Sunday, August 20, 2006

Happy 60th Birthday 'Brother Bill'



Today is the 60th birthday of a man who will probably be recognized by future historians as one of the great US presidents. I ain't waiting that long. As far as I'm concered he already is.

Happy birthday, Wlliam Jefferson Clinton!

We African-Americans call him 'Brother Bill' because he was one of the first presidents in a long time who we felt truly understood us, our culture and paid more than lip service to the notion that we are American citizens too.

When he was campaigning in our communities during the runup to the 1992 elections he made a campaign promise to us that his cabinet would 'look like America.' The man from Hope, AK repeatedly let us know that if we trusted him with our votes he wouldn't forget us. He even went on our TV shows like Arsenio, did interviews with our iconic magazines and talked to Black radio outlets to tell us that.

The best part was that when he won in 1992, he won, he kept that promise.

He appointed more African-Americans to his cabinet than Reagan, Daddy Bush and GW Bush combined. He turned a deficit into a surplus. He presided over the longest peacetime economic expansion in our country's history and under Clinton we had the lowest African-American unemployment rate ever in our country's history.

He also wasn't afraid to try to accomplish bold new initiatives. The Human Genome Project was started and completed during his presidency. The Internet became a fixture in American homes. He even tried to pass universal healthcare. He got the Palestinians and Israelis to the table to talk peace. He became the second American president to visit the African continent.

He earned the undying hatred of conservatives. They spent millions on every dirty trick, investigation, and smear campaign they could to undermine his presidency. The Hateraid from conservatives and the GOP attack machine was being consumed in 55 gallon drums. They attacked everyone that was close to him, including the First Lady and his daughter Chelsea.

Through it all, losing the Congress to a GOP landslide in 1994 and the impeachment trial over the Monica Lewinsky affair, he stayed focused on being the president for all of us. For the first time since the Carter administration, I felt included in 'we the people'. He was my generation's John F. Kennedy.

Happy birthday, Brother Bill. May you have many more.

2 comments:

Tegeus said...

first I'd like to say that I wish clinton a long and healthy life. I have nothing against him personally.

"will probably be recognized by future historians as one of the great US presidents"

I would bet any amount of money that that will not be the case.

"he was one of the first presidents in a long time who ...paid more than lip service to the notion that we are American citizens too"

I know from reading your blog that you are an intelligent woman. you are much too intelligent to be making statements like that.

I really, truly mean no offense, but that is an utterly foolish statement.

"he made a campaign promise to us that his cabinet would 'look like America.'"

"He appointed more African-Americans to his cabinet than Reagan, Daddy Bush and GW Bush combined"

back that statement up.

the current president has done more for black politicians in america than clinton did.

the secretary of state is arguably the second most powerful person in the nation after the president.

the first two black secretaries of state in america were both appointed by the current president.

what is your rebuttal to that?

"He even tried to pass universal healthcare"
not quite true. he tried to get universal healthcare INSURANCE. that's quite different from universal healthcare.

I know several doctors. I have at least three first cousins who are doctors. at christmas eve dinner I sat across a doctor and chatted with him about healthcare insurance.

the fact is that having federally-subsized universal healthcare insurance would be a disaster.

when you have some time, feel free to study the healthcare situation in canada. (one of my best friends is a canadian; I visited her in toronto.)

"He earned the undying hatred of conservatives"
not true. it's true that some conservatives hate him. but most don't. I certainly don't hate him. I never have.

don't mistake lack of respect for hatred. conservatives almost universally disrespect clinton. only a small minority truly hate him, and I disagree with that minority.

bush hatred, on the other hand, is MUCH MUCH greater than any of the negative feeling conservatives ever had about clinton.

"He was my generation's John F. Kennedy"

you and I were very very young when kennedy was shot.

but when I became old enough to read, I read about john kennedy.

are you familiar with kennedy's policies? if he were alive today, he would be a republican. absolutely true. read his policies.

respectfully submitted.

Monica Roberts said...

Oh dear. It is so amusing to watch you conservatives froth at the mouth like rabid dogs when the word 'Clinton' is mentioned.