This morning, Tony Snow of the Fox Network said, in introducing a statement about the Iraq situation, "The president, revered for his moral clarity...." A person with moral clarity generally is considered someone who doesn't spend much time in the gray area of values and morality. Right versus Wrong, Good People versus Bad People, God versus The Devil--that sort of thing. Of course, morality is a lot more complicated than that, but the Bush White House, fueled by fundamentalist Christian zeal, has designed its agenda to fit that of Americans who prefer to think in black and white terms. No point in complicating one's moral code with such factors as context, history, factual evience, or cultural difference.
To be fair, we are probably all moral absolutists about some things. It's just hard for all of us to agree on definitions and priorities.
But the black-and-white thinking part of Bush's so-called moral clarity isn't really what troubles me. That is, unfortunately, a trend in America. What bothers me is that for someone who claims to lay morals out in easy-to-follow extremes, Bush's behavior has indicated anything but
an interest in moral clarity. He tells the American people that he is going to clean up Wall Street, but it is generally accepted (by anyone who has bothered to check the facts) that he committed insider trading when he sold his Harken Energy stock. He drops out of the sky to tell the troops how much they mean to him, then goes home and cuts major programs for veterans. He tells the world that he is committed to stopping the spread of AIDS in Africa, then designs a program that will endanger the Africans who most need help. He talks about the need to have a solid environmental program, then he opens a door wider than the Grand Canyon for pollutors to step through and do whatever they want.
The only clarity I can find is that the president is almost guaranteed to perform an action that is opposite what he is professing to be his belief about a given issue. Where I come from, this is called lying.