor” people to qualify for government handouts at expense to all of us. It’s a difference between negative and positive rights. Negative rights, typically rights to not be subjected to certain conditions, are usually innate. Positive rights are usually rights to receive some benefit and are established by contract.

    My point is that opposition to the first is quite different than opposition to the latter. It would be hypocritical to argue that no one should be allowed X, then demand X. It is NOT, however, necessarily hypocritical to argue that no one should be guaranteed Y, and then accept Y.

    What is hypocritical about making use of something we’re all already paying for? I certainly don’t agree with the home buyer tax credit included in the 2009 “stimulus” package but you can bet I took advantage of it when I bought my house. Doing so doesn’t make me a hypocrite – the power grab already happened and I’m already paying for it along with everyone else. Characterizing this behavior as “wanting in on the action” is misleading – more like, “making the best of a bad situation”.


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