Irony is a literary device in which contradictory statements or situations reveal a reality that is different from what appears to be true. In my mind, there is a hell of a lot of irony in today’s world.
First, let’s look at those so called “patriots” who stormed the Capitol. They illegally entered the Capitol, desecrated that sacred space, maimed police officers and more, and yet they and their followers continue to call themselves patriots. Isn’t it ironic?
Second, so-called “religious” people who are supposed to stand for peace, harmony, and love spew so much hate–making racist comments, and endlessly judging others—for example, a women’s right to choose. What happened to “let he who is without sin cast the first stone?” Or “do not judge, or you too will be judged?” And then there are the endless indiscretions of evangelicals (Jimmy Swaggart) and Catholic priests charged as pedophiles and religious leaders accused of fraud and conspiracy (Jim Bakker). The hypocrisy of the so-called virtuous seems almost never-ending. Isn’t it ironic?
Third, there are those who have benefited from affirmative action, or from U.S immigration policies, or from white privilege but are not in favor of others receiving those same benefits. Think Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas who benefited from affirmative action (it’s interesting that he is against gay but not interracial marriage) and the many U.S. citizens in Texas and Florida who immigrated into the U.S. but decry others legally entering the U.S. Plus, the privileged white folk who got accepted into Ivy League schools because of a legacy or parent who donated money or a building—think Jared Kushner—who strongly advocate that everyone else pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. Isn’t it ironic?
Fourth, one group of minorities making derogatory comments about another group of minorities. These minority groups understand how hurtful it is to endure racial slurs yet continue to malign other minorities. Cases in point: Native Americans who criticize Mexicans; Mexicans who criticize Black people and vice versa. Isn’t it ironic—and sad?
Fifth, there are a ton of so called “environmentalists whose carbon footprint is anything but environmentally responsible. We are talking major-league conspicuous consumption–multiple mansions, limos, private planes, and mega-yachts. Isn’t it ironic?
Sixth, Americans who never served in the military but who benefited from the protection of others who served, objecting to tax dollars spent on caring for veterans. And then, of course, there was Trump’s statement about not liking the optics of disabled veterans in a military parade. Isn’t it ironic?
Seventh, what about mega-corporations that for years have paid virtually no taxes and have almost patently immoral profits–that hire legions of lobbyists so that they receive tax exemptions yet, at the same time, receive massive portions of their revenues from U.S. taxpayers. Defense contractors–I am talking about you. Isn’t it ironic?
The author W. Somerset Maugham once said, “If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom, and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too.” Now, that’s the epitome of irony.
Maria Grant was principal-in-charge of a federal human capital practice at an international consulting firm. While on the Eastern Shore, she focuses on writing, reading, piano, gardening, and nature.