Chelsea Clinton is getting married.
No, that’s not the commentary on society. But I’ve seen the article in many papers over my lunchtime reading, and there is a telling commentary in this story. Not in the story itself, but in all the comments the story is evoking. The picture these comments is drawing is not a pretty one.
Since the presidency began, people have had an interest in the president’s family. I remember this happening for Truman’s daughters, Kennedy’s daughters, LBJ’s daughters, Nixon’s daughter’s and so on. When these folks were engaged, there was often a news items, general congratulations, and that was that.
But read the comments on Chelsea’s engagement (examples: CNN, Sacbee, . There are comments making fun of Pres. Clinton’s sexual proclivities (I should say “rumored”, as there is only one known incident for which he was tried). There are comments making fun of Mrs. Clinton. There are comments on Chelsea’s looks, her profession, her fiancee’s parents. There are comments bringing up Sarah Palin, or the Bush daughters.
I find this telling on our society. We have become so saturated with partisanship we can’t divorce children from parents, we can’t let a young adult have a happy occasion without dragging it into the gutter. We’ve lost our civility, and that is a sad loss.