A news story I wrote in college on February 2, 1998
“These are good times for the American people,” claimed President Bill Clinton during the State of the Union address Tuesday. Yet, while Clinton spoke of “good times,” the American people watched the presidency sink beneath scandal and possible impeachment.
Wednesday, Jan. 21, allegations were made that Clinton had a sexual relationship in 1995 and 1996 with then-21-year-old, Monica Lewinsky, a White House intern. Yet, while under oath, both Clinton and Lewinsky said they never had sex.
If Whitewater independent council, Kenneth Starr, proves Clinton lied or told Lewinsky to lie in her sworn affidavit, impeachment looms before a president already stricken with scandals.
America and the world watched as Clinton spoke about his plans for the United States at the State of the Union address. While his speech bolstered his public support in the polls, questions still linger in the public’s mind.
The people of America “see politics and government in a negative light,” says Dr. Stephen King, an Oral Roberts University government professor. “They are sick and tired of scandals.
“I want to believe the people want a leader they can trust and rely on,” King said.
King sees a deterioration of society reflected in the current presidency. He feels morality should be of greater importance, but the American people are only concerned with whether Clinton lied or not.
According to an ABCNews poll, Americans feel lying is a much greater offense than the moral implications of the alleged affair itself. Of those polled Monday, Jan. 26, only 40 percent say he should resign if he had the affair. Sixty-eight percent say Clinton should resign if he perjured himself or told Lewinsky to lie.
Steve Meyers, editor of Exegesis, a Washington-based commentary, believes “people are bursting for the system to be shown effective and for justice to prevail.”
Meyers hopes the American people will not disdain the government as a whole but work together to repair the damage done to the American system.
Americans are not the only one who have taken note of the accusations against Clinton. Many nations around the world have expressed concern about the potential effect this may have on foreign policy.
Iraqi news claimed Clinton would use military action against Iraq to distract from the sexual allegations. Indeed, Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, has issued stern warnings to Iraq concerning possible military action.
News sources around the world turned their eyes toward the American president.
The Iran News reported, “If he is to lead a whole people, a leader must be moral himself. An adulterous father cannot preach chastity to his children.”
The Iran News also claimed political ties between Iran and America “can only be after the presentation of a tight iron belt to the president of the United States – with a lock and key for Hillary (Clinton).”
An Italian newspaper, La Stampa, said lying is the only vice Americans cannot stand. “When forced to choose between chastity and sincerity in their politicians, Americans close an eye to the former, but require the latter.”
The Corriere della Sera, Milan, Italy compared the scandal to the disgrace of Watergate during the Nixon administration. The Corriere concluded that any affairs involving Clinton had already been forgiven by the American people in 1992 and 1996.