ENDANGERED FREEDOM ALERT
Number 4 February 1, 1998
(Author's note: This was written February 1, 1998, before factual evidence was discovered proving Clinton lied.)
TRUTH DOESN’T MATTER
The Real Meaning of the Clinton Presidency
With the recent scandal involving Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, we have, once again, familiar charges against Clinton: lies and sexual misconduct. And, once again, the press and most commentators have missed the real headline in this story. This scandal is much more of an indictment of our culture than it is of Clinton. And it brings into sharp focus a fact which has been apparent since the day Clinton was elected president: a majority of the American public no longer morally disapproves of a liar. These latest charges against Clinton have not been proven and may never be proven. But what is known is that, according to polls, most Americans do not believe Clinton’s denials and most, even apart from the Lewinsky affair, believe Clinton plays loose with the truth, yet they continue to give him very high approval ratings in the polls. Now, consider what is being approved by so many and the connection of this approval to the continued decline of freedom in America.
Lying rests upon a single premise: truth doesn’t matter—and this idea is the deadly legacy of the Clinton presidency. The notion that the truth doesn’t matter is the real message transmitted by a liar and it is an intellectual neutron bomb: it kills the ideas which are necessary to a free society in the minds of those who accept it, while leaving them physically intact--and renders them helpless to alter their steps toward the establishment of an eventual tyranny.
The idea that the truth doesn’t matter unleashes a destructive pattern of implications which are driven, by logic, throughout the mind of anyone who accepts it. Truth is the accurate identification of reality. If truth doesn’t matter, then reality doesn’t matter. And since reason is one’s means of recognizing the truth, then this means reason doesn’t matter. And if you are one of those seeking to defend your freedom, how are you going to persuade anyone about the merits of your arguments if they have accepted the idea that the truth doesn’t matter, that reason and reality don’t matter? You won’t be able to do so.
Those who accept the notion that the truth doesn’t matter become victims of self-inflicted blindness. A principle is the identification of a general truth which applies to a certain category of things in reality, such as political events. If truth doesn’t matter to an individual, will that person make an honest struggle to identify a general truth, a principle, which will enable him to see what is coming in the future? No. Instead, such a person is like a man walking down a path with his head down, eyes firmly fixed on his feet, only able to see the next step in front of him, unaware of the abyss ahead of him. And in a statist society such as we have today, those eyes are transfixed by the shiny baubles left in the roadway by statists, those gifts from the state of money or favors, gifts which are left in the trail to lure those unsuspecting eyes down a path whose end will never be seen until it is reached: tyranny.
One of the signs of a disintegrating society is the degree to which political "debate" involves attacking, falsely and unjustly, the individual rather than attacking the ideas the individual holds, in an attempt to destroy the person rather than the ideas the persons upholds—and this phenomenon is one of the consequences of the notion the truth doesn’t matter. Clinton and his supporters have routinely utilized the technique of character assassination as a means of deflecting attention from the truth and from the issues—and, I might add, so have many of Clinton’s opponents who, in doing so, only reinforce the notion in the minds of too many that the truth doesn’t matter.
Those who issue condemnations of Clinton for something which is true, and provable, such as the fact that he lies, are not engaged in character assassination. Such charges are true and important. Character does matter and Clinton’s example has further corrupted the minds of too many adults, not to mention a generation of children, many of whom have likely concluded lying is OK and that the truth doesn’t matter.
As bad and as destructive as Clinton’s personal example has been, he is guilty of something even worse: the espousal of the ideas of statism, of the idea that your life, your money and your property are not yours. If Clinton were removed from office, through impeachment or resignation, he would only be replaced by another statist, such as Al Gore, and the road America has been traveling would remain the same: the road to serfdom—all of which proves that, ultimately, it is ideas, not a given individual, which is behind the decline of freedom in America.
Throughout Clinton’s administration, he and his statist cronies have not engaged in any honest debate of the issues and have conducted a massive smear campaign of lies and deceit against the defenders of freedom. The reason for this? Their statist agenda cannot stand an honest debate: it would never be accepted by a majority if the truth was revealed about where that agenda is taking this country. How is this possible if a majority no longer considers the truth important? Because there is a significant minority for whom the truth does matter and there are likely enough among statism’s current supporters who will wake up if there is an honest debate of the issues.
America can likely survive the corrosive effects of a dishonest president, but it will never survive as a free nation if the truth doesn’t matter to most, if we are raising a generation of children who only live for the moment and for the "free" gifts they can get from statists, who have no respect for facts, who believe what is done today will have no effect on the future. In other words, America cannot survive as a free country unless the ideas of statism are repudiated. And if the ideas of statism are not renounced, The Law of Unintended (and Unseen) Consequences will eventually remind everyone that truth does matter--and that reminder will be when totalitarianism takes hold of this country.
February 1, 1998
Copyright © 1998 Fulton Huxtable
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED