Clinton versus Monica Lewinsky

∂. The gossip en vogue is the Clinton versus Monica Lewinsky scandal. No matter when or where, if a television set catches your eye, a passionate discusses on this topic is to be seen. All programmes have plenty of debates about Clintonís wrongdoing. I do not have a special preoccupation with Clinton and I do not defend him, but I accuse the Republicans of using it as a campaign strategy, which is more pernicious for American democracy than for Clinton as person and for the Democratic Party, their true target. It is a political mistake. I said that it was the beginning of the end of American democracy. Certainly, I was exaggerating. American democracy will not end because of Clinton or his adversaries. Then, what is the matter? I must explain a few points!

1. Democracy is not so much a political system, as a state of affairs. A state of equilibrium, a balance of power, in which people express their opinions, and politicians take these opinions into account. There is some trust between them. Early in the life of every democracy, people are enthusiastic and the trust reaches the maximum level. Peoples' actions are convergent with the general interest, and the economy is prosperous. In time, trust grows weaker and democracy grows old owing to just such events as Clintonís case. The Italians or Greeks are good examples of old nations. Nobody would succeed in persuading the common Italian that his efforts could bring back the lost glory of the Roman Empire. Thatís why he acts in an individual way, in his own interest, or at the most in his family's interests.

2. USA is a young nation with a still young democracy. The common American still relies on his leaders, and the American flag - a symbol of the pride in being American - is to be found everywhere, even on the harlots' pants. (So I heard!)

3. This public debate on Clintonís case is not a gain for democracy. On the contrary, it is a step toward its ageing, because people lose their trust in leaders. Clinton is not the first and surely will not be the last president who made a false step. After a few years, people will forget him and his actions, good or bad. What will remain in people's subconscious is the idea that American politicians are not necessarily perfect. That is why Clintonís guilt is not what is really important. Much guiltier are the Republicans who, in their fury, inflamed this shameful scandal, evidently for momentary politic interests, with too little care for long-term consequences.

4. The Republicans do not win more, because people have the opportunity to see that they do care more for removing their political adversaries than for the nation's matters. The senators' vote, according to party allegiance rather than for the case, is illustrative for their real preoccupation. They do not destroy as much the trust in Clinton, as the trust in politicians generally, and Republicans especially.

5. Democracy disappears together with trust, and as democracy is the key to economical prosperity, this suffers too, because there is not democracy without a good economy. Democracy and poverty are incompatible each other.