ful) of people he didn’t know. A roomfulrnof strangers, for instance, was wherernBill Clinton found himself when hernheard the question, “Boxers or briefs?”rnAnd “recognition and appreciation” —rnas opposed to dignity —were what hernsought when he basked in the focus thernquestion generated, hesitating just longrnenough before responding to intensifyrnthat focus, finally succumbing in his answerrnto the temptation to give a cheaprnthrill in order to get one. That momentrnhas been repeated in other forums arnthousand times since.rnThe reason Bill Clinton and Hollywoodrncelebrities have such an affinit}’ forrnone another (aside from a shared sensernof moral relativism) is that they are thernonly people in the country with the perceixedrnstatus to function as each other’srngroupies. So great is the maw of Clinton’srnneed that an infinite number of veryrnsmall people can find their way in. Hernreflects the office of the presidency in thernsame way General Hospital reflects thernworld of medicine, which is to sa-, asrnmelodrama. His tenure as President hasrnbeen played out not to a nation but to anrnaudience, and the resultant spectacle hasrnbeen appropriately vulgar, including hisrnaffectations of machismo, the soap operarnthat is his marriage, and the baseness ofrnhis chosen physical grahfications.rnAfter six years of Bill Clinton andrncheap thrills galore, we have arrived atrnTinseltown Studios in Anaheim, California.rnLest von doubt the connection betweenrnthe election of Clinton and therncreation of Tinseltown, I refer you onernlast time to the New York Times, whose articlernon the new theme park noted thatrnthe “dream of being famous” is alivernamong the common folk, despite theirrnawareness of the “endless intrusions intornthe private li’es of celebrities from DennisrnRodman to Bill Clinton.” If the NewrnYork Times, the “newspaper of record,”rnsees fit to describe the President of thernUnited States first and only as a “celebrit,”rnand further sees fit to put him in thernsame celebrity company as a piece ofrnwork like Dennis Rodman, how will wernever find our way back? Open a Tinseltownrnin every mall in America — wernmight as well live there.rnActually, there is a better idea, one justrnas logical as Tinseltown and probably justrnas lucrative. Let’s call it PresidentialrnTown. Buy a ticket and you can take arnvirtual realit}’ ride on Air Force One,rnmake a fake State of the Union address,rnchoose interns for “counseling,” lie yourrnhead off, and cry in public. While surroundedrnby ill-treated Secret Servicernagents, an angry wife, and an undisciplinedrndog, you can make mistakes andrnthen blame them on others. You canrneven bomb Iraq and Serbia. And every sornoften you can pretend to be sorry for yourrnfailings. (If you’re really into Clintonstylernsimulated fanre, that will requirernyou to pretend to pretend to be sorry.rnThings get tricky fast in PresidentialrnTown.)rnThe one thing you won’t find in PresidentialrnTown is Bill Clinton. With hisrninclinations, he’s sure to be over in Tinseltown,rnwalking the red carpet, giving interviewsrnabout his feelings, and acceptingrnhis best actor award. I’ll never watch Ps)’-rncho again.rnJanet Scott Barlow writes from Cincinnati,rnOhio. Her website, “Out Here:rnCommentarv’ From Middle Americarnon Politics and Culture,” can bernaccessed at www.Out-Here.org.rnArms andrnThomas Jeffersonrnby Dave KopelrnThe greatest enemy of governmentrnpower in the early American republicrnwas Thomas Jefferson. It is no wonder,rnthen, that Jefferson has been so aggressivelyrnvilified by the partisans ofrnpolitical correctness. Jefferson was likewiserndisdained by many in the 19th andrnearly 20th centur)’ who, quite rightK’, sawrnhis ideas as an obstacle to the extensivernnational regime they wished to build.rnHow .sad it is to recall that the currentrnoccupant of the White House bears thernmiddle name “Jefferson” —though thernreal Jefferson taught his nephew PeterrnCarr:rnNothing is so mistaken as the suppositionrnthat a person is to extricaternhimself from a difficult}’, by intrigue,rnby chicanery, by dissimulation,rnby trimming an untruth, by anrninjustice . . . It is of great importancernto set a resolution, not to bernshaken, never to tell an untruth.rnWilliam Jefferson Clinton’s disdain forrnthe truth is matched by his contempt forrnanother Jeffersonian principle —the importancernof arms to a free people. In thernsame 1785 letter to Peter Carr, Jeffersonrnadvised the 1 5-year-old about buildingrncharacter through sport shooting:rnA strong body makes the mindrnstrong. As to the species of exercise,rnI advise the gun. While thisrngives a moderate exercise to thernbody, it gives boldness, enterprize,rnand independence to the mind.rnGames played with the ball andrnothers of that nature, are too violentrnfor the body and stamp no characterrnon the mind. Let your gunrntherefore be the constant companionrnof your walks.rnJefferson’s views on the importance ofrnarms in the training of youth remainedrnstrong two decades later. As he wrote inrnhis 1818 Report of the Commissioners ofrnthe University of Virginia: “the manualrnexercise, military maneuvers, and tacticsrngenerally, should be the frequent exercisernof the students, in their hours ofrnrecreation.”rnJefferson believed that the benefits ofrnearly training in arms extended to morernthan good character. As he pointed outrnto Giovanni Fabbroni in 1778, the Americansrnhad a lower casualt}- rate than thernRedcoats. “This difference is ascribed tornour superiority in taking aim when wernfire; every soldier in our army havingrnbeen intimate with his gun from his infancy.”rnEven so, Americans were not as wellrnarmed as Jefferson wished. In Notes onrnthe State of Virginia (1782), Jefferson explainedrnthe arms shortage that had developedrnduring the Revolutionary War:rnThe law requires every militia-manrnto provide himself with arms usualrnin the regular service. But this injunctionrnwas always indifferentlyrncomplied with, and the arms theyrnhad have been so frequentiy calledrnto arm the regulars, that in the lowerrnparts of the country they are entirelyrndisarmed.rnSo, as President, Jefferson successfullyrnurged Congress to appropriate federalrnfunds to provide firearms to state militiamenrnwho did not own their own guns.rn46/CHRONICLESrnrnrn