This commensurate level of responsibility and gravity. And

This commensurate level of responsibility and gravity. And

This is an essay about why I think Bill Clinton should resign, and also why I think he won’t. You see, Bill Clinton is a man without morals. Well, actually that’s not quite true. He does appear to have morals; he just sacrifices them to expediency whenever the opportunity arises. If absolute selflessness with respect to one’s values were a virtue, Bill Clinton would be the most virtuous president the United States has ever had.

Fortunately, most people do not hold this view of morality or ethics (I hope!). The majority of people still seem to hold integrity in some esteem. If they do, and I am right about Clinton’s complete lack of principles, then hopefully this short essay will find a few receptive minds.Firstly, let me review the evidence for my contention that Clinton should resign or be impeached. Now, to like-minded people, that must sound like an almost interminable proposition. Don’t worry though, I will limit it to just the “bare” facts of the Lewinsky affair. 1.

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Bill Clinton had sex with an intern in the White House. 2.He lied under oath in a deposition to a grand jury.3.He lied to the American people.

4.He attempted to cover up his illicit affair, and obstruct an investigation.Do these offences merit his impeachment or resignation? The primary defense of his actions has been the argument that what he does in his private life does not affect the fulfillment of his public duties as President. It’s not hard to knock this contention on the head.

Clinton is a public employee. Consider what would happen to any employee caught having sex with one of his staff in his office, during work hours. You’d get very short odds on whether he’d last the rest of the day. Being President of the United States of America is probably the most important job in the world. It carries enormous power, influence and prestige. It consequently necessitates a commensurate level of responsibility and gravity. And here we have a President conducting a year long affair with an intern less than half his age.

Yes, the President is entitled to have a private life. But, no President is entitled to put his private life ahead of the interests of the nation. And Bill Clinton was clearly more interested in attending to Miss Lewinsky than to the affairs of the nation. So, whether or not you think Presidents are elected to show moral as well as political leadership, one cannot escape the fact that Clinton subjugated his public responsibilities to his private interests. That may not be a criminal offence, but it is certainly not tolerable conduct for a President.

However, let us not allow the issue of moral leadership to be sidelined. Morality is an essential characteristic for the governance and leadership of a country. A President, who lies to the public, cannot possibly enjoy the trust of the people. A President, who sees nothing wrong in committing perjury, cannot possibly enjoin others to respect the law and justice system. And a President, who thinks there is nothing wrong with engaging in adulterous sex when he is meant to be engaged in the business of the nation, cannot have the confidence of Congress, his administration, or the people. Moral authority is part of the President’s job description.

Nobody is holding the President to unreasonable standards. But there are standards of moral behavior implicit within the job of President, just as there are moral standards in any job, position or role. It is unclear whether Clinton was literally “lying down on the job”. But, he was neglecting his duties and responsibilities.

Also, he wasn’t sleeping – he was having sex. And once he got caught, he lied about it to his “employers”, and also tried to cover it up. His behavior was immoral – no one questions that.

But, by any sensible standard, it was also unacceptable. To excuse the President from any moral responsibility or accountability would be to apply a different standard to his conduct, than to any other employee in any other job. In fact, the argument appears to be that no standards of morality apply at all. Usually, ethical standards increase the higher one’s position.

Here, we have people advocating the absolution of any ethical standards for the highest position in the country.Finally, it is salutary to mention an aspect of the role of President, which appears to have been buried in this scandal. Moral leadership may not be a primary function of a President in the eyes of contemporary Americans.

However, there is little doubt that the behavior of the President does have a significant impact on American society. (For instance it is reported that after being arrested, young adolescents have protested that the President got away with his behavior). President of the United States is the highest office in the land. It is also the most visible. If Michael Jordan’s behavior is deemed influential, how can the President’s be dismissed as irrelevant? The President represents America’s values, standards, principles and morality. And when Clinton makes an address to the nation, he makes that quite clear (for example his speech on terrorism). How can the President speak of America’s values, principles and fundamental convictions, and not reflect those himself? Could President say that America cherishes liberty, if he owned slaves? No.

What then is the implication of a President, who cheats, lies and breaks the law? Does that not reflect on America too? Can one divorce Bill Clinton the man, from Bill Clinton the President of the United States? I doubt it. Therefore Presidents must not only affirm, but also conform to the fundamental values, principles and morals of the United States of America. If the President lies, can America stand for truth and honesty? If the President cheats on his wife, can America stand for honor, trust and fidelity? If the President breaks the law, can America stand for justice, probity or integrity? Maybe, you think it can. Or perhaps you don’t think America stands for any of these values, or has any moral principles.

But if you do esteem these values, then don’t let them be compromised. You have a basic alternative. To save the President at the price of your values.

Or to save your values at the price of your President. I leave it to you to decide which is more important.

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