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Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy

a book by Peter Schweizer

(our site's book review)

Peter Schweizer Investigated the Degree to Which Liberals Practice What They Preach—the Results Are Shocking

The Amazon blurb says that “I don’t own a single share of stock.” —Michael Moore

Members of the liberal left exude an air of moral certitude. They pride themselves on being selflessly committed to the highest ideals and seem particularly confident of the purity of their motives and the evil nature of their opponents. To correct economic and social injustice, liberals support a whole litany of policies and principles: progressive taxes, affirmative action, greater regulation of corporations, raising the inheritance tax, strict environmental regulations, children’s rights, consumer rights, and much, much more.

Clinton family
Clinton family

But do they actually live by these beliefs? Peter Schweizer decided to investigate in depth the private lives of some prominent liberals: politicians like the Clintons, Nancy Pelosi, the Kennedys, and Ralph Nader; commentators like Michael Moore, Al Franken, Noam Chomsky, and Cornel West; entertainers and philanthropists like Barbra Streisand and George Soros. Using everything from real estate transactions, IRS records, court depositions, and their own public statements, he sought to examine whether they really live by the principles they so confidently advocate.

Ben Shapiro, in Bullies: How the Left's Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences Americans, takes on the leftist bullies, exposes their hypocrisy, and offers conservatives a reality check in the face of what has become the gravest threat to American liberty: the left’s single-minded focus on ending political debate through bully tactics
Ben Shapiro, in Bullies: How the Left's Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences Americans, takes on the leftist bullies, exposes their hypocrisy, and offers conservatives a reality check in the face of what has become the gravest threat to American liberty: the left’s single-minded focus on ending political debate through bully tactics

What Schweizer Found Is a Long List of Glaring Contradictions

What he found was a long list of glaring contradictions. Michael Moore denounces oil and defense contractors as war profiteers. He also claims to have no stock portfolio, yet he owns shares in Halliburton, Boeing, and Honeywell and does his postproduction film work in Canada to avoid paying union wages in the United States. Noam Chomsky opposes the very concept of private property and calls the Pentagon “the worst institution in human history,” yet he and his wife have made millions of dollars in contract work for the Department of Defense and own two luxurious homes. Barbra Streisand prides herself as an environmental activist, yet she owns shares in a notorious strip-mining company. Hillary Clinton supports the right of thirteen-year-old girls to have abortions without parental consent, yet she forbade thirteen-year-old Chelsea to pierce her ears and enrolled her in a school that would not distribute condoms to minors. Nancy Pelosi received the 2002 Cesar Chavez Award from the United Farm Workers, yet she and her husband own a Napa Valley vineyard that uses nonunion labor.

Schweizer Concluded That Liberalism in the End Forces Its Adherents to Become Hypocrites

Schweizer’s conclusion is simple: liberalism in the end forces its adherents to become hypocrites. They adopt one pose in public, but when it comes to what matters most in their own lives—their property, their privacy, and their children—they jettison their liberal principles and embrace conservative ones. Schweizer thus exposes the contradiction at the core of liberalism: if these ideas don’t work for the very individuals who promote them, how can they work for the rest of us?

Facebook encourages our false selves, not our real selves, just like liberalism in the end forces its adherents to become hypocrites, advocating self-sacrifices they are unwilling to endure themselves
Facebook encourages our false selves, not our real selves, just like liberalism in the end forces its adherents to become hypocrites, advocating self-sacrifices they are unwilling to endure themselves

Liberal Principles That Don't Work for Individuals Have No Place in Shaping National Programs and Policies

Schweizer makes it clear that when it comes to what matters most in their lives--the protection of their property, privacy, and families--even the most outspoken liberals jettison their progressive ideas and adopt conservative principles. In short, liberalism forces its adherents to become hypocrites. Schweizer's conclusion is strikingly simple and highly persuasive: liberal principles that don't work for individuals have no place in shaping national programs and policies.

Schweizer tells us that "[conservatives] don't want to give ammunition to their political enemies. But there is also a more compelling reason. Limbaugh, Bennett, and Dr. Laura were the first to admit that by contradicting their own principles they had damaged their lives and reputations. They were not better off for having done what they did. But for liberals, the case is quite the opposite. When liberals abandon their principles and engage in hypocrisy, they often improve their lives. What does that tell us about which ideas are superior? Much of what follows will strike many people as a revelation precisely because liberal hypocrisy gets a big far pass from the liberal press, which fails to subject prominent liberals to the kind of intense personal scrutiny that is commonly meted out to conservatives."

