Good advice or virtue signaling? the difference between our Leaders’ words and actions

Isaiah Steele, Site Manager

With the appearance of COVID-19 and the ever-present topic of the earth’s climate, government officials are giving plenty of advice. 

Some call it welcome; a necessary reminder if the country is to get its act together and prevent disaster, while others warn that it is a distraction from larger, more malicious intentions

Regardless of whether it is a cover-up for the destruction of our personal liberties or not, those who are giving out the advice are not following it.

With the election of President Joe Biden, John Kerry was brought on as the first “envoy for climate.” Kerry acts as the United States’ ambassador to other nations on strategies to tackle climate change.

But despite everything that Kerry does to encourage others to reduce emissions, he does not follow his own advice. In 2019, he flew a private jet to accept a “climate change leadership award” in Iceland. He defended his actions by saying that the jet was, “the only choice for someone like me.” 

Similarly, when the COVID-19 pandemic erupted, several leaders in the US government gave advice that they did not follow.

During a time where it was considered common sense to wear a mask inside, Nancy Pelosi was spotted on a security camera without a mask on during a hair appointment.

Troy Tomson, a student at Pleasant Valley, said, “I think it’s very alienating to their cause, as they are proving that they don’t really care about the cause that they are fighting for. It causes these officials to seem less credible, and citizens become suspicious about the true motives of not only these people, but the government in general.”

Troy recognizes that, regardless of whether the guidelines given to us by the government are good or not, it doesn’t matter if the population doesn’t trust the government. The fact that those giving advice on big issues like COVID-19 and the climate aren’t following their own guidelines might suggest that they don’t even believe what they’re saying, or don’t care enough about it.

Akash Krishnakumar, a student at PV, has strayed a little from the CDC guidelines, recognizing that the advice given by the CDC can’t cover all situations. “I feel like it is more of a situation-to-situation basis, because people will get better and heal up faster than others, so it should be more based on age, or other preexisting health conditions,” Krishnakumar voiced. 

As controversial topics like these are discussed in the future, we will see if our leaders continue to act hypocritically, or if they will be able to set an example for our nation.