Bubba was on the phone.

I got a call from Bill Clinton. Bill wanted me to come up with a slogan for his re-election bid for the presidency of the United States in November. Right off the top of my head, I suggested: ‘Crud Wins – Vote Clinton!’ Bill loved it and thanked me profusely and said that he would use it. He said that it was so honest – so forthright – so original – so upfront – so amusing – so in-your-face. He was laughing when he hung p.

I thought afterwards: “And so truthful.” Crud does seem to win. Here you have a president – a ‘bubba’ (a low-brow southerner) – who is a womanizer of Kennedy (no relation) – like proportions – an accomplished liar – a man engaged in past dubious business deals when he was the governor of Arkansas that have already landed a chum in jail – hasn’t an ounce of genuine religious convictions – he vetoes a bill that would have prevented partial birth abortions – a man who dodged civilian military service and his patriotic duty with great enthusiasm (hiding out in a university in England).

This is a man who employs top advisors who are definitely weak on many of the Ten Commandments – a man who orchestrates the United States’ secret anti-family initiatives at a host of international conferences – a man who proudly names pro-aborts to the Supreme Court. And guess who’s leading the pack – at this writing – and odds on favourite to win the U.S. presidency again: ‘Mr. Crud’ himself.

Contrast him to Bob Dole – his Republican adversary and it becomes a battle between Bubba and Dodo. Here is Dole an undisputed war hero with the wounds to show for it – aging – but reasonably moral – with only two wives (one at a time) – somewhat pro-life (Kemp, the VP nominee is pro-life) – untainted by major scandals – wants to drop taxes 15 per cent (read my lips) – likeable- (even his first wife he divorced votes for him and says nice things about him and keeps in touch) – rings much truer as a man of integrity – even with the liberal media than Pinocchio Clinton. Now guess whose out in front in the polls? Dole? No. ‘Mr. Crud’ himself.

Voters don’t care

It’s not that the voters don’t know – it’s that the voters don’t seem to care. Personally morality, credibility and integrity are not as important to them as what color of socks Clinton prefers. And it’s true in Canada too. We prefer sterling but possibly more pedestrian (read boring) types. We don’t care if they’re play-acting Christians who have a basically unchristian/pagan agenda.

We don’t care if he gives wife, Margaret, a black eye (she claims) during an argument (Trudeau) – fathers a child our of wedlock (Trudeau) – assaults a heckler (Chrétien) – takes advice from a quack American soothsayer (the Chrétien’s) lies about the GST (Sheila Copps).

Times have certainly changed. One time – a lie or a juicy scandal could ruin a political career – now it makes good reading in your autobiography.

There’s a major film coming out based on a best-selling novel about a womanizing southerner governor who runs for the presidency of the United States. It as written by a top Washington columnist and is obviously based on Clinton’s life. Does that hurt his re-election chances? No. If Clinton was to play the role I doubt whether it would hurt his re-election chances!

It’s not that we’re more kindly and forgiving – it’s just that we don’t care any more about a politician’s personal morality and integrity and subsequently those we elect to look after our affaires don’t seem to care either.

It’s a shame that in a civilized and educated society personal morality runs dead last. Abortion/euthanasia will end only when the politicians we elect don’t favour it because the people don’t favour it. But for now it looks like crud is going to win.

If I would update the George Washington story about cutting down the cherry three which he was accused of by his father – it would go like this:

“Son, did you cut down that cherry tree? Tell me the truth – did you?”

And George replied: “Dad, what are you talking about? I Cut down the whole bloody orchard.”

“Son,” said the father, “I’m proud of you. You’re a real crud. Some day you’ll be the president of the United States.