This week, you, the reader, get to be a teacher and, hopefully, you will take the time to assign the Observer a grade.
The Observer is going to put on the old high school colors and attempt a compare and contrast essay – that age old teaching tool used by instructors of English Composition (now know as Communication Arts). It’s been many, many years since the Observer wrote such an essay, so please excuse any rust. Here we go:
The Two Greatest Womanizers of Our Time by the Settlement Observer
The two greatest womanizers of our time are Bill Clinton and Tiger Woods. Both loved to love women (plural, not singular). During the period of their prodigious conquests, both were married men. Both opted for careers in the most highly competitive arenas possible: Clinton in politics, Woods in golf. And, without question, both men became the finest practitioners of their respective crafts in the world. Clinton became President of the United States. Woods became the best golfer and wealthiest athlete in the world. Both were attractive men. Both were exceedingly famous men globally.
But there the similarities end. When exposed, Bill Clinton lied to the whole world. At a White House press conference at which his wife was present, Bill defiantly and falsely stated: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky.” Tiger, on the other hand, fessed up pretty quickly once he was caught.
Shamed and scandalized, Tiger withdrew from public life and his chosen profession when he was exposed, saying: “After much soul searching, I have decided to take an indefinite break from professional golf. I need to focus my attention on being a better husband, father, and person.” In contrast, Bill did not concern himself with picayune moralities or profitless repentance. Instead, he threw himself headlong into a national public battle to save his political life. Bill fought (and lost) an impeachment battle in the House of Representatives, then fought (and avoided) conviction in the Senate. Throughout, Bill said nothing about fatherhood or shame or self-improvement.
Another contrast: Tiger’s girlfriends were beautiful. Bill’s … a matter of opinion.
Here’s another big difference: No one has come to Tiger’s defense. Half of Washington, on the other hand, jumped into the breach for Bill. Mostly they defended Bill by attacking his ex-companionettes. Do you remember Bill’s advisors denigrating Bill’s women as “bimbo eruptions” or Jim Carville saying “Drag a hundred dollars through a trailer park and you never know what you’ll find?”
In this regard, it bears noting that Tiger’s girlfriends have been demonized too. But there’s a difference. Tiger’s paramours were assailed because of the damage they did to Tiger’s family. “Jaimee, what would you say to Tiger’s wife and children?” “Rachel, do you consider yourself a home wrecker? Bill’s girlfriends, on the other hand, were attacked by Bill’s footmen not out of concern for Hillary or Chelsea but because their disclosures were damaging Bill’s political position.
In conclusion, neither man acted honorably by descending into adultery. In this regard their actions were the same. But their reactions — which say much about a man’s character — were not. “To err is human; but contrition felt for the crime distinguishes the virtuous from the wicked.” — Count Vittorio Alfieri, 1779.
Feel free to grade the Observer’s essay online at dailyjournalonline.com. Go to the Farmington Press tab and look around with your mouse until you find a part called Unnamed Voice. You can leave your grade, with any comments, under the Comment section at the end of the essay. Thank you.
The Settlement Observer is a resident of Farmington.