Critics on the Left use the accusations of hypocrisy by misrepresenting what it means. Hypocrisy is not falling short of our one’s ideals. That is simply human frailty, something of which everyone is guilty. The Pharisees were not hypocrites because they were really pious, but because they pretended to be something they weren’t. This is what hypocrites are, people who pretend to be what they are not.
That is what we see when we see people who buy “Books by the Foot.” It is all a show, pretending that the books on the shelf have been read by the owner, rather than installed by a bookseller. A show designed for visitors - or watchers on Zoom calls- pretending that the owner is a voracious reader when he has not cracked open a book in years and has no intention of reading the books on his shelf. It is supposed to imply how smart, how intelligent, and wise the owner is. That is the essence of hypocrisy. It is an illusion, designed to show that they’re better people than the scumbags they really are.
The same is true of the person with a sign in their yard saying, “HATE HAS NO HOME HERE.”
I have noticed these signs, most often in upscale neighborhoods inhabited by professionals or well-to-do retirees. Why put up a sign like that in a peaceful, upscale, decidedly un-diverse neighborhood? There is nothing to suggest that the neighbors are racists or bigots. Or that hate has set up a household on their block. So, what is going on? Some call it virtue signaling. But it is really vice signaling.
Vice signaling is a defense mechanism, meant to displace liberal guilt. There was a moment, shortly after the 2016 election, when liberals realized that ordinary Americans had turned against them and that they had reason to do so.
Allied to the teachers' unions, the liberals had permitted our schools to descend to Third World standards. They supported an immigration system that imported economic immobility. They welcomed a regulatory morass that gave elites jobs but that placed a stumbling block in the path of those who sought to get ahead. They watched as factories closed and workers lost their jobs when production was sent to China while their investment portfolios grew fat. They shopped at Amazon while their local retailers went broke. Rather than blame themselves, it was much easier to transfer the guilt to conservatives. That is how vice signaling became the language of liberal politics.
The people with their “No Hate” signs sow more division than they do comity. It tells you that if you are not in tune with the Liberal zeitgeist, you are a hater. They show their love by ordering a sign from Itsy, or Zazzle or Amazon to tell you how full of love they are, unlike the sinners around them It is actually a hateful sign and people who put them in their yards are – like the Pharisees - hypocrites.