A call to stop hypocrisy in politics

Michael Guido, News Editor

Hypocrisy in politics has existed since the dawn of the republic.
Politicians will say and do whatever it takes to win an election, the conventional thinking goes, and in the process can and will expose themselves to blatant hypocrisy.
Nowhere is that line of thinking more apparent than with the fight to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ginsburg, who died Friday at age 87 after a battle with pancreatic cancer, had been gone not even a day before the partisan fight over who would replace her on the high court began.
Aside from that, an even greater battle was taking place: which party was less in the wrong.
Back in 2016, when Justice Antonin Scalia died, President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to replace him; however, the U.S. Senate, which was Republican-controlled at that time, refused to even give Obama’s pick a hearing, let alone a confirmation vote.
The logic went that the seat should not be filled in an election year, and that the next president should get to choose his own nominee.
Democrats at the time were livid and said that the president had the constitutional authority to appoint a new justice and have the Senate consent, which is what is laid out in the Constitution.
Fast forward four years later, and the roles have been reversed.
The Republicans, who control the White House and the Senate, have the opportunity to fill the seat and according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, they intend to do so.
Democrats have rallied against this decision, opining that the seat should stay open until after Inauguration Day and whoever happens to be the president at that time should have the say.
As you may have guessed, the Republicans now don’t agree with that rhetoric.
This isn’t to pick a side and say the Democrats or Republicans are right. In fact, this is to argue the opposite: both sides are wrong by virtue of hypocrisy.
It’s one thing for a party or politician to say or do one thing and then do a 180 and have it be noticed.
But to be so glaringly hypocritical, with zero remorse or introspection, is an affront to the American people and the constitutional process for filling a seat on the highest court in our land.
A process that used to occur with bipartisanship and be supported by facts and the evaluation of an individual’s qualifications has now been replaced by bickering, finger-pointing, character attacks, political hackery and ignorance.
Even for someone who loves American politics and hopes to work in that field someday, the last few days have been mentally exhausting watching both sides point the fingers and accuse each other of hypocrisy, even though an objective observation would show the blame lies on both sides of the aisle.
Though it’s beyond idealistic, I wish for the Mitch McConnells, Nancy Pelosis, Lindsey Grahams, Chuck Schumers, Donald Trumps and Joe Bidens of the world to take a moment and look inward; use the time they set aside to think hard about how this ensuing circus and embarrassing hypocrisy is molding the attitude and direction of America and whether their tactics are truly what’s best for the American judiciary and people.
In a time of pandemic, division and hyper-emotions, I wish for our leaders to work together to fill this seat in a proper timeframe with the proper attention dedicated to ensuring the American judiciary is stable for years to come.
Politics aside, let’s end the hypocrisy and work together to do what’s right.

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