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Clinton did a very bad thing

Austin Tice

A few weeks ago, I did a very bad thing.

It was the last day of class, and English had just ended. Most of the people in my class are pretty good friends, so I suggested that we all go out to a movie together. It turned out that everyone had somewhere to go except for this one girl. So we hopped in her car and went to see Psycho. We went to a party after the movie, and later, she took me home. We sat out on my porch for quite a while, just talking. Well, okay, I was flirting with her. Hardcore.

What makes this a very bad thing is that I have a girlfriend. So immediately after the girl left, I started to feel horrible. Yeah, sure, it was platonic and all, but thatís beside the point. Guys with girlfriends should not flirt or go out to movies alone with another girl.

So I agonized about it for several days. I asked a few of my friends if I should tell my girlfriend about it. Finally, despite the vehement protests of most of my male friends, I decided I would.

She got pretty upset, which I expected. She said a few things that she regretted later on, which I expected. But ultimately, it was better for our relationship not to have a secret between us.

All of this got me thinking about honesty. I figure there are two kinds of honesty.

The first is what I did. Itís the lawyerís definition of honesty: not telling a lie. Itís superficial, because it doesnít require any kind of commitment nor any kind of behavioral change. All you need is a silver tongue and the willingness to take a little heat. It isnít totally without value, but itís still cheap.

Real, true honesty is priceless, because it comes from the heart. It requires thought, effort and conscious action. I have affectionately dubbed it "preemptive strike" honesty. A truly honest person doesnít have to worry about not telling a lie, because there isnít anything for them to lie about in the first place. If I had never spent the day with that girl, if I had been truly honest to myself and my girlfriend, I would never have had to resort to being cheap.

Last week, House speaker-elect Bob Livingston admitted to having had several extramarital affairs over the course of his public life. This is cheap honesty, the kind that we all expect from a politician. The fact that Larry Flynt and his cohorts were hot on his trail cheapens it even more.

But the fact is that Livingston told the truth even though he didnít have to. He told the truth before it was forced out of him. He didnít lie and have others lie for him in an attempt to protect his reputation. For the good of his party, he made an incredible political and personal sacrifice. He could have been Speaker, but he chose to do the right thing by resigning.

Our president has demonstrated that he is utterly incapable of telling the truth. He isnít an honest person. No one expected him to be, but more than that, he has shown that because of his monstrous ego, he is incapable of producing even a cheapened facade of honesty. In the face of overwhelming evidence, he remains defiantly incapable of telling the truth.

Clinton is a liar, and as an American, I cannot trust a liar to lead my country. Last week, the House did its Constitutional duty and impeached our president. I am deeply saddened that any of this had to happen, but I can only hope that the Senate will do the truly honest thing ó convict.

Tice can be reached at

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