Does Gov. Sanford’s Disgrace Prove Conservative Values Hypocritical?

The left are falling all over themselves to not only damn Republican South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, but to damn everything he claimed to stand for.

Just as one among a gazillion examples:

After Sanford, Let’s End Hypocrisy and Promote Equality

So Governor Sanford is another family values hypocrite. How many times did he deny privacy rights and marriage equality to others?

According to OnTheIssues.org, as a Member of Congress, Mark Sanford voted repeatedly against abortion rights; against gay marriage, civil unions, and gay adoptions; and for posting the Ten Commandments. As Governor, he continued those positions.

Let us express this argument in the following way:

Premise 1) Mark Sanford preached traditional family values.

Premise 2) Mark Sanford was discovered to have violated some of the very traditional family values he preached.

Conclusion: We should end hypocrisy and abandon all traditional family values.

Well, how about if we apply that argument to another example:

Premise 1) Al Gore preached it was wrong to have a huge carbon footprint.

Premise 2) Al Gore was discovered to have a MASSIVE carbon footprint

Conclusion: We should put end to the hypocrisy and start pumping trillions of tons of pollutants into the atmosphere, oceans, and rivers.

I could do the same thing with torturing puppies.  Suppose I was a spokesman for PETA, and was subsequently discovered to have kicked a puppy dog.  Would anyone but the worst nutjob in the world conclude that we should “end hypocrisy” and abandon a standard against torturing puppies?

Let me say it clearly: the Democrats’ use of personal hypocrisy on the part of Mark Sanford (or any other member of the Republican Party) as a device to attack traditional family values is fundamentally irrational.  It is an amoral rhetorical ploy, and nothing else.

Mark Sanford is a hypocrite.  But that doesn’t in any way prove that the values he claimed to stand for are hypocritical.

Should we condemn Governor Sanford for his personal hypocrisy?  Sure. Just as we should condemn Al Gore for his personal hypocrisy.  Both Mark Sanford and Al Gore have been exposed as being terrible proponents for their publicly-held views.  But to then argue that, since Al Gore is a pathetic environmentalist in his personal life, we should therefore abandon all environmentalism and pollute as much as we might like is simply fallacious.

You can go through a directory of logical fallacies and check off about every one:  Genetic fallacy; Question begging;  Affirming the consequent.; Ad populum;  Ad hominem;  False cause;  Non sequitur;  Loaded language;  Post hoc, ergo propter hoc;  Straw man;  Suppressed evidence.  Every one of these fallacies and more are being used to advance the “Governor Sanford is a hypocrite, so lets throw out traditional values” thesis.

Believe it or not, there are actually people who hold to traditional family values who don’t violate their marriage vows.  Just as their are actually people who hold to liberal environmentalist values who don’t rack up 221,000 kilowatt hours in one year while flying around in an emissions-spewing private jet and cruising around in a massive luxury boat while profiting from royalties on a zinc mine that the EPA once shut down as one of the worst polluting mines in America.

Let’s not base our morality on what a few hypocrites do, but on what we all ought to do.

I add this almost as an afterthought, but it is an important point: one of the related issues to the “hypocrisy” argument by the left is that many liberals do not want to be “constrained” by the traditional moral values espoused by conservatives, and conservatives should therefore back off and stop imposing their values.  Does this hold water?  Well, if it does, then why do liberals want to impose draconian global warming laws on conservatives who don’t buy into global warming?  Why do liberals want to impose high taxes on certain classes of people to pay for social programs those people neither want nor need?  Etcetera.

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3 Responses to “Does Gov. Sanford’s Disgrace Prove Conservative Values Hypocritical?”

  1. ARESAY Says:

    The mainstream media wouldn’t do it. So we are trying to get your important messages to the American people. 55 This post is a suggested read at, http://aresay.blogspot.com/

  2. Rob Says:

    It’s not just Stanford. Many Republicans have been caught in extra martial affairs.

    Honestly, I could care less. But when the GOP lays the groundwork of their platform on “family values” it becomes a problem for me when they get caught doing the very thing they speak publicly against. I would hold Democrats to the same standard. This is not a partisan issue.

    Stanford himself said Clinton should resign after he was caught cheating. Shouldn’t Stanford, by his own admission, resign? Yet months later he is still governor.

    If you can’t practice what you preach …don’t preach.

  3. Michael Eden Says:

    For the record, it’s Sanford, not Stanford.

    For what it’s worth, Sanford SHOULD resign – just as Bill Clinton should have. The fact that one is a Democrat and the other is a Republican doesn’t mean that only one of them should step down. They’re both scumbags. They both broke the trust with their own families and betrayed their most sacred vows – why should ANYBODY trust them to be faithful to the promises they made to “the people” whom they don’t even know?

    I don’t know how “many” Republicans have been caught in affairs. I DO know that Governor Patterson replaced Governor Spitzer for hiring prostitutes – only to then acknowledge his OWN adulteries after being sworn in. Now he’s carrying on the leftist racist talking point that he’s only in trouble because he’s “black.”

    Saying that someone should be sincere and honest rather than being a hypocrite is ITSELF a moral value. It’s no different than saying that someone should be true to his or her spouse. You either want moral values, or you don’t. Don’t cherry pick the ones you like and disdain the ones you don’t.

    Your claim is ultimately a slur against moral family values – not Republicans. If Republicans are professing to stand up for values that are actually true, then the fact of the matter is that EVERYONE should be espousing them; not merely Republicans. And in that sense, Sanford’s sin was NOT in claiming that people should practice family values, but rather in breaking those values.

    Is it okay if a person who doesn’t say it’s wrong to murder murders? Is it okay if a person who doesn’t say it’s wrong to steal steals? Is it okay if a person who doesn’t say it’s wrong to lie lies? Of course not. It really doesn’t matter if a Democrat doesn’t publicly campaign on family values or not; EVERYBODY should be held accountable to moral values.

    If a Sanford says that a man should be faithful to his wife is later found to be unfaithful to his wife, he’s a hypocrite. But that has nothing to do with the great value that he aspired – unsuccessfully – to attain to. They remain great values. And they should be preached and defended.

    And when somebody in public life doesn’t live up to them, that person should be held accountable to those values whether he “likes” them or “preaches them” or not.

    To me the real scandal is that there are politicians out there – mostly Democrats – who are seeking to undermine moral family values. The fact that only Republicans are left to champion such values is a disgrace. And to excoriate Republicans for failing to live up to the good values they preach – and praise Democrats for never having preached those good moral values to begin with – is a hallmark of our spiraling descent into the sewer of moral relativism.

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