virus: virus: Bill's "perspective" on Presidential character and too much TV - all in one brief note...

virus: Bill's "perspective" on Presidential character and too much TV - all in one brief note...

TheHermit (
Mon, 12 Apr 1999 13:47:36 -0500

This is the most effective character demolition job that I have seen in years! As a visitor here in the United States, I would not have chosen to be so vicious, but I have heard that mirrors are frequently the worst critics. If I didn't know that not all Americans are like this, I suppose I might fall into the trap of believing that the majority of Americans represents the norm. As it is, this seems to be an adequately dreadful warning to people considering doing business with Americans...

As for your comments about the character of the President, I suspect that you are wrong in at least the character of President Clinton. While I agree that his womanizing is, while distasteful, to all intents and purposes irrelevant, it portrays him as stupid, weak and laughable; which I think says much about the American people that I would want to have said about me; although perhaps, his detractors come off as even more deridable. What does not come across in any of President Clinton's many dubious actions, is his selfless interest in the office of the presidency, rather we see his blatant self-interest at anyone or anything's expense. From his actions and words in past years, it is seems blindingly apparent that Bill Clinton is far more interested in the welfare of Bill Clinton than in the dignity of the office of the President. Ask not for whom the Bill toils, he toils not for thee.

For an American to claim that lies from one branch of government to another are unimportant shows that American schools have utterly failed to do their duty in explaining the principles of government and in particular the duty of the members of government to defend the constitution. Madison, Jefferson and Adams would be horrified, although Jefferson, at least, anticipated assaults of this nature. One of the reasons that the USA has complicated interrelationships and interdependencies between the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government is to attempt to protect the American form of republic from assaults from within. It used to be that even crooked politicians would attempt to elect a reasonably competent president. It used to be that even a crooked president would attempt to rule well when confronted with the requirements of the office. Both of these reflected the effects of education about the workings of the system. Today crooked politicians elect incompetent presidents and one of the 3 legs of protection enjoyed by the republic has vanished. A related concern is the current tendency for the legislative branch to attempt to prevent the judicial branch from monitoring the application of laws. For example in certain terrorism and immigration issues. As long as this trend continues, the protections afforded the American people will continue to be eroded. All of these faults are failures of education as much as of the system.

Jefferson observed "The first shade from this pure element which, like that of pure vital air cannot sustain life of itself, would be where the powers of the government, being divided, should be exercised each by representatives chosen either pro hac vice, or for such short terms as should render secure the duty of expressing the will of their constituents. This I should consider as the nearest approach to a pure republic which is practicable on a large scale of country or population. And we have examples of it in some of our State constitutions which, if not poisoned by priest-craft, would prove its excellence over all mixtures with other elements; and with only equal doses of poison, would still be the best." --Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 1816. Today we have politician who seem to have been in government for longer than many Americans have been alive, where their constituents have no will, only a simulacrum of it instilled by their television commentators, and a country which seems determined to rush into the poisoned hands of priests and shaman as fast as they can.

"Action by the citizens in person, in affairs within their reach and competence, and in all others by representatives, chosen immediately, and removable by themselves, constitutes the essence of a republic... All governments are more or less republican in proportion as this principle enters more or less into their composition." --Thomas Jefferson to Pierre Samuel Dupont de Nemours, 1816. Does America still have the "essence of a republic"? What would Jefferson have said about the media's power to make and break a "representative"? "Believing as I do that the mass of the citizens is the safest depository of their own rights, and especially that the evils flowing from the duperies of the people are less injurious than those from the egoism of their agents, I am a friend to that composition of government which has in it the most of this ingredient." --Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 1816. I think he would still say that the people’s ability to fool themselves is the lesser evil when compared to those caused by the immense ego of their politicians.

"I know no safe depositary of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." --Thomas Jefferson to William C. Jarvis, 1820. He did not feel that the people would deliberately undermine free government if they had the proper level of instruction.

