In American politics, the term politician is synonymous with hypocrite. The unlaudable history of politicians does not help.
Hypocrisy is part and parcel of politics.
Time and again, philosophers have argued that hypocrisy is essential in politics. In fact, it is inevitable in political systems due to the persuasive rhetoric that it involves. It is considered to be a moral necessity to until the absence of an alternative to achieve comparable goods. These justify the need for hypocrisy in politics.
The definition of hypocrisy
Hypocrisy is not sheer inconsistency between a person’s deeds and words. It pays homage to morality for the reasons of personal benefit like excusing oneself or shelter from the blame. Many a time, hypocrisy is not what runs the politics. Sometimes a politician may have a change of heart over a public policy, and not always; it would be a self-serving reason. It might also be that they have merely changed their mind.
Differentiating between actions in accord with and actions from duty
According to Kant, actions from duty have moral worth. There are lots of disagreements between the consequentialists in terms of hypocrisy and political values and, ultimately, the ethic of conviction and the ethic of responsibility. The ethic of conviction refers to the consistency of the inner relation to integrity, whereas the ethic of responsibility means a clear understanding of the consequences of one’s actions. These schools of thought favor that hypocrisy is not a sin as long it is directed for good.
Traits of an excellent politician
A good politician is capable of offending someone who places weight on the ethic of conviction. An effective politician can promote his goals without caring for the reasons unless it makes him a less reliable advocate of them. But an excellent politician would refer his values by managing sincerely and eradicating hypocrisy from politics.
Extreme attachment to the ethic of conviction can be dangerous to anti-hypocrisy. A war must be started without self-consciousness. Self-deceived hypocrisy is detrimental and hazardous as the politician has to keep themselves in check constantly. Also, self-righteousness may license the politician to operate outside the boundaries of morality. This can lead to falling prey in the hands of further insidious hypocrisy that most of us would stay away from.
Depending upon the situation, hypocrisy is favorable, and sometimes it is not the right thing to do. Insincere politicians support the integrity of villains, while some espouse wrong values without placing faith in them. It is instead a consequentialist style of reasoning.