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Those who missed former President Bill Clinton’s speech Tuesday at the First United Bank Center can see the entire public event on The Amarillo Independent website. And those who want to revisit the speech can do so as well by clicking here.
Clinton’s speech was neither partisan nor political. It was thoughtful and analytic. The former president showed a grasp of issues and the ability to connect seemingly unrelated dots, making a strong case for cooperation and problem-solving instead of divisive politics.
And, I kid you not, in this most crimson corner of the red state, Clinton got plenty of laughs and applause — lots of applause — during his speech.
I wish, however, that when he talked about divisive politics, he had acknowledged the role of America’s own system of jurisprudence in creating the division. As a lawyer, he would at least understand the philosophy that holds the adversarial method (to my mind, allegedly) yields the “truth.” Given the number of lawyers involved in politics, it’s not surprising our politics is divisive. Clinton’s discussion of systems shows that he has thought beyond the case method, and that is a good thing.
It was also unfortunate that he could not take more questions. The one I’ve wanted to ask him for years was why, after the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, was his administration not more aggressive going after the terrorists. Although he expressed some regret for not achieving certain goals during his two terms in the White House, I wonder what thoughts he harbors over such a failure. And I wonder what pain the country might have avoided had Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida been dealt with at the time.
But, as Clinton pointed out, we all make mistakes. Sometimes we need to acknowledge that fact and rectify what we can as we move on. As he noted, we have much more in common with one another than we have different; so, if we’re to solve the daunting problems we’re facing as a nation and a planet, we’d do well to put political ideology aside. We need to get to work fixing the problems.