In the end, is Clay actually right about most of what he did, and he is the right leader that SOA MC Redwood Originals possibly could have ever got?

Clay is known to see through his decisions, that requires taking into context all of past, present and future. In that I believe he outweighs John, who could be seen as someone who is more brave.

Was he actually visualizing the future when he tries to kill John? Charming was surrounded geographically as below (as per my underrstanding)

  • To one side there are the Mayans - Mexicans, drugs were known by then and were on the way up quite visibly
  • To another side there is Niners. [Not to be racist], but we can assume they can be more violent and impulsive that others see as more dangerous?
  • Chinese triads might be taking hold and probably it would have been visible to Clay already.

So Clay knows if there is any future to anyone at all, they need to defend themselves well. And if they need to win and thus control the future, the only way that can ever happen is if they control the defense? Ie the Guns. He (as well as GEMMA, strongly) loves Charming very much and so is forced to make that decision to run guns. Does Gemma also have some of his acumen and awareness and so supports him to protect her town rather than just her husband?

Lot of points seem to support it.

  1. He does'nt deal Drugs
  2. He does not deal porn and sees it as vulgar
  3. He only kills tactically ever
  4. His code of living
  5. He knows Big money corrupts and its dangers and is against it.
  • 2
    Regarding your last point, I would say that he got corrupted by money. At some point he realized that his days as a president were counted because of his hands, and he started making everything he could to get his hand on money before hitting the road.
    – vincenth
    Feb 26, 2018 at 11:46
  • Depends. Is it worse to proverbially drive it into the ground... or literally?
    – Mazura
    Mar 21, 2018 at 2:02

1 Answer 1


This is wholly subjective. Clay and Jax/John are two very different sides of a political and ideological debate.

The points you mention are not really favoring Clay the way you imply they do.

He doesn't deal drugs

Regardless of your opinion on voluntary recreational drug use; I'm sure we can all agree that illegal wholesale of black market weaponry is worse than selling drugs.

He does not deal porn and sees it as vulgar

Your point being? This argument seems to rely on your personal opinion of pornography.

The show actually spends a lot of time arguing the opposite point. Pornography and prostitution (without human trafficking or sex slaving) is a victimless, non-violent crime.

He only kills tactically ever

Donna was not a tactical decision. It was a mistake, born out of a lack of proper planning and a trigger-happy approach.

Furthermore, murdering "tactically" is not an argument for it being in any way justified.

His code of living

This is vague to a point of not contributing to the list of arguments.

He knows Big money corrupts and its dangers and is against it.

This again oozes with your personal opinion. You assume that Clay's opinion is objectively correct (likely because you agree with Clay).

You're also just flatout wrong about Clay here. He dislikes big business because, when introduced to Charming, it slowly removes the nice small town community vibe that Charming has.

This has nothing to do with money, but rather with large-scale enterprises and how they operate. The bigger the machine, the less significant the cogs are. Because Charming is a small town, Clay is a relatively big fish with a lot of control. Put Clay in a metropolis (e.g. Los Angeles), and he's suddenly no longer on top of the power pyramid.

As it stands, your question is asking for people to tell you your opinion is the correct one. Yet you seem to miss the fact that Sons of Anarchy dedicates considerably more screentime arguing that Clay is wrong, rather than him being right.

If you gloss over the parts of the show that don't validate your opinion, then this question is not meaningfully answerable.

  • Get told! (+1) Some folk just have no clue when it comes to actual priorities and to be searching for the direction of a moral compass - in this character specifically(??!!) - is just one more depressing aspect of the world we live in... Mar 29, 2021 at 14:22

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