I wouldn’t deny for a moment that many, maybe most,
of our elected leaders are hypocritical about sharing
the wealth. I wish that Dr. Rubinstein (“Talking Left,
Living Right”) had dug a little deeper into the generosity
of conservatives he cites as examples of less hypocritical leaders.
It would be interesting to see how much of those donations
went to the churches to which they belong. Many conservative
politicians cultivate the image of being God-fearing, church-going
folks, so I would hope that their donations match their rhetoric.
But maybe I would be falling into the hypocrisy trap again.
In any case, it would then be helpful to know what fraction of
those donations went to help less fortunate people, especially
those who are not members of the church, as opposed to funding
capital improvements, fabulous music programs, advertising and
proselytizing through the media, and other activities which
enable growth of the church, and by association, the aggrandizement
of the donor.
I also see similarities between the examples of liberals urging
the sharing of wealth, while hoarding their own, and examples
of conservatives vilifying homosexuality, while actually being homosexual.
These can both be seen as examples of people trying to publicly
compensate for their perceived private short-comings. It’s hard to
resist generalizing such behavior to whole classes of people -
all liberals, or all conservatives – but it’s crucial for peace and
progress in our society to avoid that polarizing practice whenever
we can. Each of us has blind spots about our own character
and behavior, but public figures attract much closer scrutiny.