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Gestapo Tactics; Now I Know Why Jefferson Is His Middle Name


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Jonah Goldberg

GESTAPO TACTICS
Bill Clinton’s and the Democratic Party’s regular refrain is that they want to run on hope not fear, concentrate on what unites us not on what divides us….You’ve heard it before, you’ll likely hear it again. That is unless you only listen to radio stations devoted solely to specific ethnic groups. If you are a Hispanic- or African-American radio listener, you’ll be treated to a steady stream of fear-mongering and naked racial appeals. Bill Clinton tells friendly radio interviewers that only the Democratic Party can protect their rights from Republicans, keep Republicans from starving their children, stop Republicans from blotting out the spectrum of sunlight that falls on minorities, dissuade Republicans from goading minority-owned dogs and cats into hating each other, stymie Republican attempts to invite aliens to snatch up vulnerable ethnic groups, spirit them away in their mother ships, and make these vital minorities eat mayonnaise on stale, dry toast for the rest of their lives.

On a more serious note, the President who has authored what his aides call “one-nation politics” has sanctioned this Democratic ad to be run on radio stations: “When you don’t vote, you let another church explode. When you don’t vote, you allow another cross to burn. When you don’t vote, you let another assault wound a brother or sister. When you don’t vote, you let the Republicans continue to cut school lunches and Head Start.”

Not only is that not funny, that’s dangerous. A morally serious President and a responsible Party wouldn’t do it. But then again Bill Clinton represents neither. Ample evidence can be found in his allegation — without proof — that Republicans are trying to intimidate minorities from voting. It is a craven maneuver aimed at daring minorities to vote. Bill Clinton says, “This is not American, this whole voter-intimidation business.” He’s right, it’s not American, but it’s also not happening. The subtitles for such statements should be, “The Republicans won’t let you vote. I dare you to cross that line!”

NOW I KNOW WHY JEFFERSON IS HIS MIDDLE NAME
Much is being made of the recent (curiously convenient) revelation that Sally Hemings did in fact have at least one of Thomas Jefferson’s children. I’m of two minds, at least, about the whole thing. Jefferson is not my favorite Founding Father to begin with. He was enamored of the French Revolution and he was something of a hothead in general. In addition to his alleged sexual promiscuity, he had another similarity with our current President: It’s almost impossible to know what he really thought about any particular topic. Jefferson and Clinton are incarnations of what Joe Klein calls the politics of promiscuity. As one Know-Nothing congressional candidate put it at the time, his words can be used “every which-a-way; he writ so much.” Clinton hasn’t written much but he surely has been talking out of both sides of his mouth his entire life.

Keeping true to Jefferson’s life, this new revelation is diversely interpretable. On the one hand, Jefferson was not committing adultery. He took care of the child(ren) as best he could under the societal norms of the day. He was indeed hypocritical considering he supported slavery but was amorous with a slave. I think there is a great deal of thinking and re-examination to be done, both on what this revelation means and whether or not it is accurate in the first place. In the long run, I think it’s probably good that we can bring African-Americans into the “American family” in a more direct way. But in the short run, the pro-Clinton politicking on this issue is ridiculous. First of all, since when has the Left taken morality lessons from the “racist dead white European males” who founded this country? Jesse Jackson has been calling the views of the Founding Fathers illegitimate for twenty years. Are we to take heed of these great men only when they behave poorly? More importantly, the Hemings revelation is considered a triumph because it has uncovered the truth. At last, the scholars and activists say, the truth has been revealed, a great lie has been corrected. Well, if the historical cover-up was the crime, why are we so forgiving of Bill Clinton’s attempts to follow in Jefferson’s footsteps? Are Monica Lewinsky, Kathleen Wiley, and the untold others whose stories are being buried, less deserving of the truth? Also, there is no evidence that Jefferson — or Hamilton, whom the Clintonites have smeared terribly — subverted the Constitutional regime in order to bury their personal misdeeds.

Clinton-lovers (who are easily as irrational as Clinton-haters, if not far more so) will bring low anybody and anything in order to make it look like Clinton is standing tall.



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