Politics, United States

The Modern Day Villain

President Bill Clinton (CNN)

“I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky”, is what President Bill Clinton said on January 26, 1998, when he stood at a White House podium. Lying to the world about what he did with Monica Lewinsky. People think this incident is why he is a bad president, but in reality it is because of the harsh legislation he passed while in office. History has shown Bill Clinton to be a modern villain because of his horrific trade and anti gay policies.

Bill Clinton was the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Prior to the presidency, he was the Governor of Arkansas from 1979 to 1992. Clinton was the president during America’s longest period of economic expansion. Today, he is best known for signing the North American Free Trade Agreement in to law. During his presidency he passed anti gay laws, such as don’t ask, don’t tell and Defense of Marriage Act. Clinton was ideologically a Democrat, but his policies reflected “Third Way” political philosophy, which was very close to conservative thinking. He shared a lot of the same thinking as Ronald Reagan. He was elected to office when America was at its peak. It just won the Cold War, showing Democracy is stronger than Communism, and had a surplus in economic growth.  

Protesting NAFTA (NPR)

Bill Clinton is a modern villain because of horrific his trade policies. One policy of his that is still in act today is The North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA. The agreement came into action on January 1, 1994. It created free trade between Mexico and Canada. NAFTA eliminated most tariffs on imports and exports and on traded goods among the three nations. This caused many American companies to move to Mexico because of cheap labor. Much of the working class Americans lost their jobs because companies could reap the rewards of having a cheaper labor force. In 2016, economists Shushanik Hakobyan and John McLaren studied NAFTA’s effect on US labor job. They looked at the wage growth among employed workers and comparing it to data from 1990 to 2000. The research showed that NAFTA was more likely to affect blue collar workers, than college educated workers. Critics blame it for the loss of blue collar jobs and wage stagnation. The trade deal took a $1.7 billion surplus to the US economy in 1993 to a $54 billion deficit by 2014. Economists like Dean Baker and the Economic Policy Institute, argue the surge of imports from Mexico caused about 600,000 Americans to lose their jobs. A former employee of General Motor Company said, “One minute I had a job where I could support my family, and then next minute my job was being shipped out to Mexico”. The auto sector lost about 350,000 jobs since 1994, due to employers moving their facilities to Mexico.

Bill Clinton is a modern villain because of his anti gay policies. Under the Clinton administration several anti gay policies were enacted. The first was don’t ask, don’t tell. It was signed on November 30, 1993. This policy prohibited gays from serving in the military because their presence would create an “unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability”. The policy did not discriminate against closeted homosexual applicants, but banned openly gays from military service. This policy clearly did not encourage any gays or lesbians to enter the armed forces. Many gays and lesbians at the time who served in the army could not openly talk about their sexuality. Service members who disclose they are homosexual were immediately discharged. One gay service members stated, “I doubt I would run down the street yelling ‘I’m out,’. But it would take a knife out of my back that I’ve had for a long time. You have no idea what it is like to have to serve in silence”. Many gays and lesbains say a burden that would be lifted if they were permitted to serve openly. The second was The Defense of Marriage Act, which was enacted on September 21, 1996. This policy ruled same sex marriage unconstitutional and defined marriage for federal purposes as the union of one man and one woman, and allowed states to refuse to recognize same sex marriages granted under the laws of other states. DOMA barred same sex married couples from being recognized as spouses under federal laws, effectively prohibiting them from receiving federal marriage benefits. DOMA did not bar individual states from recognizing same sex marriage, but it imposed married same-sex couples from receiving the benefits of marriage.

Bill Clinton is a modern day villain. He exported the jobs of many working class American to other countries. He also, banned gays from entering the military for being themselves and barred gay from marrying the same sex. Bill Clinton was a president who did not stand for the American ideal of liberty, freedom, and pursuit of happiness. Bill Clinton still has some policies that are enacted to day. If you believe policies, like NAFTA, that hurt Americans, voice your thoughts to your local representative or elect representative who believe in a nuclear war free world.

Article by Paul Hissen & Video by Anthony Verandes 

Work Cited

Berman, Russell. “The Awkward Clinton-Era Debate Over ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 10 Oct. 2014, www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/10/the-awkward-clinton-era-debate-over-dont-ask-dont-tell/381374/.

Ham, Carter F. “Voices from the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Report of Troops Who Oppose Repeal.”The Washington Post, WP Company, 1 Dec. 2010, www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/30/AR2010113005292.html.

History.com Staff. “Bill Clinton.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 2009, www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/bill-clinton.

Holodny, Elena. “Trump Wants to Renegotiate NAFTA – Here’s What You Need to Know.”Business Insider, Business Insider, 5 Feb. 2017, www.businessinsider.com/what-is-nafta-is-it-good-for-america-2017-2.

Lamb, W. Scott. “20 Years Ago, Bill Clinton Signed Defense of Marriage Act.” The Washington Times, The Washington Times, 21 Sept. 2016, www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/sep/21/20-years-ago-bill-clinton-signed-defense-of-marria/.

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