Public Hypocrisy

Rodney Clough
2 min readApr 6, 2022


Home style Realpolitik

Photo courtesy of Konstantin Ghazaryan

Realpolitik: a system of politics or principles based on practical rather than moral or ideological considerations (Oxford Dictionary)

“Realpolitik, refers to enacting or engaging in diplomatic or political policies based primarily on considerations of given circumstances and factors, rather than strictly binding itself to explicit ideological notions or moral and ethical premises.”


Why is it to utter ‘defund police’ is anathema, while ‘defund public health’ is acceptable?

Why can’t one protest against climate injustice in front of the local fossil-fuel portfolio bank branch and Republicans are planning in the fall to register voters at gas stations?

Take a breath.

Why do Tucker Carlson, Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene occupy the evening cable news cycle and viewers are warned about seeing disturbing images of Ukraine’s destruction?

Why are Biden and company somehow responsible for poor approval ratings and Trump and company viewed as displaying rally-like momentum?

Why does America condone Lindsey Graham’s moral defection as ‘political survival?’

Take a breath.

If you are troubled by these inquiries, listen in: America’s dirty secret is that collectively we are a nation of hypocrites when it comes to balancing public welfare with individual responsibility. Fifteenth century Venetians did a better job: they knew how to protect the communal wells.

In short, we don’t act as we speak, we avoid ‘walkin’ the talk.’ Oh sure, you say, we thank traveling service people in fatigues at airports, bring doughnuts to neighborhood police meet and greets, but…do we hug a nurse, ask a supermarket cashier if their day is going ok or the next person in line, listen to what a schoolteacher what she — it’s usually a ‘she’ — says she needs?

Recall the social opportunities to acknowledge sacrifice that cross your bow each day. Oh sure, you say, Mr. Self-righteous, Ms. High and Mighty…

Apologies for acting ‘political.’

It seems “political” these days to acknowledge sacrifice, to challenge our habits of avoiding injustice, big or small.

Not to intellectualize or preach: to see, listen, attend. Usually the rest — the how's, the what's — are self-evident.

One is reminded of the advice, “stop talking and take the cotton out of your ears.”

April 6



Rodney Clough

Refuses to nap. Septuagenarian. Cliche’ raker. Writes weekly.