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Deconstructing Bill Clinton

Gerard Jackson

Monday 9 October 2006

Deconstructing Clinton is a lot easier than parsing sentences. Language has its own structure and rules, what we call grammar and syntax. It is these things that allow us to communicate efficiently with each other, even when we are not schooled in the rules of language. But in Clinton’s post-modernist world there are no rules because there is no reality. Existence is a matter of opinion and reality is what I think it ought to be. In such a world facts are fiction and fiction is reality with each reality being as good as any other. Hence whatever I say happened even if it didn’t happen because reality is subjective. But if reality is subjective what of morality? Simple. Morality is whatever I say it is.

This leads to the ultimate in relativism in which even suttee (the ancient Hindu practice of throwing women on the funeral pyres of their dead husbands) becomes as moral as wearing black as a symbol of mourning. The only morality that is not tolerated consists of Christian-Judeo values. Such a world makes Wonderland look like a rationalist’s paradise. Unfortunately, this kind of nonsense is what passes through universities where traditions are mocked, history perverted and common decency is assaulted.

From there it gradually percolates through society where it is promoted and defended by intellectual impostors until its corrosive effect can be found in good old Bill Clinton who can deconstruct language by redefining “is” and asking the meaning of “alone”. Who can brazenly tell lies to the public because to him they are not lies because lies can have no meaning where the truth cannot exist. In this world the US Constitution does not mean what it says because the text has no meaning other than that which ‘progressives’ care to attach to it.

But underneath it all, Clinton knows that he is an intellectual and moral sham and that there are moral absolutes. Polygraphs, despite their limitations, can be used to detect lying because the truth does exist. Trying to conceal lies involves tension and inner conflict. It is these things that expose the liar. But if reality is only a social construct, a figment of the imagination in which truth has no meaning, how can lies be detected? But now we have nature on our side with the Pinocchio test. Yes, the nose does expand and become itchy when we lie, or at least tell serious lies. Why? Because that inner tension and conflict caused by trying to maintain the pretence is causing a physical reaction. It is saying you are lying. That there is an objective reality and you cannot successfully deny it.

Reality always makes itself felt — even in the form of a President’s nose growing when he lied to a jury and held the law in contempt. The reality of this man, his presidency, his legacy, his treason, is so awful, so morally damning that it is likely to leave an indelible stain on America’s body politic. Why did the American people surrender their inherent decency and common sense to this creature? Why do so many hold him in high esteem? The principle reason, I believe, is because they have become imbued with the false notion that morality, integrity, courage and a sense of honour are private matters that have no bearing on character or leadership — unless the leader is a Republican. But the cry from the Clinton cheer squad that “sex is private” was merely a device to conceal from the American public the awful truth that he is bereft of any virtues. As Teddy Roosevelt put it so many years ago:

We cannot expect our republic to endure permanently if we do not demand honesty in our public officials....Liar is just as ugly a word as thief, because it implies the presence of just as ugly a sin....If a man...perjures himself or suborns perjury, he is guilty under the statute law. Under the higher law, under the great law of morality and righteousness, he is precisely as guilty if, instead of lying in a court, he lies in a newspaper or on the stump; and in all probability, the evil effects of his conduct are infinitely more widespread and more pernicious.

Gerard Jackson is Brookes’ economics editor

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