|Editor, The Tribune
January 16, 1999
|America is the greatest nation in the history of the world, yet
social regression and decadence are glaringly obvious in the current
presidential administration. When calling upon the president of the
United States to account for charges of adultery, lying to the public,
perjury, and obstruction of justice is regarded by many as akin to
stoning, it shows how far we have fallen.
|When a nation of free people are so tolerant that they will no longer
pass judgment on a married 50-year-old commander-in-chief that had
sexual relations with a young intern in his office and then lies about
it, we have lost our way.
|What message is being disseminated? I believe the lesson radiating
out from the White House into newspapers, magazines, across the television
and radio waves and then into our homes, is a lesson of corruption.
|For the president to maintain his popularity requires that the country
disregard standards of honesty, personal integrity, basic decency
and the rule of law. In that sense, this president is not only corrupt,
but also corrupting - more morally corrupting than even President
|Bill Clinton not only absolutely refuses to resign, he insists that
we accept the arguments he and his defenders are making. He insists
that we become complicit in his actions and lies.
|Impressionable children are watching. If we teach them it is fine
to tolerate dishonesty, irresponsibility and lawlessness, they will
teach us that lesson back - by their own actions and by their own
behavior they will be corrupt.
|If there is no consequence to the president's repeated betrayal
of public trust and his abuses of power, it will have a profound impact
on our political and civic life. Bill Clinton and his defenders are
defining personal morality down, radically lowering the standards
of what we expect from our president, and changing for the worse the
way politics is and will be practiced.
|The men who wrote the Declaration of Independence meant it when
they pledged to each other "Our lives, our fortunes and our sacred
honor." They believed they were talking about something real,
enduring, and worth preserving.
|So should we. And so should our children. God help us to teach them
~ Representative Karen Johnson