As quoted by Hamlet in the play by William Shakespeare, To be or not to be, that is the question(Fetzer 360). When on the subject of President Clinton, some would rather he not be than to be. Some look down upon him because of recent accusations against him concerning him having a sexual relationship with someone other than his wife and then lying about not taking part in any of his accused shenanigans. The whole ordeal has upset many parents about how their children will react to all that is going on about the Clinton scandal, but still some parents find it as an educational and somewhat profitable lesson to teach their children. The Presidency is a highly honorable task and the President has disgraced his office. As leader of the free world, it is his responsibility to set a good example. To little surprise, there are some countries that are angered by the way the President has handled himself lately. The Clinton scandal is giving parents a chance to have serious talks to their children, justifying the act of lying in the minds of children, and giving countries a reason to look down upon the United States. Due to President Clinton’s actions concerning these allegations, there have been three substantial and obvious affects on today’s society.
First, the scandal is giving parents a chance to sit down and have serious talks with their children. Children are interested in learning about what is going on with the President and why he is in such big trouble, so parents find this as an opportune time to talk about lying and lying’s drastic consequences. As stated by Chuck Green, I wrote that parents can cite no finer example than Bill Clinton not as an example of getting away with lying but as an example of its consequences(Green n.pag.). The problem with this is parents sometimes get into a sticky situation when they dont know what to tell their children, but Chuck Green replies by saying, Just tell your kids the truth – that lying doesn’t pay, even if you are the President. Sooner or later, you’ll pay a heavy price(Green n.pag). Lying is not the only major issue that the President’s problems have brought to many parents’ attention. Sex has become another issue that parents can discuss with their children because of the recent scandals. A lot of parents choose not to tell their children about the birds and the bees, but the scandal almost forces them to talk about it. Mr. Clinton’s troubles also are putting parents on the spot when it comes to explaining sex, which is a good thing(MacDonald n.pag.). When asked about what she thought about the Clinton scandal, Amy McMahon said that, She and other parents and experts say that discussions with children about the President’s on going problems may border on ‘distasteful’ and ‘disgusting’. Some, though, see it as an opportunity to talk about family values, appropriate and inappropriate behaviors and what happens when people get into trouble(MacDonald n.pag.). Sex is a part of everyone’s life, and it has the necessity to be discussed with a child eventually; this inappropriate situation allows for a good discussion in this area.
Next, in the minds of children, the President’s lying has significantly justified the act of lying. Children see the President as a role model, which they look up to and sometimes imitate in actions. A boy said of the President, He can’t lie like the rest of us, ’cause he’s a role model(Shales n.pag.). If kids find the President as a role model and they see and hear of the President doing these bad things, it might get imbedded in their heads that what the President has done is all right(Hoover n.pag.). Looking at the situation from another standpoint, some might say that they see the President doing bad things then they will learn from his mistakes, right? That is not true. Parents have tried to teach their children right from wrong and they have always told them to get a role model to look up to. If the President is a role model and so many kids look up to him, then they will think what he is doing is the right thing. Then the parents will go and tell their kid what their role model did was wrong and the children get confused and dont know what to think. The fact that the President is such a role model was evidently not taken into account when Clinton considered the recourse of his actions. This negligence has forced families to deal with issues and problems that should otherwise be left up to the parents. @@@@@@
In the famous words of the 43rd President of the United States, words which will forever ring in the ears of all those that heard them, I did not have a sexual relationship with that woman(Starr 23). Despite that statement, the President later admitted that he had had an affair. If thats all that can be remembered of a person who is supposed to be one of the most prestigious and most honorable people in the world, then it can be assumed that there is something very wrong. Society needs to learn from the mistakes of the President and parents to learn to be more prepared for if anything like this happens again so that their children can be taught the right ideas. How can parents teach their children right from wrong when the President is setting a bad example? All in all, while the President’s actions have had many effects, both good and bad, he has put himself and the nation in a very difficult position, one that could have
Green, Chuck. Clinton column Hits Home. Denver Post 2 Oct. 1998, Rockies ed.: B1 online Proquest. 2 Dec. 1998.
Fields, Suzanne. Scandal Could Help Initiate Dialogue for Parents, Kids. Arizona Republic 13 Sept. 1998, Final ed.: B7 online Proquest 2 Dec. 1998
MacDonald, Sue. Clinton Under Fire; Talking to Kids; Parents Face Tough Decisions about Discussions. Cincinnati Enquirer 12 Sept. 1998, East ed.: A3 Online Proquest. 2 Dec. 1998.
Hoover, Barbara. Psychologists Have Tips on Explaining Clinton Affair to Kids. Detroit News 19 Aug. 1998, Final ed.: e1 Online Proquest. 2 Dec. 1998.
Shales, Tom. Clinton: Smart Talk to and from Kids. Washington Post 29 Sept. 1998 , Final ed.:D1 Online Proquest. 4 Dec. 1998.
Fetzer, Scott. MacBeth World Book Encyclopedia 1988 ed.