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Research paper example essay prompt: The Clinton Administration - 1603 words
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The Clinton Administration American society is very unforgiving when it comes to their politicians. Mistakes and alleged scandals are scrutinized over and exploited by the media while great accomplishments may fall into the shadows. This is the case with President Clinton, who may be one of the best and most successful Presidents our nation has ever elected. Unfortunately, his impeachment and alleged sexual scandals are hovering over his accomplishments. Despite current criticisms, however, time will prove the Clinton administration a success in all aspects of society, international as well as national. One of Clinton's greatest accomplishments is the economy, which has prospered ever since he took office. America is now enjoying its strongest economy in a generation.
The unemployment rate is the lowest in over three decades, down from 7.5 percent in 1992 to 3.9 percent in September, 2000. Unemployment for minorities has fallen significantly as well, and for both African-Americans and Hispanics it is at record lows. Side by side with the decreasing unemployment rate is the increasing availability of new jobs. More than 22 million have been created since 1993, the most jobs ever created under a single administration. (The White House, p.
5) Even the national debt is being paid off. In July 2000, the Treasury Department announced that the United States would pay off $221 billion of debt for the year, making it the largest one-year payment in American history. Under the Clinton Plan, we are now on track to eliminate the nation's debt by 2012. (The White House, p. 8) Many Americans do not realize the importance of bringing down the national debt and criticize the President for the nation's high taxes.
What they do not realize is how a decreased national debt actually helps them in their everyday lives. Reduced debt means lower interest rates and reduced payments on loans. It also keeps the nation prepared for a possible economic crisis. Our thriving economy, although it cannot be fully credited to Clinton, is a result of his understanding of its delicate balance. Clinton has upheld the ideology that dates back to Adam Smith, that the government should do its best to leave the economy to itself, while also giving it little boosts along the way. Adam Smith believed that there is an "invisible hand" that guides and cares for the economy when there is no government intervention. Although Clinton obviously has not totally left the economy to itself, he has not made any drastic changes and has only helped the economy along its way during this time of growing prosperity.
Other national issues have been improving as well, such as crime, education, and environmental concerns. We are now enjoying the lowest crime rates in 25 years, a great improvement from when President Clinton first took office in 1993, when the violent crime rate in America had more than quadrupled during previous decades. Since then, a continuous drop in crime has been in effect, more police are out on the streets, and there has been the largest gun enforcement initiative in history, targeting violent gun criminals and illegal gun traffickers. Many have actually criticized President Clinton for not doing enough to improve schooling and educational conditions in America. This, however, could not be further from the truth. The Clinton administration as put into effect the largest investment in education in thirty years.
The doors of college have been opened to more Americans with increased scholarship funds and more affordable tuition fees. Clinton has also put $1.3 billion (The Clinton Record, p. 4) towards hiring more high-quality teachers and decreasing class sizes. Finally, with the Vice-President's leadership, the Clinton administration has increased technology availability and turned around many failing schools. Vice-President Al Gore has also taken the leading role in protecting and maintaining the environment. New standards have been issued cutting pollution from chemical plants 90% by 1997 (The Clinton Record, p.
7), requiring polluters to disclose toxic release information to the public, and accelerating toxic cleanups. The Clinton administration also developed a plan to restore and protect Florida everglades and proposed a plan to ensure long-term protection for 40-million acres of our national forests. Finally, the Clinton administration negotiated an international treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in an environmentally strong and economically sound way. President Clinton seems to also be the President with the greatest understanding of racial situations and the relations between races. Many go as far as to say that he is the "blackest" President we've ever had. What is meant by this is that Clinton treats everybody fairly, including minorities, and has led the nation in an attempt to eliminate racial prejudice.
