Jewish World Review Sept. 11, 2001 / 22 Elul 5761
That Janet Reno is considered a "viable" candidate to become the chief executive of the state of Florida is scary testimony to how far we have fallen. The American standard for public office has been set so low, a snake could crawl over it.
I am embarrassed to be taken by surprise that former Attorney General Reno would be highly favored by Florida Democrats to run against current Governor Jeb Bush. It reveals my intractable penchant for overestimating the common sense and decency of a very large number, perhaps a majority, of Americans.
I never learn. For example, when it came to light that the male prostitute living with Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.,was running a male prostitution ring out of their basement, I smugly predicted this revelation would end Rep. Frank's political career. Instead, he was smothered with approval and understanding when he returned to his district. He became a beloved victim and won re-election in a swish.
It was beyond my comprehension that the American people, having watched Bill Clinton operate as president for four long, corrupt years, could find it within themselves to elect him to a second term. I predicted that Hillary Clinton, one step ahead of the law and under a dark cloud of suspicion all her public life, would not be elected senator, even in a state as generally disoriented as New York. Wrong again.
The standards of our culture are dropping faster than I can lower my expectations. I was horrified when a mother, Andrea Yates, systematically killed her five small children by drowning them, one by one, in the bathtub. I was stupefied when the famous NBC "Today Show" hostess, Katie Couric, proposed the establishment of a legal defense fund on behalf of Yates.
The recommendation by Couric was sufficiently bizarre to attract the attention of The National Organization for Women, a discredited group of confused females who have organized their lives around the uselessness of men (except as role models) and the liberating value of aborting babies. They hoped to develop child-killer Yates as a poster mother for post-partum depression, a malady suffered by some women after childbirth.
Given this sympathetic support for Yates, I have no choice but to reluctantly suggest that there are those among us who view her as merely performing a belated set of post-partum abortions.
As a formerly civilized nation, America is paying an incredible price for lowering its behavioral standards and taking the stigma off obscenity, the killing of the preborn, lying, political corruption, promiscuity, pornography, adultery, divorce, illegitimate births and sodomy. Judge Robert H. Bork was not wrong in his assessment that we are "Slouching Towards Gomorrah."
The bulwarks we erected to protect us against the dark side of our natures -- the church, the family, the school and the law -- have been overrun by heathens who consider them unnecessary obstacles to having a good time. How did this happen?
It happened because too many Americans believe human existence is without meaning or purpose. We are hapless pawns in an indifferent universe, therefore unaccountable. In essence, the fault for what we are and what we do lies not in ourselves but in the stars.
In an essay entitled, "How Does One Lead a Rational Life in an Irrational Society?" the eminent philosopher Ayn Rand wrote, "One must never fail to pronounce moral judgment. Nothing can corrupt and disintegrate a culture or a man's character as thoroughly as does ... the idea that one must never pass moral judgment on others, that one must be morally tolerant of anything, that the good consists of never distinguishing good from evil."
Bill Clinton and his chief accomplice, Janet Reno, did not produce the sociopolitical rot that is undermining America. They are the product of it. Even with the blind support and enablement of the likes of Janet Reno, no one man, no matter how clever and shameless, could turn the values and principles of a great nation upside-down. This required the effort of millions and the apathy of millions more.
While we should not wallow in the past, neither should we turn it loose until we have gleaned all that it can teach us. You will find a fascinating account of those lessons in JWR columnist David Limbaugh's brilliant book, "Absolute
09/04/01: Helms the racist and other fitting 'tributes'