It is a bit strange that the party that promotes "family values," doesn’t walk its talk. Neither McCain nor his running mate, Sara [sic] Palin are good examples. McCain cheated on his first wife, obtained a marriage license for his second before his divorce was final, and then used her family wealth and connections to win a "safe" Republican seat in a state he had never lived in. Sara [sic] Palin, a former Catholic, like her daughter, was pregnant before she married (her first son was born less than nine months after she eloped).
Do they represent wholesome family values? Is the "shotgun" wedding for her 17-year old daughter in anyone’s best interest? How about the DUI her husband got?
Walz wants us to conclude that McCain and Palin are hypocrites because they talk about family values but don’t walk that talk. However, he doesn’t actually say that. Rather he says, "It is a bit strange that the party that promotes 'family values,' doesn’t walk its talk" (my emphasis). He implicates McCain and Palin by implicating the party—the political party is a hypocrite. This is the old "guilt by association" argument—a person is guilty because the party is guilty.
While McCain and Palin are guilty because the party is guilty, Walz knows the party is guilty because his two examples, McCain and Palin, are guilty. This is circular reasoning.
By his standard of guilt by association, Mr. Walz would be self-condemned. Consider, if Walz is a member of an organization that avows a certain standard of behavior and Walz does not act accordingly, then, by his own measuring stick, he too would be a hypocrite. I doubt he would like to be implicated personally on the basis of that organization’s failure to abide by its own standard.
Second, a person’s own stated standards are a measure by which a person should be judged. A person may be a hypocrite if she violates her own standards. Walz assumes Sarah Palin was pregnant prior to eloping (which he himself cannot prove). And he assumes that as a young person, she held the standard that premarital pregnancy is wrong. Only then can she be regarded as a hypocrite. Walz is claiming to know two pieces of information that he actually cannot know to be fact.
We do not need to excuse McCain’s or Palin’s behavior. However, we should identify Walz’s behavior for what it is. It is actually hypocritical of Walz to apply his two standards to others which he would hate to be applied to himself. By his own measure of guilt by association, he would certainly be a self-condemned hypocrite many times over.
And by his own measure of assumed personal standards, anyone could insist that Walz holds to a standard of personal behavior without proof and all departures from that assumed standard would be regarded as hypocritical.
None of us ever wants to be judged by the measures which Walz has condemned McCain and Palin and her daughter. Indeed, he would not either.