I am referring this to Obama’s admitting that he inhaled. People cheered this as a sign of courage and candidness of Obama, and a mock of Clinton’s response years ago. But I want to write this article to say that just with this instance, it doesn’t necessarily prove the courage and candidness of Obama.
When Bill Clinton was running for the president, he was the first baby boomer to become the president. His challenge was whether the American people can accept this baby boomer to be their president. We all know the baby boomers had been through the chaotic time of the 60s and 70s, and they had experimented with pretty much everything. It is a totally different generation from the past generation, especially different from the glory generation of WWII heroes that the senior Bush represents. So Bill Clinton had to twist it to make himself political correct. It sounded awful. He probably felt deeply shameful for having to coming up such kind of answer.
But Obama running for the president this year is a totally different time. Now it is baby boomers’ time. The current generation is much more tolerant and understanding for a president who has inhaled. Indeed, many of them will cheer him up for sharing the same experience with him. So of course, Obama was able to say he inhaled, and inhaled frequently, and mocked Bill Clinton, saying that is the point. But still Obama admitted it was wrong and he made a mistake as a young person. I don’t know what he means by saying he is wrong. I guess that is the political correct line now.
So if I am Bill Clinton, I think I would be really pissed off by Obama’s smartness. Maybe that is why Bill Clinton made those comments on Obama. I don’t know.
I don’t know if the media has analyzed this whole matter in this way. I don’t really follow politics anymore. It is just sometimes you cannot avoid it. I put this oppnion up here. Maybe you can tell me whether it makes sense or not.
Similarly, Obama kept talking his right judgment before the war started and accused Clinton of her bad judgment. To me, I don’t feel this is necessarily a proof of his courage either. Obama wasn’t at the senate at that time. So he wasn’t pressured and didn’t have to worry about the consequence. Clinton, however, has already have to face the pressure from the lobbists and corporate. She has to worrry about the consequence. It is better to look at Obama’s voting record after he went to congress to see if he voted for the funding of the war consistently. His retoric towards Iran is horrifying to me. It tells me that he doesn’t understand what is real peace. He even challenged Columbia Universtity to call back military recruiters. Thus I doubt if he was at the congress before the Iraq war, he would have voted differently from Clinton.
Another thing is that people talked about the bitterness that the Clintons had toward Obama. But as I watched a PBS documentary on John Adam, Thomas Jefferson did much worse on John Adam. Jefferson hired a spy to spread rumors about John Adam. And Jefferson did that repeatedly. So what the Clintons did was much better than Jefferson. In our time, because of the technology and media, generally speaking the candidates are more exposed with what they are doing. People have shortfalls, especially when they get caught up with the self. But for people who are running for president and are going to bear the enormous trust from so many people, I feel we should ask for a much higher standard. And with the current candidates available, I don’t see anyone that can meet that standard of self-sacrifice. At least, not yet. People change. I hope after they get the enormous trust and support from the people, they can start to come to realization that they need to bear responsibiliy for that trust.
I hope at that point, they can say I inhaled, not marijuana, but life.
Note: I feel like Li Ao in Taiwan in his critsism of both Ma and Xie (or Chen). But Li Ao is a historian. He has all the records to show people the fakenss of Ma, although Ma is very popular with the people in Taiwan and put on a populist face. And Li Ao is very influential in Taiwan. So he is more effective in revealing the broken democracy or what he calls fake democracy in Taiwan.