Friday, December 18, 1998

He who sins, grins

OK, now that we're on the eve of Impeachment, I'd better wrap this up.

As my five loyal readers may recall, I promised a deeper delving into the nature of the Republican hysteria regarding Clinton. I asserted that it wasn't about sex. I advanced the thesis that the target of the ClintInquisition was the nature of sin itself. I said I'd make that more specific. Now here's the payoff.

In simple terms, some Americans have an absolutist view of the universe, others have a relativist view. This tends to break down to religious vs. non-religious, fundamentalist vs anythingarian, conservative vs. liberal, Republican vs. Democrat.

For the sake of argument, lets say that 45% of Americans don't believe the Bible is literally true; they may or may not believe in God; either way,they don't believe God has established a black and white code of morality that applies to all humans; they don't believe in an absolute sexual morality or think that taking drugs is immoral either. As to what they do believe, that might be summed up as, "If it feels good, do it," with the corollary that "if it's between consenting adults and doesn't hurt anybody." While we're on the subject, most of this 45% doesn't believe in American exceptionalism -- or think that our nation is a "New Israel" established by God to ride herd on the rest of the planet. On top of that, this 45% tends to take a utilitarian view of human institutions -- including Capitalism. I.e., Capitalism has value in terms of the "greatest good for the greatest number." Property ownership is a convenient legal fiction -- not a God-given right.

OK, I could go on, but you get the idea.

Basically, the Democratic party represents this 45%. The turd in the ointment? The Democratic party can't baldly state what they believe in. "Hi, we're the party of atheists, agnostics and moral relativists." Uh-uh. They have to speak in code -- namely, the code of America's civil religion. They have to salute the flag and play name-dropper with God and Jesus when they make speeches.

So, Clinton, when he's screwing around with Monica Lewinsky, is being absolutely true to his innate value system. I.e., two adults are creating sexual pleasure consensually. There's nothing wrong with it. If it feels good do it.

The Republicans aren't mad at Clinton because he broke their moral code.

They're mad at him because he doesn't believe in the code in the first place.

But he pretends to.

That's why they froth at the mouth and call him "liar" ...

Next up, as a thought experiment, let's imagine what speech Clinton would make if he were absolutely honest ...

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