Many commentators have speculated on the impact of former President Bill Clinton’s moral failings on America’s youth, noting the reported epidemic of a particular sex act.
But none have made a case for his corrosive effect on the next generation like Jason Fodeman, author of “How to Destroy a Village: What the Clintons Taught a Seventeen Year Old.”
Jason D. Fodeman
As a pre-teen and teen-ager in Westport, Conn., during the Clinton presidency, Fodeman says he became aware that the willingness of so many parents to excuse the First Couple’s scandals sent a mixed message to children.
Nothing is a bigger turn off to a kid than this “do as I say not as I do” mentality, says Fodeman, now a pre-med student going into his junior year at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
“My parents taught me not to lie, to always obey the laws, and to treat others respectfully,” Fodeman wrote in his book, released by PublishAmerica. “The Clintons actions were in direct conflict to all of these lessons.”
He acknowledges much has been written about the Clinton scandals, but believes one perspective was missing.
“Some who have more experience might be better at some issues,” Fodeman told WND, “but my book talks about the effect that the Clintons have had on young people. It’s something I’ve witnessed, something that has happened to me.”
He doesn’t make his book out to be a scholarly treatise, but offers studies he claims validate his conclusions.
One, by the Alan Guttmacher Institute, shows an increase in oral sex among children as young as 12. Another shows increased cheating by both high school and college students.
While there are many factors behind these trends, he acknowledges, a quote by a student in a U.S. News & World Report story sums up his own observations: “If Clinton can do it and get away with it, why can’t we?”
Wading through spin
Fodeman says for his efforts he received only a few complimentary copies of his book and nominal consideration – hardly the $8 million Hillary garnered – but he nevertheless believes his title is the “antidote” to the New York senator’s memoirs.
“For me the motivation was not to side step some inconvenient ethical rules and grab as much cash as I could before taking office,” Fodeman wrote in a column for Accuracy in Media. “My intent was to write a factually documented tome that laid out the case against the Clintons’ attack on mainstream values and to demonstrate why expanding their influence would be detrimental to America, particularly America’s youth.”
He wonders “why would anyone want to wade through hundreds of pages of spin and circumlocution when Hillary has repeatedly stated under oath and elsewhere that she can not remember or has no specific recollection in response to the tough questions?”
Fodeman says he’s not na?ve enough to think Bill Clinton was the first corrupt politician.
The difference, he says, is in the past, revelations of serious wrongdoing led to being kicked out of office, forced resignation or a disgraceful completion of term followed by disappearance from public view.
Clinton, on the other hand, managed to finish his two terms as a popular president, Fodeman notes.
“If the Clintons were properly punished and held accountable, parents could have said to their children, that is what happens when people do bad or that everyone’s actions catch up with them, even the president’s,” he said in a speech at an Accuracy in Media event last year.
Schmoozing in Vegas
Fodeman said he was at a hotel in Las Vegas with his family two summers ago when he discovered a huge crowd of people gathering around a group of gambling tables. The commotion turned out to be centered on one guest, Bill Clinton.
“I just didn’t get it,” Fodeman said in his speech. “The people fawning over him were not the billionaire lawyers, the hotshot liberal businessmen, or celebrities that Clinton most likely entertained earlier in the evening when he gave one of his six-figure speeches. No, these were everyday, hard-working middle or upper-middle class family people on vacation. People whose job of raising children was made infinitely more difficult by the Clinton Presidency. It made me sick!”
One would think, he said, “parents would not want to schmooze with an alleged rapist, someone who lied under oath, someone who had to cop a plea on the last day of office to avoid indictment, and someone who even today is still under federal investigation.”
He continued: “It’s really hard to figure. Here is a man who, because of his philandering ways, most women would not want for a spouse, you wouldn’t trust him five minutes with your daughter, and you certainly would not buy a used car from him, but people seem to say that for president he was OK.”
Fodeman is not the only teen to venture into the grown-up world of publishing.
Williams takes on many of today’s most divisive political issues, challenging youth to become aware that our nation is at a crossroads in which a cultural battle line “has been drawn in the sand.”
Fodeman said he had the chance last month to give a talk at his alma mater, Staples High in Westport, but found few students or teachers sympathetic to his message.
“Being a young person and a conservative is going away from norm,” he told WND. “The factors that influence our young people’s minds today are predominantly, if not entirely, liberal.”
He said after his talk, a couple of the kids expressed appreciation for his being there, but “publicly the kids were lacing into me.”
“They were obviously loyal Clinton supporters,” he said.
In contrast, however, Fodeman has received kudos from some well-known conservative figures and has appeared on television programs such as MSNBC’s Scarborough Country.
His book includes endorsements from William F. Buckley, Jr. and Reed Irvine, chairman emeritus of Accuracy in Media, and a foreword by David P. Schippers, author of ‘Sell Out’ and chief counsel to the House managers for the Clinton impeachment hearings.
Michael Potemra, National Review’s literary editor, said in a column Fodeman’s book “is one of the most remarkable documents to emerge from the Clinton era.”
Fodeman says when he first told his parents he wanted to write a book they “weren’t too thrilled.”
“They didn’t discourage it, but thought that isn’t really the best idea,” he says.
“I didn’t know how hard it was to organize my thoughts, write it, edit it and find a publisher,” Fodeman concedes.
“Now that I’ve written it, they’re happy.”