When the smoke clears, Clarence Thomas will be revered as one of the most integral Supreme Court Justices in American history. This little glimpse into his life tells us why:
Centralized governments always love grand theories and five-year-plans. But no government program could have done what my grandfather did for me and for others who needed help. It’s the golden rule—do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The golden rule can’t operate through a government program, it can only work between people.The FDR generation is wrong, no matter how intense the shrillness of their cries. Clarence Thomas is right. That's why so many liberally-oriented people hate Justice Thomas to this day. He's also black. That makes them hate him even worse.
President George Bush 41 didn't make a lot of correct decisions. He did, however, make at least one good one--Clarence Thomas has been an exemplary Justice. He says
We should always start, when we read the Constitution, by reading the Declaration, because it gives us the reasons why the structure of the Constitution was designed the way it was. And with the Constitution, it was the structure of the government that was supposed to protect our liberty.To the hedonist, who thinks that life is all about rights with no responsibilities, he reminds us that
...There is our problem: We think we know a lot about our rights, but we know nothing about our country and about the principles that our liberty is based on and depends on.
The common idea that you can do whatever you want to do, because truth and morality are relative, leads to the idea that if you are powerful enough you can kill people because of their race or faith. So ask your relativist friends sometime: What is to keep me from getting a gang of people together and beating the hell out of you because I think you deserve to be beaten? Too many people think that life and liberty are about their frivolous pleasures. There is more to life. And again, largely what relativism reflects is simply a lack of learning.Clarence Thomas went through a phase in his life where he became an angry young man. Because of his rebelliousness, his grandfather threw him out of the house at age 19. After sinking further, Justice Thomas realized that hatred kills.
...then suddenly I realized that I was full of hate. I remember going in front of the chapel and saying, “Lord, if you take this anger out of my heart, I’ll never hate again.” I hadn’t prayed in years, and that was the beginning of my process back. I went from anger and hatred to cynicism, and then to trying to figure things out. And over the years I came to see cynicism as a disease.Justice Thomas does not hire women law clerks. Rather,
[He] hire[s] the best law clerks. And it turns out that 30 percent of them happen to be women. If a woman graduates from law school and I say I’m going to hire her because I need a woman, that seems to me dehumanizing, and the job would be tainted.The following anecdote attests to the strength of Clarence Thomas' character.
it was in February of 1983—and my grandmother was ill. And I saw my grandfather at the hospital and we embraced for the only time in our entire lives. And he looked at me and said that he had recognized that part of the conflict I had been through with him was that I was just like him, independent and strong-willed. I was his son, and it was as though you could see it in his eyes. And then a month later he was dead. And it was at that time—the spring and summer of 1983—that I re-embraced all that he had taught me. I had come full circle. And it was that summer that I decided I would live my life as a memorial to my grandparents’ lives. That’s why I was so upset during my confirmation hearings, because I saw what was being done to me as a desecration of that memorial.He learned from his grandfather that being right was much better than being popular.
When people used to criticize my grandfather, he’d say: “Well then, dammit, they’ve got a lifetime to get pleased.” That was it. He never spent any more time on it. I never set out to be unpopular, but popularity isn’t of high value to me. I set out to do my best to be right. I am who I am.When asked where he finds the courage to take unpopular stands, he replies:
In recent years I’ve had some wounded vets here in my office, young kids who have come back from Iraq missing limbs, blinded, in wheelchairs. And people say that I take hits? Do I look wounded to you? These kids have given a lot more. What a price people have paid for us to be right here. I think of them like I think of my grandparents. One of the things I’m always trying to do is to make sure that everything they did was worth it—that if they were to appear right now they would say, “You’ve made our sacrifices worth it.” That’s all I want.That's all America needs--a few more good men and women to stand up for the truth, no matter how unpopular it may at times seem. Clarence Thomas is an excellent example for us all. So then, must have been his grandfather.