Generational Differences Between the Views on Clinton

When people hear the name Bill Clinton one specific noun usually comes to mind: scandal. When it is discovered that a public figure has done something that is unethical it taints the public’s perception of that person. Their names tend to be associated with what they have done wrong rather than what they have done right. That is exactly what happened to former president Bill Clinton.

Clinton was known for his scandals but not remembered for what he had accomplished.

Audie Cornish, the host of All Things Considered on NPR, stated:

“Everyone, has a point of view or an opinion when it comes to Bill Clinton.”

On February 20, 2012, Cornish conducted an interview with Barak Goodman, the writer and director for the new documentary called Clinton, part of the American Experience: Presidents Series. Reminiscing about Clinton’s presidency, Goodman felt nostalgic. “Those were good times. Those were times of prosperity.” But Goodman states that at closer inspection, those initial good feelings change and you start to recognize the underlying negative aspects.

The film Clinton discusses his achievements, fiscal policies, and foreign policy decisions. Cornish points out that the majority of the film “spends a huge amount of time on his infidelities and the scandals and problems with women. It hangs over the entire thing.” Her big question: why? Goodman tries to play it off and says that it’s not about the infidelities, it’s about the consequences that Clinton had to face after committing those infidelities.

But to me they are still focusing on his scandal whether they are trying to take the focus off the the actual happenings or not. I read an article in Teen Ink about teenager Lauren C.’s thoughts on Bill Clinton’s scandal when it first happened. She said, “People make mistakes, no matter how extreme, for which they are often sorry.” And Clinton was sorry.

She was advocating for people to not judge Clinton by his negative aspects. I think people who are teenagers and young adults are more accepting than those who are above the age of 30. We are more willing to give people a second chance those the generations before us.

Bill Clinton achieved great things during his time as president:

  • he was successful in reducing the size of the government
  • interest rates were lowered so much that the sales of new house rose greatly
  • unemployment and crime rates decreased

I believe that we should remember the good things about the former president and put aside the negative.


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