A celebration of the inane, insipid and asinine...
It should not surprise, I suppose, that U.S. President
William Jefferson Clinton is the recipient of this month's Earth is Flat
As this is being written, a deal for immunity for Monica
Lewinsky appears not to be reachable. Whether it eventually weakens the
case against Clinton only time will tell, but until then there are some
important points to remember.
Though Clinton's Hollywood friends and much of the public says that character
isn't important, or that a person's private character is different from
that person's public character, they are both wrong. Character does matter.
Do you see Clinton speaking glowingly about the sanctity of the
American family in the next few years? How about women's rights? The importance
of law and order? Faithfulness to one's wife? Respect for children? Trust?
At a minimum, on all of these Clinton faces a serious credibility gap
if he did receive favours from Lewinsky. Do you till think there is such
a thing as a difference between "private" and "public"
And though adultery is not a crime, it still weakens
the office itself, even if Clinton's approval ratings continue to be very
strong. His voice is weakened not only in the United States, but across
the world. How must have Palestinian Authority chieftain Yasser Arafat
felt sitting next to Clinton as the later was pounded by reporters over
the alleged marital infidelity!
The office of the President, along with things like the American dollar
and the Statue of Liberty are/were symbols of the very essence of the
United States of America. If Clinton did attempt to suborn perjury and
obstruct justice, can one really make the argument that a person who commits
felonies while in office should remain that kind of symbol?
Clinton's arguments rest on telling the entire truth. Period. Even if
he has not broken any laws, his own denials that he never had sexual relations
with "that woman, Miss Lewinsky" and that he "never told
anybody to lie" gives him no room to maneuver. As the Economist
stated in a piece on the matter, if there is but a shred of truth to the
allegations, Clinton must resign.
His alleged sexual dalliances have destroyed his and the office's dignity.
If he has broken the law, he must resign.
For destroying on that last shred of dignity that you and your office
had, one Earth is Flat Award.
There is an old Serbian proverb that says vinegar in freedom
tastes better than honey in slavery. This award is meant for events and
people Enter Stage Right considers to be positive.
Although I am a member of the media -- outside of Enter Stage
Right I actually have a paying job reporting on events in my little city
-- I have to profess a profound dislike for most of the profession. At
least those who occupy the highest levels of visibility.
To a man and woman they are typically products of a society that believes
in the subordination of rights in favour of a collectivist society. Except
at least one.
"I started out by viewing the marketplace
as a cruel place, where you need intervention by government and lawyers
to protect people. But after watching the regulators work, I have
come to believe that markets are magical and the best protectors of
the consumer. It is my job to explain the beauties of the free market."
-- interview in The Oregonian Newspaper.
John Stossel of ABC's 20/20 has long been a crusader for rationality
and the free market. Over the past several years his prime time specials
on ABC have punctured traditional liberal ideas...whether it is the cult
of victimology, the government's role in protecting citizens from false
threats, the second hander...and now the forces arrayed against the free
On February 3, Stossel brought his insight to the topic of greed. The
program, entitled "Greed", finally brought the other side to
the North American public, showing them that the free market is indeed
the best mechanism for the progress of individuals.
Let his detractors say what they will, but for those who love capitalism,
Stossel is a beacon in an otherwise anti-free market media society.