If Bill Clinton wants to know what kind of a legacy he is leaving for
posterity, all he has to do is read the Washington Post of July 8. A
front-page article reported that parents are now alarmed at the growing
incidence of oral sex being practiced by kids in the area’s middle
schools. One teenager remarked that, “It has become a popularity kind
of thing.”

When Margaret McCourt-Dirner, principal of the Williamsburg Middle
School in Arlington, Va., became aware of the new oral-sex fad, she
invited a group of parents whose daughters were allegedly involved in
this activity to a meeting in the school library. The parents were
shocked by what they heard. Some refused to believe that their
daughters would do such things.

However, when some of the alarmed parents later tried to get their
daughters to discuss the subject, the girls shrugged off what they had
done. “What’s the big deal? President Clinton did it,” one said.
Apparently, she and her fellow teenagers had followed the Monica story
quite closely and decided that if it was good enough for a White House
intern and the President of the United States to be doing it in the Oval
Office, it must be OK for them.

After all, they can argue that President Clinton was not punished for
engaging in oral sex. The impeachment trial wasn’t even about sex. It
was about lying under oath about the affair. As for Monica Lewinsky,
she’s become a celebrity, with a lucrative book contract, an interview
by Barbara Walters, her pictures plastered worldwide on magazine covers,
promotional tours around the U.S. and Europe. Oral sex made Monica a
cover girl! So, what indeed is the big deal?

The Monica-Clinton affair also contributed much enlightenment to kids
in their sex education studies. They found out that, according to the
president, oral sex is not really sex, just as “is” isn’t “is.” They
also found out that oral sex avoids the risks of unwanted pregnancies,
that you can still remain a virgin and have a sexual relationship with a
boy. And if that’s what the kids in Arlington, Va., are thinking, then
it’s probable that kids all over the country are thinking the same way.

All in all, President Clinton’s contribution to sex education must be
seen as his permanent legacy to posterity. Oral sex will now have to be
discussed in history classes, human sexuality classes, classes in
political science, journalism, health education, and who knows where
else. America cannot return to its pre-Monica-Clinton state of mind.
As immoral as the country had become before that affair, the kind of
things that are now discussed and joked about on radio and television
leave nothing to the imagination.

The Monica-Clinton affair has liberated the Jay Lenos of America from
any restraint whatever in the level of smut that can now be joked about
and suggested. All of this is having its impact on the minds and
behavior of American children. Millions of kids will have seen how
President Clinton got away with his behavior and how even his wife has
not criticized him in public. Nor has daughter Chelsea made her views
about her dad’s behavior known publicly. Even Al Gore claims that he
didn’t approve of Clinton’s behavior, but that he is still his friend
and considers him to be one of the great presidents of the nation.
Wherever Clinton goes, he is still cheered by mobs of people who say
they still love him.

In recent weeks Clinton has been seen on television as commander in
chief of our armed forces in the Balkans, rubbing shoulders with the
troops, eating meals at their mess. He projected a dignified presence as
he addressed the heads of nations at NATO’s fiftieth anniversary
celebration in Washington. No one in his cabinet has resigned over his
sexual behavior.

So what’s a teenager to believe? That it’s OK to do what President
Clinton did, even if you’re caught doing it. Boys, who should be
educated to respect the opposite sex, are now encouraged to emulate the
President who found it quite convenient to have Monica service him in
his office without making any emotional commitment. If a predatory
president has no respect for women, why should a teenage boy respect a
girl emulating Monica? And if oral sex could lead to fame and fortune
for an intern on her job, then why couldn’t a teenage girl dream of
doing the same thing to achieve success?

There is no question but that the nation will have to pay a price for
letting its president get away with sexually disgusting behavior with a
paid federal employee at his place of work. The Senate did not convict
Clinton mainly because there was no public outcry. In fact, Clinton’s
popularity rating was high during the entire impeachment process.
People read the Starr Report as if it were a lurid novel. Their
indifference to moral standards in the White House is indicative of
their own low moral standards. The Clinton-Monica affair did not
outrage the public. It merely titillated them.

One of the most cogent arguments made by the Republican managers who
presented their case at the impeachment trial was that an acquittal
would send the wrong message to the young people of America. According
to the Washington Post, the managers have already been proven right.

Samuel L. Blumenfeld is the author of eight books on education,
including “Homeschooling: A Parents Guide to Teaching Children.” His
books are available on Amazon.com.

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