George Santos, the New York Republican who was elected in November to Congress, has confirmed some of the key findings of a New York Times investigation that he lied about almost everything — his education, his employment history, the sources of his income, his ethnic background — but tried to downplay the misrepresentations and vowed to take his seat on Jan. 3.

Santos represents the height of shamelessness in its peak era.

As we search around for ways to explain America in Trump time, you can add shamelessness to the long list of social conditions that have made the mess possible. It describes most elected Republican leaders who supported Trump and all that he represents.

“I feel like the main thing that has happened in the world in the last couple of years is the rise of shamelessness,” David Plotz, the host of Slate’s Political Gabfest, said on his podcast in the second year of Trump’s term. “Social opprobrium is much more powerful than laws most of the time. [The reason] we don’t do things is not because there’s a law against it, but because we’d be embarrassed or ashamed. … If [shame] stops being a tool, if people refuse to feel shame, either because they know their team will support them, or because they are narcissists, it really undermines the whole fabric of society in ways I didn’t realize until we got to this place.”

I agreed with Plotz.

To cite one of many possible examples from Trump: His successful courting of evangelical Christians required a black belt in shamelessness. Equally shameless and wholly transactional was the reciprocating evangelical embrace of Trump, despite revelations about his checkered personal life and his distinctly unchristian approach toward immigrants and the poor.

And remember when Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas penned an admiring blurb about Trump for Time magazine’s list of 100 influential people? Cruz praised Trump’s “achievements on behalf of ordinary Americans,” and called him “a flash-bang grenade thrown into Washington.”

Apparently, it no longer mattered that Trump called Cruz a liar, maligned his wife and suggested that his father had something to do with the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963. And Cruz apparently no longer thinks Trump is a “pathological liar” and “serial philanderer,” though he called him those things during the 2016 campaign.

In response to Cruz’s love letter in Time, the MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski tweeted: “Have you no shame?”

Apparently not. And now comes along George Santos, who appears to have been inspired by his Republican elders.

5 thoughts on “George Santos: Whatever happened to shame?

  1. Bob Lutz – the Ford exec credited with the Mustang – once said ‘always remember the percentage of idiots in America stays constant’. Talking head cable TV, social media and Trump just makes it seem like the ratio went up. Lutz however never said anything about most of them being white Republicans.

    Viva Trump he’s become our secret weapon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So, Santos says, “I am not a criminal.” Maybe, maybe not. But this is reminiscent of Richard Nixon, who in 1973 said, “I am not a crook”. Pretty similar.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. And as if George Santos’s pathological aversion to telling the truth wasn’t enough, it’s widely reported now that senior House Republicans were aware of the inaccuracies and embellishments in Santos’s resume prior to the November election. Indeed, the topic apparently became a “running joke” among GOP leaders. Since the leaders have no shame, nobody should be surprised that a person as flawed as Santos can be elected.

    Liked by 1 person

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