A liberal is merely a person who lives like a conservative but talks like a liberal, and no one has up to now held them accountable for their hypocrisy, since the mainstream media is merely the mouthpiece for the liberals, not their investigator
A liberal is merely a person who lives like a conservative but talks like a liberal, and no one has up to now held them accountable for their hypocrisy, since the mainstream media is merely the mouthpiece for the liberals, not their investigator

Do-As-I-Say-but-Not-As-I-Do Liberals Don't Actually Trust Their Ideas Enough to Apply Them in Their Own Lives

Schweizer claims he in uninterested in liberals' personal moral failings, but in the actual quality of their ideas. He is interested (obsessed?) in whether they actually live by their ideas and commitments—ideas which they so confidently prescribe for the rest of us. In spite of the fact that liberals often speak of their ideas with genuine conviction, these do-as-I-say-but-not-as-I-do liberals don't actually trust their ideas enough to apply them in their own lives.

Rev. Jimmy Swaggart 01
Jimmy Swaggart—Sexual scandals with prostitutes in the late 1980s and early 1990s led the Assemblies of God to defrock him. As a result of the scandals and glaring hypocrisy, Swaggart temporarily stepped down as the head of Jimmy Swaggart Ministries in spite of public confession and humiliation; but it was all B.S. since he was caught with a whore again 3 years later—this is a classic example of conservative hypocrisy

No One Has Held Liberals Accountable for Their Rampant Hypocrisy

Schweizer concludes: "These liberal/left leaders live in a near-perfect world because no one has held them accountable. The mainstream media is certainly not on their case. They can enjoy the moral satisfaction that comes with the knowledge that they, unlike the rest of us, are committed to fighting racism, oppression, inequality, and pollution—in short, that they are more concerned and idealistic than the rest of us. But this idealism and concern doesn't cost them anything, because they and their families continue to reap the benefits that come from living like conservatives. It is time for the free ride to end. Next time any of the individuals profiled in this book happens to appear on a college campus or pontificates on cable television about a moral or political issue, the first question you should ask is: Sure ... but do you really live your life that way?"

"For all its revelations, in the end, this volume reads less like a critique of liberal philosophy than a catalogue of ammunition for ad hominem bloggers"—Publishers Weekly

“A spirited attack on lefty icons.” —New York Times

“An entertaining exposure . . . In a series of 11 profiles on leftist icons from Noam Chomsky and Al Franken to Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy, Schweizer reveals that the most vocal liberals do not practice what they preach.” —The Weekly Standard

Al Franken, official portrait, 114th Congress
Al Franken, 10 women accused him of molestation, so he resigned from Congress

“No habit or quality is more easily acquired than hypocrisy, nor any thing sooner learned than to deny the sentiments of our hearts and the principle we act from.”—Bernard de Mandeville


Mainstream Media Ignores Violence from Liberals but Features Violence from Conservatives, Betraying Their Hypocrisy

Although members of the mainstream media claimed to be very concerned about violence against the media, they ignored the hundreds of examples of violence by leftists against Trump supporters. Some liberals even celebrated violence against conservatives
Although members of the mainstream media claimed to be very concerned about violence against the media, they ignored the hundreds of examples of violence by leftists against Trump supporters. Some liberals even celebrated violence against conservatives

"Although members of the mainstream media claimed to be very concerned about violence against the media, they ignored the hundreds of examples of violence by leftists against Trump supporters. Some liberals even celebrated violence against conservatives . . . The same liberals who support criminalizing offensive speech as 'assault' believe that [smashing a face with pie or] throwing a milkshake at a politician one does not like should not be considered assault." (Source: Liberal hypocrisy, Conservapedia)

The same liberals who support criminalizing offensive speech as 'assault' believe that [smashing a face with pie or] throwing a milkshake at a politician one does not like should not be considered assault—this is hypocrisy
The same liberals who support criminalizing offensive speech as 'assault' believe that [smashing a face with pie or] throwing a milkshake at a politician one does not like should not be considered assault—this is hypocrisy

Schweizer Believes the Lefties Honestly Don't Believe What They Are Saying—Their Ideas Don't Work

Lopez: "Is there something about the book that sums something up philosophically about the Left?"

