Recently I have heard several expressions of surprise and dismay with the reports that President Clinton's approval rating seems to be rising at the same time that the light of truth is shining ever brighter on his sordid behavior. While we can be understandably frustrated with this apparent anomaly, we shouldn't be surprised.
His popular approval comes from several sources. First, he has a constituency of liberal but sincere Democrats who look painfully past his predilection to lie and cheat but agree with his politics. Then there are the traditional Democrats who have enjoyed much higher party membership roles in our country than have the Republicans for many decades. They support the president more out of party loyalty than they do as an endorsement of his nebulous core political principles.I believe, however, that the president's greatest popular support derives from a society that is itself somewhat corrupt. There are too many of our citizens whose moral depravity and ethical failings bring them to find comfort in connecting with one of their own. They look at the president and say: "Hey, you da man."
I am proud to claim residence in the only state in the Union that awarded President Clinton third place in the last election and believe it to be, at least in part, to his lack of character. My annoyance with the president's rising popularity stems not so much from his antics as it does from the ignoble values of the hordes for whom his miserable behavior resonates so well.
John T. Parkinson