One of cinema’s greatest moments is the scene in which Captain Renault closes down Rick’s Cafe in the 1942 movie Casablanca, saying, “I’m shocked! Shocked to find that gambling is going on here.” Just then, an employee approaches and hands the Captain his winnings. The fact that it makes us smile does not mean that we also smile when our own politicians fling their hypocrisy in our faces.
Eric Schneiderman, who resigned as New York’s Attorney General after a number of women made allegations of disgusting behavior against him, may or may not be guilty of the charges. That doesn’t change the fact that a long list of pompous and self-righteous hypocrites who allied themselves with the Me Too! movement, make Donald Trump look like a particularly virtuous choir boy.
Piously and publicly proclaiming a cause while privately acting very differently is hardly a new phenomenon. While human failing is at the root of such actions, those shrilly touting their causes may have something to learn as well.