Monday, September 22, 2008

About morals, ethics and straight talk

"Everything I learned in my eight years as president and in the work I have done since, in America and across the globe, has convinced me that Barack Obama is the man for this job." - Bill Clinton, August 27, 2008 at the Democratic National Convention.

I became increasingly more uneasy as President Clinton delivered his 25-minute speech at the Democratic National Convention, not because of his message and the manner in which he conveyed it--after all, there's not much disagreement among people of any party that John Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton were the best presidential orators in the past 50 years--but because of the over-the-top adoration of the convention center crowd towards Clinton.

People can accuse the Republican party, Kenneth Starr, Henry Hyde, or anyone else, for that matter, of playing politics with the entire impeachment proceedings, but this we do know for a fact: President Clinton did have sexual relations with that woman, Monica Lewinsky, and he lied to us on live television and later, under oath, to prosecutors about it. I never thought that Clinton's escapades with an intern or the other women in his life should be exploited as it was during the impeachment proceedings. It was a huge distraction and left me feeling that our country's moral barometer had suddenly dropped.

Now, I grew up learning to "forgive and forget" and all that stuff, but I can't remember anyone who seriously crossed me who later became my idol. For me, forgiving someone means to expunge the transgression and to go on living without harboring ill feelings. It's kind of like allowing a bump on your forehead to subside over time and not thinking about it anymore.

But for these people at the convention--and believe me, I understand that they are the hardest of the hardcore Democrats--to behave as if they were worshipping this guy gives me pause. Here's someone who abused his position as president, lied about it to us, his wife and prosecutors, and we're now holding him up as the greatest living president and hanging on every word as if we're listening to the gospel? Seems a little too forgiving, don't you think?

Speaking of hanging on every word, President Clinton is the king of parsing sentences and redefining words as simple as "is." So what did he mean when he endorsed Barack Obama by saying, "Everything I learned in my eight years as president and in the work I have done since, in America and across the globe, has convinced me that Barack Obama is the man for this job?" For one thing, it is clear that "Barack Obama is the man for this job" isn't the same as "Barack Obama is the person for this job." This was not unintentional. Bill and Hillary both harbor deep resentment over the outcome of the primaries. They're not quite to the point of "forgive and forget."

And what about the definition of the phrase "this job?" Bill Clinton heavily emphasized "this" in that sentence. Did he mean the presidency? Or the job of running for president? Or perhaps, did he mean the job that he (Bill) was doing at the moment he said these words. Bill might have meant that Obama should have been in Bill's shoes endorsing Senator Clinton for the presidency. Certainly these possibilities are more believable than Clinton's definitions of "is."

All of this compartmentalizing, politicking, not saying what you really mean, and behaving in a passive/aggressive way drives me just a little crazy. Everyone seems to be doing it and I wish it would stop. No matter how this presidential race ends up, I for one would like to see our next president take the lead in popularizing the return of morals, ethics and straight talk to our society by being the example we can all emulate.

Copyright 2008 Randy Hunt


  1. On morals and lying, I would say that Bill Clinton should be judged as to how he helped the citizens of this country not by whether or not he lied.

    I was in Washington DC when Ronny was President and heard him say that a certain interest group would not be hurt when he was President. Four months later, the bill he wanted to go through congress made major cuts hurt that interest group's funding.

    My point is that they all lie, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Bush the first, Clinton, Bush the second and Obama. The question is what lie hurt you directly and which did not, that is how you judge a politician.

    Jack Squat

  2. Guess you don't know Jack Squat?
    Me neither!

  3. Your last paragraph says it all. Can I use it on Facebook? :) Great blog keep up the good work. To bad I live in Texas I would vote for you.

    Cathy Threadgill

  4. Cathy, you are absolutely welcome to use it on Facebook.


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