Let’s Talk Clinton: Robert Jay Lifton


. . . 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.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.