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Sunday, October 11, 1998

Puritans Redux.

If there are two things that do not mix well, they must be moral righteousness and politics.

And, this is clear to see in America today, just as it has always been clear wherever these two are poured into the same glass. There is no reason to ever do it. Politics does not require righteousness, it doesn't even really require morals, and thank goodness for that. Politics, after all, is governing people. If people were all of the same mold, all of the same mind, all of the same sense of moral righteousness and turpitude, then why would we need government or politicians? So, from the beginning, human nature being what it is, attempting to establish a "righteous morality" for everyone is always doomed to failure and futilty. Politics simply requires fairness, as do all things human. Fairness is not morality, it is based on law, the Constitution, and (sorry to be redundant) most of all, common sense.

And, true political conservatism was never moralistic, until now. It was always intellectual, and often interestingly so. The conservative philosophy itself was never moralistic. It was always about individual initiative and the rights of the individual, which by definition as discussed above, is varied and changing. What's wrong with that? In the case of President Clinton, cast by the new conservatives, we are truly obsesssed with a private, moral issue, rather than a larger Constitutional issue. It's a moralistic indignation that would remove the duly elected President, not a "high crime," and not a "misdemeanor." Can anyone really embrace that? Certainly no true conservative would grab that concept in a full body hug.

So, now we have, not the conservatives or even the new conservatives, no, no we have the new Puritans. We ran away from them in the 1600s and the 1700's and we will run away again. But, as in the infamous witch trials, and in all of the other horrible renderings wrought upon the humanity in the name of "morality" and "purity" they will inexorably do their damage. Like the murderer who kills and kills and then commits suicide, they will ultimately destroy themselves. Too bad they don't reverse the order.

As President Clinton stated, "I trust the American People."

Interesting isn't it, that the one who is accused, is the one who sees the truth?

See you next time.

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