By Mitch Holt, Special Contributor
Don’t Believe the Hype
The United Nations recently decided to place Bill Clinton, former president of the United States, as the head of the Tsunami Relief Program and to ease tensions with rebels in the areas affected by the natural disaster. Talk also has been circulating of Clinton becoming the head of the United Nations after Kofi Annan’s time is up.
When people hear the name Bill Clinton, phrases such as “Oval Office” and “Monica Lewinski” often come to mind. Many see this decision as a mistake on the part of Kofi Annan because of Clinton’s failure to tell the truth about these personal issues that had strangely come to the attention of the public during his second term in office.
Before you write off the decision to give Clinton these responsibilities as a mistake, let’s look at some facts about Clinton that West Texas youngsters don’t often hear from their parents at the dinner table. While Clinton was in office, the United States broke the budget deficit and slid into surplus for the first time since 1969. Millions of unemployed Americans received jobs, and the Handgun Violence Prevention Act was passed in 1993, which required an instant background check and a 90-day waiting period before any citizen could purchase a handgun. You may not like his politics, but Clinton has a history of showing compassion to the down and out. All of this was done under a conservative Congress and overwhelming odds.
These reasons, among others, are ways our country’s 42nd president served as a benefactor to the American way of life during his time in office.
I say all of this not to make a shameless plug for Clinton. I know as well as the rest that he is not an entirely ethical man; however, he is good at what he does. Why not give a great politician such a great responsibility?
George H.W. Bush, Clinton’s predecessor, has played a major role in these relief efforts as well. The two seem to be a good match for the job and the message that these polar-opposite politicians are sending out to the world is a good one. To see these political enemies touring the country and appearing in commercials together is a good step toward unity in the United States and an effective way to raise money from liberals and conservatives alike.
Just because Clinton hasn’t had the best personal track record doesn’t mean one should ignore his political talents. There is a need for a good leader, so the United Nations called on him.
The tragedy that struck Indonesia and Sri Lanka on Dec. 26 has left a chance for the United States to lend a helping hand to those who actually need it. Could this be an opportunity for the world’s view of America to change?