You can be their next villain

By Joe Schembrie
web posted November 6, 2000

George W. BushSo he was DUI back in the 1970s? What's the big deal? Only the other day, his opposition to hate-crimes legislation held him culpable in the automobile-dragging death of a black man.

George W. Bush is only the latest victim of the politics of personal destruction -- which Bill and Hillary Clinton disavow so strongly -- yet practice so well.

Reporter Bob Woodward explained Clinton demagoguery in his book, The Agenda: Inside the Clinton White House. The Clintons, he says, always seek to devise ". . . a simple story, with characters, with an objective, with a beginning, middle, and end." And the story must contain a 'moral point of view' -- complete, in Hillary's words, ". . . with enemies and villains."

According to Woodward, back in their Arkansas days, even a former ally -- a teachers' union -- fell target to Clintonian villainization.

No, Rodney, we all can't just get along. Villainizing the opposition is integral to the Clinton propaganda offensive. The victims include the powerful (Newt Gingrich, Henry Hyde, and Ken Starr) and the small (Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, and Linda Tripp). Whoever you are, if you get in their way, you must be publicly portrayed as a villain.

Consider the 'criminal mastermind,' Paula Jones. The Governor of Arkansas sexually harassed her. Then, as President, he had the entire White House PR machine slander her on national television for months on end. And when she sued him for character defamation, he committed perjury and obstruction of justice to cover his tracks.

Yet according to the twisted Clinton Version of the story, she's only a publicity-seeking bimbo, deserving of disdain.

Then there was Linda Tripp, the 'evil genius' who was booted out of the White House, slandered as a liar, and pressured by the President to commit perjury. Yet in the Clinton Version, she's a 'traitor to a friend.'

>From a distance, it's easy to see who is stepping upon whom. But after the Clinton Version has been disseminated to the mass media, and repeated loud enough and long enough, even the late night talk show comedians mercilessly ally with the Strong against the Weak.

But what part of sexual harassment is funny, Mister Leno? What part of presidential extortion to commit a felony is hilarious, Mister Letterman?

No one is too small or too decent to become a villain. Lazaro and Marisleysis Gonzalez opened their home to a young refuge relative, Elian. Their only 'crime' was not to drive him to an airport and turn him over to Communists, as our government demanded. The government could pick Elian up itself, they replied, and they would not violently resist.

For that, the Clinton propaganda machine spent months villainizing them. The nation learned that Lazaro had DUI offenses and Marisleysis had been hospitalized for stress. They were accused of exploiting Elian for publicity. They were even labeled 'kidnappers' and 'child abusers.' In the end, the public cheered as storm troopers broke in, brandishing machine-guns and threatening spot executions of unarmed, charitable citizens.

In that Clintonized story, the 'villains' barely escaped death. Other 'villains' have not been so fortunate.

Just last year, the Clinton Administration vilified the entire nation of Serbia as worse than the Nazis. The Serbs were accused of the worst crime imaginable -- of genocide, of murdering a hundred thousand ethnic Albanians. Thus the American public applauded as warplanes bombed Serbia back into the Stone Age.

A year and a half later, we still haven't found the mass graves of those hundred thousand victims of Serbian genocide. The genocide never happened, and the Serbs were innocent as charged. And the only villains were in the Clinton Administration, which falsely accused and then murdered thousands of innocent Serbian civilians with its indiscriminate high-altitude bombing.

And why? Well, to tell a self-serving story, in which Clinton, badly tarred by the stigma of perjury -- genuine, recent, and unremorseful -- is redeemed as the hero.

Just like in a TV show. The public hardly notices the plot holes or the lack of continuity from one episode to the next. And didn't you just get a tingly feeling when he rescued that little boy from those evil kidnappers? Wonder which villain he'll foil next . . . .

Well, maybe it'll be you. Do you work for a drug company? An oil company? A software company? A teachers' union? Then private investigators might soon be sifting through every dark secret in your life, and you too will be villainized in the national media.

You know, kind of like what's happening to George W. Bush -- who drives recklessly, executes the innocent, and steals Social Security.

Aren't you glad that the Clinton Administration is coming to an end -- and you won't have to worry about such demagoguery from Al Gore?

Joe Schembrie is a senior writer for Enter Stage Right and can be reached at

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