Jewish World Review April 19, 2000 /14 Nissan, 5760
http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- RIGHT OFF THE BAT, allow me to apologize if this column depresses you -- if it’s any consolation at all, I must tell you that it also depresses me greatly as I sit down to write it. But as I contemplate our country’s state of affairs regarding various current events, I can’t help but feel melancholy over the actions (or inaction) of most of our so-called political leaders -- and since I am by nature a very sharing person, we shall accordingly suffer together.
A political leader, in the best sense of the word, should do more than simply represent the people who have elected him or her to office. A leader needs to lead -- literary show the way -- in all matters of national interest, policy, and yes, even ethics and morality. I look around me and I feel as though I am surrounded by liars, cowards and crooks -- or any combination thereof. People who consistently act and react to every situation that arises with only one objective in mind -- taking care of number one. I could cite several recent examples, but let us consider the Elian Gonzales case for starters. It may very well be possible that by the time many of you read this, little Elian will have been taken back to Cuba by his father. And if not yet, then certainly soon, as it is the inevitable finish for this sad, complex story. Whichever side one takes in this matter, we can all agree that our leaders have handled the situation abominably.
From the beginning it was apparent that President Clinton wanted no part of this mess, hiding behind the skirts of his Protector-General Janet Reno. This brave leader of ours, who has never hesitated to bomb a country in order to deflect attention away from his personal scandals, has once again proven to be more than just “The Lyin’ King” -- he is “The Cowardly Lyin’ King.”
And what a hoot to hear this deceitful, corrupt, proven perjurer and obstructer of justice say with a straight face how important it is to “obey the law.” Tell me, how does he do that? How does he stand there and say those things without giggling out loud?
When it comes to liars, if Clinton is “Slick Willie” then Gore is “Flat Albert.”
When Clinton lies he sounds like he’s enjoying it, like an expert flimflam man, or like the good ol’ boy who’s just come home from a fishing trip and relishes in telling a trumped-up whopper about the one that got away. He tells untruths with utmost sincerity. He happily slips and slides and oozes fabrication with an upturned eyebrow and a wink. You get the feeling that he’s chosen to lie and he’s very, very comfortable with that choice.
When Gore lies he sounds like an automaton who has been programmed to deceive. The Stepford liar who just can’t help himself. Truth does not compute with this android, who seems to be unable to stop lying even when it doesn’t make any difference and is easy to prove that what he is saying is not true (i.e.; inventing the Internet, being the inspiration for the book, “Love Story”).
Regarding the Elian Gonzales affair, Gore at first echoed the Clinton/Reno mantra but then flip-flopped to put himself in a virtual win/win position -- suggesting that Elian stay until the matter could be settled in court, but at the same time allowing that “the law must be obeyed, in any case.” A very cleaver bit of political maneuvering designed to garner Cuban/American support in Florida and showing that he is apparently willing to go against Clinton policy, while at the same time leaving the door open to jump back on board if necessary with the “obey the law” remark.
And what have we heard from the big shots on Capital Hill? Silence. The Republican controlled Congress has proven itself to be nothing more than a group of cowards afraid to rock their political boats. One might not agree with the ideology of liberal Democrats, but one thing is for sure -- they do stand united and tough for that ideology. What principles have the Republicans stood up for lately? Speaking of cowards, where has Florida governor Jeb Bush been hiding throughout all of this? When it comes to cowardice it appears there’s enough of it to stretch from the far left to the far right and everything in-between.
Are you depressed
JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. You may contact him by clicking here.
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