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F  E  A  T  U  R  E
Enter the Dragon Lady
Yevgeny Vilensky • Faust wears a pantsuit • May 2001

Imagine Yale asking Sammy “The Bull” Gravano to be Class Day speaker, and then, to appease those in favor of peace and harmony, giving an honorary degree to the Dalai Lama. Most would find this disgusting and would oppose Sammy “The Bull’s” selection independent of the honor Yale was giving the Dalai Lama. Those same people, however, should be outraged about Yale’s invitation to Hillary Clinton to be Class Day speaker.

The Yale Daily News correctly deduced that the Class Day speaker should be someone who speaks to and reflects the everyday struggles that we face in the real world after leaving Yale. However, we do not judge moral exemplars by whether or not the faced challenges. We all face challenges. We judge role models by whether or not they choose the morally correct thing to do in the face of these challenges. On this count, Hillary fails. While succeeding to satisfy her craven drive for power, she sacrificed the same leftist principles for which she justified her drive for power in the first place.

Example by example demonstrates Hillary’s desire for money, power, or both at the expense of the ideology that she purported to support. By trashing the reputations of women who alleged sexual harassment Bill and Hillary forced leftists to choose between principles and personal magnetism. Take the example of Sidney Blumenthal who will forever be associated with the rumors spread about Monica Lewinsky throughout the White House.

In the best case, leftists had to justify their support for Hillary by saying that the things she stood for were important enough that it was perfectly acceptable to sacrifice those same principles in the process of attaining the desired leftist policies. However, what these leftists never realized is that it has never been about the principles for their own sake for Hillary, but rather about principles as mere agents of her prominence and rise to power. 

The greatest example of this was her New York Senate race. She did not run for the Senate there because she felt that it was the state that needed her help the most or where she could make the greatest impact. She ran because that was the place where she was most likely to win. Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee are all poorer than New York. Yet, Hillary did not choose to run there, even though she claims to be their champion. Instead, she ran in New York where there was an open seat.

If Hillary is a great fighter for women, why did she stand by while Paula Jones, who accused her husband of sexual harassment, was smeared in the media by Bill’s buddies James Carville and Paul Begala? If she cares about campaign finance reform and fairness in the electoral system, why did she run after soft money faster than Al Sharpton runs after Gheri Curl? If she is a friend of Israel, why did she embrace Suha Arafat after she made those libelous remarks? If she cares about the plight of the poor, why did she engage in illegal market speculation even though it meant that some poor farmer in the Midwest would have to declare bankruptcy and sell the farm? All of these questions should plague her supporters as hard as they have plagued most of those on the right.
Hillary’s ethical struggles are not struggles at all. She has been able to push aside the struggling and come out of everything Scot free regardless of all the people she has ruined or hurt. She has refused to go down fighting. She is the exact opposite of the educational mission Yale tries to achieve. Yale is in the business of cultivating ethical leaders, not those whose fame exceeds their merit. In essence, Hillary represents an anti-Nathan Hale, opposed to doing the right thing whenever it means going down in flames.

Some believe that Yale’s decision to invite President Bush to give a speech at Commencement and receive an honorary degree should mollify the opponents of Hillary’s appearance at Class Day. It is not a great stretch or concession for Yale to offer the President of the United States an honorary degree and a spot to speak at Commencement. Furthermore, the case against Hillary has never been about her leftist ideology. Rather, it has been about her lack of character.

The Class Day speaker should inspire and unite the graduating class. What is Hillary going to inspire us to do? Swipe the vases from the Trumbull common room when we leave? Launch vicious personal attacks against those who oppose our ideology? At worst, she is a criminal. At best, she should be investigated by the Senate Ethics Committee. Either way, she should stay away from this year’s Class Day.

Yevgeny Vilensky is a sophomore in Trumbull College

“For those reasons, she makes an ideal Class Day speaker. She is as complicated and conflicted as the world graduates are about to enter, and she will likely speak to the ethical, political and personal dilemmas that have bedeviled her throughout her public life. She will also likely speak to a lifetime of public service.”  –“News’ View”, Yale Daily News, March 27, 2001.
The Ethical, Political, and Personal Dilemmas of Hillary Clinton:

  • Should I follow the law? Or should I make a huge, green, gob-smacking, lip-licking, phenomenal profit from the high-risk cattle futures market? But if I do that, I’ll trade my political clout as the governor’s wife for an extra-legal love fest from a brokerage firm, that constantly engages in speculative practices like mine, which have helped ruin many Midwestern cattle farmers.
  • Should I stand up for women who charged my husband with sexual harassment and rape? Or should I stand by while he and his handlers say things like: “Drag a hundred dollars through a trailer park and there's no telling what you'll find” (James Carville about Paula Jones) about women who make these accusations?
  • Should I recognize that, as First Lady, I am not an elected official? Or should I impanel a committee in attempts to socialize our healthcare system that would have raised the insurance premiums of 40% Americans and led us to a Canadian-style system from which doctors are running like PETA from a free shrimp bar?
  • Should I let the career employees at the White House Travel office keep their jobs that are necessary for their families’ livelihoods? Or should I start baseless FBI investigations about them committing fraud and falsely smear their name in the media, in order to justify firing them so that I could let my cronies from Arkansas get the jobs instead?
  • Would it be wrong for me to kiss Suha Arafat, the benevolent dictatrix of Palestine, immediately after she accused Israel, on international television, of deliberately poisoning Palestinian women and children with gas?
  • Do you think it would be unethical for me to accept $8 million from Simon and Schuster for my memoirs? But, Simon and Schuster are owned by Viacom, which has interest in the business currently before the Senate. Should this affect my decision as a newly elected Senator?
  • Would people consider it tacky for me to steal taxpayer property from the White House and move it to my new pad in D.C.?
  • Should I use my leverage as the First Lady to get a Presidential pardon for four Hassidic con artists in exchange for their votes in a New York Senate race?
  • Does it seem like an ethical problem to get my husband to pardon a drug dealer in exchange for a phat $200,000 check in my brother’s mailbox?



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