His public outreach efforts even include the creation of a new White House Office on his initiative for One America. One America is his goal of making this country a place where we respect each other's differences and embrace the common values that unite us. Internationally, President Clinton started off shakily, but learned from his mistakes and greatly improved many foreign affairs. The disaster in Rwanda is the main reason for this shaky start. In 1948, the United States had signed the Convention against Genocide, obliging contracting parties to prevent and punish the crime of genocide in an attempt to avoid another holocaust. When hundreds of thousands of Tutsis were executed by Hutu extremists in 1994, however, the United States and President Clinton stepped around the law of the Convention and did not originally acknowledge it as genocide in an attempt not to get too involved. When the US and the other countries involved did finally recognize the crimes by their rightful name, genocide, President Clinton issued a formal apology to the Rwandans and promised to help them build a future for their nation. Although there is no way around the fact that this was a major mistake on the part of Clinton, it does not take away from his overall success in foreign affairs. The crisis in Rwanda enabled him to stand his ground when similar circumstances such as that of Kosovo occurred.
After Rwanda, President Clinton saw the importance of maintaining our commitment to a greater humanity, no matter what the costs. From that moment on a crisis did not need to be of national danger to the United States for our involvement, but of any humanitarian concerns, for we, as the greatest world power, have a responsibility towards others less fortunate. In early 1998, when the crisis in Kosovo was first developing, large-scale fighting broke out, resulting in the slaughter of 300,000 people. A temporary cease-fire was agreed on, but in January 1999, the situation worsened significantly when Yugoslav military and police forces mounted a systematic campaign of murder, persecution, and mass deportation of Kosovo's ethnic Albanians. In March 1999, President Clinton denounced the Yugoslav President, Slobodan Milosevic, for feeding the "flames of ethnic and religious division" in Kosovo and began and air campaign of bombing in an attempt to stop racial and ethnic slaughter. Clinton received a lot of criticism for this, however, he held true to his ground and his belief that not taking action would result in another Rwanda or possible Nazi holocaust situation.
The bombings were ultimately a success and a nearly a decade of repression and ethnic cleansing in Kosovo was ended, stabilizing Southeast Europe. This shows that even under pressure and criticism, the President was able to carry out what was necessary and end the genocide. One expert from Capitol Hill states that "Clinton is throwing away US influence, hurting our strategic interests and harming our military's ability to defend our interests all for short term gain for himself." This, however, is clearly not true. Clinton's actions were of a moral, humanitarian approach and although it is true that the United States was not in any danger at the time, it is quite possible that the Kosovo situation could have escalated and possibly created an international crisis. Clinton's successes overseas have included far more than the Kosovo incident. He was the first world leader, to be, as spokesman Anthony Carp from the British Embassy put it, "genuinely involved in helping to bring about peace in Northern Ireland without playing to the domestic gallery all the time." He succeeded in helping Ireland take a huge step towards resolving the long-lasting conflict between the Catholic nationalists and Protestant Unionists.
Clinton has also taken numerous steps towards limiting nuclear weapons around the world and ensuring America's safety. Russian nuclear missiles are no longer pointed at our cities, and Clinton also persuaded Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan into giving up the nuclear weapons left on their land after the Soviet Union collapsed. Finally, Clinton has strengthened international relations by contributing to the expansion of NATO. Offering Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic membership in the alliance helped eliminate the potential zone of instability in Europe, and fulfilling visions of an undivided, democratic, and peaceful Europe. Throughout his eight years in office, President Clinton has portrayed a positive image of American power, and one of sensitivity towards the less fortunate. He was one of the more well liked American Presidents overseas because of his charisma and mannerisms. His successes as a President range from enhancing our prosperous economy, dealing with internal issues such as race relations education, and protecting the environment, to dealing with international peacemaking, the decrease of nuclear weapons, and the expansion of NATO.
He is truly a President to be admired and although the enormous amount he has done for our nation is currently overshadowed by his alleged affair with Monica Lewinsky, this is not what makes a President successful. President Clinton is currently the most underrated President there is; however, he will be appreciated in the future when people come to realize what he has accomplished for America. Government.
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