"The people, especially when moderately instructed, are the only safe, because the only honest, depositaries of the public rights, and should therefore be introduced into the administration of them in every function to which they are sufficient; they will err sometimes and accidentally, but never designedly, and with a systematic and persevering purpose of overthrowing the free principles of the government." --Thomas Jefferson to A. Coray, 1823. So it would seem to me that it is "instruction" that is failing America, and the collapse of her education system, if it is indeed collapsing, may well lead to a more wider collapse.

Jefferson probably understood sexual discretion as well as most and much better than Clinton. It seems in 1787 when he was 44 he started fucking his 14-year-old slave girl, Sally Hemings, daughter of his father in law's Afro-American mistress, when he was appointed as ambassador to France and took her to Paris with him. While friends of Jefferson sought to debunk the Hemings story as early as 1800 their relationship lasted until his death 38 years later. Jefferson said so little about this that historians were still claiming this could not possibly as true as late as last year.

Of course, people who become really horrified at the above forget that until late last century a girl was viewed as ready to marry and bear children at 12 to 14 and as late as 1870 the US Supreme court felt that black men did not have the same rights as white men.

Jefferson could write (and mean), "Lay down true principles and adhere to them inflexibly. Do not be frightened into their surrender by the alarms of the timid, or the croakings of wealth against the ascendency of the people." --Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816. From this I think most people can see the essential difference between William Jefferson Clinton and Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson did not confuse his private affairs with his public ones*, nor did he feel that he had compromised his principles to expediency; he had however decided what his principles were, for himself. I suspect that William Jefferson Clinton would not recognize a principle if it bit his backside as he was leaving one of the prayer meetings he seems to spend so much time at recently.

Madison in his "Federalist No. 10" wrote "The representative principle controls the effect of factions because citizens will choose their more worthy members to represent them in governmental bodies, and these can be expected to be the least likely to sacrifice the best interests of the whole nation to baser factional interests." This was not a guarantee. It was a hope and the best compromise that he could see. Today, the citizens seem to be choosing the least worthy members on the grounds that they represent the lowest common denominator. As Bill says, it seems that American's today have exactly the government they deserve. What a pity.


*Despite everything else written about how bad Jefferson was, at least one accusation has no merit at all. The reason he did not emancipate his slaves, including his children with Sally Hemings seems to have been that the laws of Virginia at that time required freed slaves to leave the state within a year.

PS I refused to snip the following. It is far to good an indictment of American's and the president's characters to deserve sniping.

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf
> Of Sodom
> Sent: Monday, April 12, 1999 8:04 AM
> To:
> Subject: RE: virus: yet another "perspective" regarding Yugoslavia
> >Tinkerer Wrote:
> > i love how people attack the presidents moral values as
> > having any bearing
> > on the actions of our country. last time i heard we had 3
> branches of
> > government and a system of checks and balances preventing
> > absolute power...
> > perhaps we should crumble the idea of a single president and
> > split his 5
> > constitutional roles to five different people, but i suppose
> > an orgy with
> > the interns is a little inapropriate...
> This part always makes me laugh too. It's funny how people
> like to go after
> a President's moral character, no matter who that Prez is.
> First off, lets
> be honest here: It takes a special kind of person to go
> through polotics at
> that level. Not just any Joe can handle it. No matter how I
> may dislike a
> President, I have always thought a few things about the
> Presidency: Every
> President has had the best interests of the United States
> first in his mind
> and actions - even if we disagree on what the "best
> interests" are. Every
> President has lied to the people or Congress, probably
> several times on
> several issues, this does not make the person "bad". Many
> Presidents have
> been womanizers - this is not bad either, and from a
> historical/biological
> standpoint is makes a population think their leader is
> powerful, virile and
> savvy. I do understand that a President should have more
> zipper control, but
> I can live with it just fine. (I would feel the same if there
> were a woman
> in that position). I wish people would stop blaming "The Jews" or "The
> Republicans" or whoever on national policy issues and realize
> that in this
> and most cases, the President is doing what he perceives as
> in our best
> interests and the people support him. If you dont like it,
> you need to blame
> the whole country because it is not just one group who wants
> the US to lead
> the way, it is a vast majority of Americans that want this -
> me being one of
> them.
> Bill Roh