I once worked with an esteemed colleague, a veteran educator who used to tell his students and the world, if they would listen:
What you do shouts so loud, I can’t hear what you are saying.
In recognition of the inherent wisdom of his remark, I am hereby instituting two new awards:
The Walking the Walk Honesty Award given to those in public life who follow through and actually live what they preach to the rest of us.
The Talking the Talk Hypocrisy Award given to those who, alas, tell us what is good for us to do and then do something else for themselves.
So here we go:
A Walking the Walk Award is presented to Senator Chuck Schumer of New York. Now I know what some of you are saying: “Bob, have you gone over to the Dark Side?” Relax, it’s nothing like that. And I still disagree with Senator Schumer on many issues. (Chuck, did you really say on July 30,2011 that illegal immigration creates jobs?) I’ve heard all of the jokes about him too.
A: Between Chuck Schumer and a TV camera.
But let us give this man his due. Schumer has been a vocal lifelong supporter of our public school system. Unlike other pols who give lip service in support of public education and then a) send their own children to exclusive private schools while b) voting to deny poor families any form of real choice of schools for their beleaguered kids – yes I’m talking to you, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, and hundreds of senators & congressmen – Chuck Schumer’s kids attended New York City public schools (as did my wife, BTW). As far as I know his children are still alive and thriving. Hats off to you, Senator Schumer, for walking the walk and showing the depth of your commitment to public education!
A Talking the Talk Award for hypocrisy is given to Al Gore for the dissonance between what he preaches the rest of us must do to “Save the Planet” and what he himself actually does on a daily basis. (Want to compare your carbon footprint with mine, Al? Bring it on.) The Grand Master of Environmental Disaster flies around the world giving speeches on the urgent need for responsible environmental behavior. Four years ago, ABCNews, using the information from Al Gore’s actually utility bills, reported that Al paid more than $30,000 for his energy use on his Tennessee home alone! He used 221,000 kilowatt hours of electricity the previous year, more than twenty times the national average. Once this story leaked out, Gore did make some energy improvements to his home, but it still features natural gas lanterns in the yard, a year-round heated outdoor pool, and electric gates. The utility bills for the pool house still average more than $500 per month. For the pool house. I’d warn him to watch that rising water level in the pool, but just found out that this past year Gore purchased an ocean-front property in California, so I guess rising sea levels are last year’s concern. On the other hand, Al’s new California estate features nine (count ’em) bathrooms. Nine bathrooms for “only” five bedrooms? Of course, there is an obvious explanation why Al Gore needs nine bathrooms, but I won’t elaborate other than to say he is hereby awarded a much-deserved Talking the Talk Award for hypocrisy on a truly global scale.
Of course, Al won’t really care. He’s already left town in his private jet, spewing carbon monoxide into the atmosphere while on his way to give another speech excoriating Americans on their indifference toward the environment.