By Jill Dellamalva
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 3, 1998

Forget P.C., it's time to be Morally Correct


Arizona Daily Wildcat

Jill Dellamalva

Our society is obsessed with morals.

The funny thing is, when it comes to exercising good ones, we do a pathetic job. The Paula Jones sexual harassment suit against President Clinton has been officially dismissed. The reason? There simply wasn't enough evidence to prove that Clinton criminally assaulted Jones.

Is it such a terrible thing for one person to ask another for sex, when there is no threat, force or retaliation involved? Yes, I realize that the President was married in 1991, when Jones alleges that he exposed himself to her at a hotel in Arkansas. Is Clinton a criminal? I don't think that it's right to cheat on your wife. But when you do, it's a personal matter. When a personal matter gets in the way of doing a job, a job suffers.

Speaking of suffering, did Jones say she suffered great emotional distress from the incident? Well, not until late last month did she add to her deposition that the incident left her with post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. Her initial complaint was in 1994, and this disorder was never mentioned. But these facts are all beside my point.

My point is that I'm sick of hearing about it. I'm bored with turning on the television and hearing about Monica Lewinsky or Paula Jones. Wednesday the quote of the day in the Arizona Daily Wildcat was from a former Miss America who claims to have had a sexual encounter with Clinton. I don't remember her name. But what does that matter anyway? They're all the same.

The conservative organizations behind Paula Jones lost the case in court (although they do have the right to appeal), but they certainly won the "Clinton is a sleazeball" mudslinging contest. All they wanted to do was tarnish his reputation. What was I saying about morals, again?

The right and the wrong things to do: that's what America is obsessed with. Right now, we're stunned that a 13- and an 11-year-old could open fire on their classmates and teachers. Where would they get such an idea when we're teaching such good morals? Right now we're trying to pass the Child Protection and Sexual Predator Punishment Act. If it passes, it will be a felony punishable by up to five years in prison to use any communication device (such as the Internet), interstate or foreign, to engage minors in sexual activities. Why bother with such a thing? A kid can hear just as much about sex on CNN as he can on a porno web site.

I find it less than surprising that, in Jones' case, the media is responding only to the judge, Susan Webber Wright, by stating that she's a Republican who was appointed to the federal bench by George Bush. They're trying to figure out if she gave Clinton a break and if so, why. After all, they say, he was her law professor in an admiralty law class he taught at the University of Arkansas in the early '70's. But shouldn't this case be allowed to stand on its own merits rather than the political affiliation of the judge? Shouldn't this case and others like it be viewed and judged by the law and the facts?

We're always digging up a controversy, arguing that it's for the common good of all to distinguish between right and wrong. So concerned about morals, we drag people's lives through the mud, crucify their reputations and hurt their loved ones in the process. Well, I had my own method of distinguishing between right and wrong in the Jones case. It was quite simple. All I had to do was look at the judge's last name.

Jill Dellamalva is a junior majoring in creative writing and journalism.


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