William Jefferson Clinton, Our First Cracka President.
by John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD
This photo is real funny…to me. Sounds just like Clinton. I like the man a lot. I have read many biographies about him (as well as his autobiography, My Life). I met him in 1988, and he was very nice to me, talking to me like I was a long-lost cousin. But, I never voted for him. But, hey, this is what makes this country so great! I had a good “dialectical” (as our friend, the late Bill “Woodman” Woods used to call an engaged political discussion) at lunch today with my close friend, Dennis Yarbrough. Dennis is a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat and very funny. (Dennis grew up in Scottdale in DeKalb County, was a heck of a high school and college football player – two hall of fames – before working as an intern at the Jimmy Carter White House.) Dennis got up from the table and boldly stated: “Trotter, we haven’t had a good discussion like this in a long time, and you let me put a whuppin’ on you.” Ha! (I had conceded several good points that he was making.)
Some people say that Clinton was our first black President, but I suggest that Clinton was quintessentially our first cracka president, and I say this word affectionately. In their own ways, LBJ and Nixon were close to being crackas, but they had never officially been issued a cracka card. Bill Clinton grew up cracka in every sense of the word, and he grew up with a keen intellect and an uncanny empathy for his fellow humans – at least those who made it down the birth canal. This is my biggest objection to his policy decisions, viz., that he caved in so much on the abortion issue that he even vetoed the Congressional ban against partial birth abortions. When I think about the many lives which have been snuffed out before they were allowed to flourish, I can’t help but to recall a certain stanza within Thomas Gray’s epic, “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”:
But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page
Rich with the spoils of time did ne’er unroll;
Chill Penury repressed their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.
Since Romney announced his pick of Paul Ryan as his running mate, the focus of the media has been on the national budget, the federal deficit, Medicare, and Social Security. There is also one other huge and striking difference between the two teams this year: the issue of abortion. The Democrats were wrong on slavery and are not wrong on abortion. During the 19th Century, the Southern Democrats railed that slavery was a personal choice and to prohibit a slaveholder from taking his slaves into free states or free territories was denying him his personal liberty because slaves were his properties. This is argument and logic sound familiar? It was thinking like this that gave rise to the creation and growth of the Republican Party in the United States.
Yes, I liked and still like Clinton but President Bill Clinton did nothing to protect the lives of the innocent unborn. Yes, I said “lives” because a baby is born because he or she has life already, not in order to get life. When you vetoed Congressional legislation which would have banned partial birth abortions (you know, killing the babies while they are about to be born), then this is a taint on your record which will not be blithely erased. Doing nothing when thousands of innocent children were mutilated and slaughtered in Rwanda simply because they were members of the wrong tribe is also an action or lack of action which will besmirch one’s Presidential record. At least Clinton admits his Rwanda foible. But, because of the official stance of the Democratic Party, he apparently feels that he can never acknowledge the conflagration he has caused to those whose lives were taken away…to the action that forever froze the genial current of their souls. © JRAT, August 14, 2012.