Schweizer: "After researching the book I really truly believe that the leading lights of the Left — Moore, Franken, Clinton, Pelosi, Kennedy, etc. — really honestly don't believe what they are selling us. Their own experiences teach them that their ideas don't work." (Source: Political Hypocrisy, S. T. Karnick, Reform Club)

Moralists and moralizers of every stripe make for particularly plump targets, because they often fail to live up to their creeds, and hypocrisy is never far behind
Moralists and moralizers of every stripe make for particularly plump targets, because they often fail to live up to their creeds, and hypocrisy is never far behind

"If you go looking for hypocrisy, you'll usually find it. Moralists and moralizers of every stripe make for particularly plump targets, because they often fail to live up to their creeds. This should not be surprising, but Schweizer often treats liberal hypocrisy as though it is shocking." (Source: I'm OK—You're a Hypocrite; A little contradiction is good for America, Jeremy Lott, Reason)

If you go looking for hypocrisy, you'll usually find it. Moralists and moralizers of every stripe make for particularly plump targets, because they often fail to live up to their creeds
If you go looking for hypocrisy, you'll usually find it. Moralists and moralizers of every stripe make for particularly plump targets, because they often fail to live up to their creeds

Conservative Hypocrisy Is Covered in the Media, but Liberal Hypocrisy Is Avoided

"There has been lots of talk about conservative hypocrisy in the national liberal media but, perhaps not surprisingly, there has been a reluctance to cover liberal hypocrisy in the same manner. After all, the liberals in the media, and there are lots of them, do not want to give ammunition to their political adversaries. Liberals, who often refer to themselves as 'progressives,' like to project an image of moral superiority when it comes to such issues as social justice, economic inequality, and fairness. They are convinced of their altruism, their noble intentions, and the selfish motives of their political opponents." (Source: Hollywood Hypocrisy, Brian Farmer, the New American)

There has been a reluctance to cover liberal hypocrisy in the media—it exposes that their professed moral superiority is an illusion, so reporters are silenced
There has been a reluctance to cover liberal hypocrisy in the media—it exposes that their professed moral superiority is an illusion, so reporters are silenced


Conservatives attempting to spread the truth about liberal hypocrisy are silenced by threats, violence, assaults, cancelled speeches, and loud heckling and chanting
Conservatives attempting to spread the truth about liberal hypocrisy are silenced by threats, violence, assaults, cancelled speeches, and loud heckling and chanting

Ideas the Left Want to Impose on the Rest of Us Are So Fundamentally Bad That They Don’t Even Try to Live by Them

"Lopez: Um and the Clinton’s underwear? Though the Clinton’s claiming $4 per pair of used underwear among their charitable contributions does seem like it is begging for a New York Post cover. I suppose there was not blue dresses. Something like that would make a lot more on ebay.

"Schweizer: "Ah, yes, the Clintons, who profess to pay the maximum amount on their taxes every year because it’s the right thing to do. The Clintons are simply amazing in their ability to lecture Americans about their need to pay more taxes while at the same time finding lucrative tax shelters and taking outrageous tax deductions. Again, the media gives them a free pass. . . .

"Lopez: Were you depressed or invigorated by the big wigs of the Left’s hypocrisy?

"Schweizer: Invigorated. It’s another reminder that the ideas the left want to impose on the rest of us are so fundamentally bad that they don’t even try to live by them. At the end of the day, when all the fun is done, I hope people view this as a book about ideas and the failure of liberal/Left ideas. They don’t work for the leading lights of the Left. How could they possibly work for our country?" (Source: Moore Hypocrites Than True Believers?, NR Interview, National Review)

The ideas the left want to impose on the rest of us are so fundamentally bad that they don’t even try to live by them—if they don’t work for the leading lights of the Left, how could they possibly work for our country?
The ideas the left want to impose on the rest of us are so fundamentally bad that they don’t even try to live by them—if they don’t work for the leading lights of the Left, how could they possibly work for our country?

Peter Schweizer is a fellow at the think tank Hoover Institution and the author of several books, including Reagan’s War and The Bushes. He lives in Florida with his wife and their two children. The Hoover Institution is generally described as conservative, although directors and others associated with it assert that the institution is nonpartisan, as its primary goal is to "promote economic opportunity and prosperity, while securing and safeguarding peace for America and all mankind." Overall, Media Bias Fact Check rates Hoover Institution Right-Center biased based on economic positions that align with the conservative right, coupled with left leaning libertarian social stances. We also rate them High for factual reporting due to a clean fact check record.

The Hoover Institution began as a library in 1919 and has grown into one of America's top think tanks over the years
The Hoover Institution began as a library in 1919 and has grown into one of America's top think tanks over the years