San Francisco (Abby) – The mayor of Denver flies to Mississippi to thank his family – after urging others to stay home. Then he says he was thinking “not with my heart, but with my head”. A Pennsylvania mayor bans dining out and then eats at a restaurant in Maryland. The governor of Rhode Island is photographed at an indoor wine event as his state faces the country’s second-highest virus rate.
When people weigh in on whether it is safe to go to work or go to the grocery store, the Austin Mayor of Texas goes to Mexico’s Cabo San Lucas after a wedding for 20 on a private jet. The campaigners, who had no one to wear the mask, arrived at the San Francisco mayor’s birthday party a day later. Both recently imposed strict rules on restaurants, shops and operations to slow the spread of the virus.
For public fraud, some political leaders in the United States have been caught preaching one thing on the corona virus and practicing another.
Of course, politicians have long been called to hypocrisy. But when an epidemic strikes, leaving millions in isolation and leaving many without paychecks, such acts may feel like personal contempt – reinforcing the notion that “some of us do not have to follow the rules when others do.” Kirk, Professor of Communication at Southern Methodist University.
This, in turn, points to deeper questions.
In a monarchy, a king or queen is born into a special, character, acting above others. In a dictatorship, the ruler often takes more plunder than he has ever ruled. But in a democratic society, when leaders are pulled from the people who are bound to their decisions, what happens when those in charge act in ways that indicate they are above those who are not?
It is easy to see that politicians violating their own rules are a moral failure. They are committed to working towards the best interests of society and to serve as a role model in the crisis. But epidemic-era hypocrisy has already deepened polarization at a time marked by secession, encouraging skeptics of the virus’s severity and dividing people’s responses based on political affiliation.
For 49-year-old Erica Bone, who has not hugged her adult children since March, it feels like a slap in the face.
“I’m very confused about being disconnected. These people are smart, well – educated, well-informed, and they need to know better,” said Bonnie, Illinois’ financial adviser.
One may question whether it is even fair to believe that politicians have moral authority or whether to live up to the standards that many cannot follow when it comes to dragging epidemics. The answer depends on the personal message of the elected leaders.
“People hate hypocrisy,” said Daniel Efron, an associate professor of corporate behavior at the London Business School. “They will condemn a very severe failure from someone who preaches the same morality to a different standard.”
The answer to the leaders’ hypocritical behavior depends on political affiliation, experts say. People tend to rationalize a violation from someone they agree with or respect, but chase political opponents for the same actions.
There is also a broader effect. Politicians who underestimate the official viral message may find it difficult to take precautionary measures against Americans, especially in a country where COVID-19 has been accused of underestimating the virus that killed more than 300,000 people.
Jeff Stone, a professor of psychology at the University of Arizona, says: “They are less likely to follow COVID safety guidelines.
Some of those with the strongest viral message are in the “do as I say, not as I do” crowd. The New York government planned to offer an extended family thank you until Andrew Cuomo’s public outcry made him think twice. The California Legislature transferred its legislative functions to an NBA arena to ensure social distance, but then a group of lawmakers went to a restaurant together.
The regression is not personally American. When the chief architect of the UK’s locking rules flew from London to his father’s seaside home, he and his wife were suspected of having the virus and violated the country’s travel rules. He later lost his job and is now being questioned by police.
But hypocrisy is treated differently in cultures that are as unique as the United States. In China, for example, social norms often shift in favor of fostering social harmony.
In a unique culture, if someone says one thing and does another, “The way they explain it, that person is trying to fool us … they are trying to appear more virtuous than they really are,” Efron says. In a collective culture, people can forgive conflict if there are explanations for it.
“People in Asia are not right with hypocrisy,” he says. “It’s not always considered hypocritical to say one thing and do another, it’s about trying to do the right thing in different situations.”
Melinda Jackson, a professor of political science at San Jose State University, says:
Gavin Newsome of the California government has been raising questions for weeks about whether he is a reliable corona virus ambassador after having dinner with a group. Democrats called it a flaw in the verdict, but Californiais have ignored questions about whether he can still be trusted. Growing effort to collect enough signatures for the withdrawal vote Many shows enough is enough.
As for the Illinois woman phone, politicians seem to have forgotten who pays their salaries – who they should serve.
“The lack of self-awareness in American politics is another matter,” he says. “They lose all sense of what it means to serve a constituency.”
Jeff Stone is a professor at the University of Arizona, and this story has been updated to correct that Arizona is not a state university.