I've been on this earth for 60 years. And I can't remember a time when hypocrisy has been on more blatant display. And most of it has to do with the politicization of issues that, under normal circumstances, would find us all in full agreement.

Most folks respect law enforcement officers, and these days, the loyalists are more vociferous than usual - especially when they see others calling for the "bad apples" to be held to account. We are a nation of "law and order," they insist, echoing what the president himself has said - and we should respect cops and their role in society.

I agree. Blue lives matter. And the public should follow the law.

But how many of us have gotten angry when pulled over by a cop and cited for not wearing a seat belt? After all, "click it or ticket" - that's the law. All those who tout America as a nation of "law and order" will follow all the rules, not just the ones we deem fair. It seems inevitable that law enforcement personnel - especially those on private property - will begin upbraiding people for failure to wear masks, when masks have been declared mandatory by either a private business or a governing body.

Recently I saw an employee at an amusement park tell a teenage boy to put on his mask. He did, but he flipped her the finger. Witnesses texted a report to the powers that be. A man wearing a badge showed up, and spoke to the teen. The teen's mom, who was also there and allowing her kid to flout the rules, made acid remarks. Evidently, unpopular regulations didn't apply to members of this family - who, under other circumstances and when following the lead of certain politicians, may have pumped their fists for "law and order."

Stop the hypocrisy. Seat belt laws are designed to protect you as an individual; temporary mask regulations are designed to protect other people. If a ticket can be written for failure to wear a seat belt, it's conceivable that punitive measures might be taken for failure to wear a mask where ordinances have been enacted. Cops don't want that responsibility, but in some jurisdictions, they may have it. Does that render those officers unworthy of our support?

Free enterprise is important in America; it's the engine that drives our economy. And normally, most people would be fierce advocates of small, mom-and-pop businesses. They are the backbones of our communities. Even if their prices are a little higher than those of the "big box" stores, the owners are our friends and neighbors, and they're just trying to make a living. And most would say they have a right to run their businesses as they see fit.

I agree. Businesses matter. And the public should respect the decisions made by their owners.

It's ironic that many people pay lip service to small businesses, but if one of them dares to ask customers to wear masks, suddenly that enterprise is demonized. How dare they ask their customers to cover their faces! The intimidation is such that many businesses in Tahlequah and elsewhere haven't fully reopened, but continue to offer curbside or drive-thru services. They've seen what anti-maskers have done to business owners who put public health above individual profits.

Stop the hypocrisy. Either you support the right of a business to determine its own policies, or you want the heavy hand of the government to order masks banned. If you're of the former group, you can take your wallet elsewhere, but leading a crusade to run the offenders out of business is no way to support local enterprise.

Most Americans claim veterans hold a special place in their hearts. These men and women have risked their lives to ensure freedom for the rest of us. Of course, veterans are only human, and they have flaws like the rest of us. But they've served their country, and sometimes in the past, they and their families have paid a high price.

I agree. Veterans matter. And if veterans object to the behavior and policies of President Trump or any other politician, they have more than earned the right to dissent.

The suggestion that Sen. Tammy Duckworth, who lost both her legs in combat, may be a "traitor" should be repulsive by anyone's standard. Veterans are under no obligation to fall into lockstep with the "commander in chief," no matter what party he may be from. The same is true for active-duty military, although they may be constrained from speaking openly. It's ironic that those who are serving our country in the truest sense are expected to give their undying loyalty to politicians they deem to be poor leaders.

Stop the hypocrisy. Either you support veterans and their causes, or you don't. It doesn't matter what they do at the voting booth.

And then, there's that guy who Christians believe died for not just Americans, but for every person ever born, or who ever will be born. He's the guy who said to treat others as you would have them treat you. Nothing about his message implied that certain human beings - by virtue of the color of their skin, their politics, their particular brand of faith, their gender, or whom they choose to love - is unworthy in any way. Furthermore, most Christians would say, God doesn't make mistakes.

I agree. Jesus matters, and so does his message. And I agree that God doesn't make mistakes. Therefore, people are worthy just as they are - regardless of race, creed, gender or sexual orientation. And they should all be treated with dignity and love.

Really, let's stop the hypocrisy. Let's stop the hate. Otherwise, we're headed to a place from which we may not return.

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