Let’s Talk Clinton: Robert Jay Lifton

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. . . next luminary . . .

Clinton’s sensitivity and his capacity to change and learn and renew himself could be put to excellent purpose. But one requires an ethical core and elements of anchoring or stability with the protean and the fluid. I see him as a man with moral convictions but insufficiently courageous in seeing them through.

Clinton’s style of proteanism has been too sensitive to everyone’s inclinations, which is why he arouses such strong passion. His backing down encourages his enemies to stop anything he initiates and shows his weakness and exposes his jugular more than if he’d fought for something. Partial defeats out of strong convictions would leave him in better shape than compromising and backtracking. He comes out weaker, lesser.

He’s so much like the rest of us: confused by rapid change and uncertainty. His flexibility is appropriate for our times, but has to be combined with a moral core.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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