October 11, 1996 in City

Nothing Wrong With Frank Talk Bring On The Mud If You Care About America, Ask About Character.

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Where did Americans get the idea that it’s rude to be frank, principled and confrontational in a political campaign?

We got it from political correctness, by which the nation’s liberal intelligentsia deem it socially impolite to dissent from their assaults on America’s oldest values - moral rectitude, accountability, self-discipline, hard work, limited government, and freedom of speech.

Today political correctness wears the white robes of “civility.” This thoroughly nice ideal is being used as a weapon - a sugary goo that fogs the windshield of democratic debate just as surely as cheap-shot TV commercials flatten democracy’s tires with lies.

Bill Clinton, who feels our pain about all those horrible ads (except for the ones that slime Republicans), is the master of civility. He wants his campaign to speak only of “issues.” Not for him, those unsophisticated, antiquated elements of leadership that have to do with personal integrity.

It is difficult, for any person of conscience who knows how often each of us fails, to poke a stick into the character issue. But Americans who care about their government should do so, anyway.

Four years ago many of us admired Clinton’s command of the issues and wondered uncomfortably why one so articulate had earned the rude nickname “Slick Willie” from one of his home state’s veteran journalists. During the past year an accumulating mound of broken promises, flip-flops, indictments, convictions, cover-ups and exposes has reached a size no honest person can ignore.

So we ought to talk about it. Plainly. Clinton, whom feminists ironically admire, has a record as a skirt-chaser. He accepted and concealed financial favors from shady brokers, developers and lawyers. Some became his aides and later left in handcuffs. Today they hope for post-election pardons.

On the issues, Clinton’s positions follow no compass other than the shifting winds of political expediency.

Like too many others, this consummate politician lives to make rules for others but doesn’t think rules apply to him. It is uncivil to say so. But Americans have spoken frankly, and harshly, about politics and politicians for more than 200 years. Why? Because honest government is worth fighting for, and flimflam government is a thing to be avoided even at the cost of an uncomfortably “negative” campaign.

, DataTimes MEMO: For opposing view, see headline: Dole should stay on the high road

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = EDITORIAL, COLUMN - From both sides

For opposing view, see headline: Dole should stay on the high road

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = EDITORIAL, COLUMN - From both sides


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