Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive!” wrote Sir Walter Scott in his poem “In Marmion” (1808, canto VI, stanza XVII).

On Aug. 19, 1785, Thomas Jefferson wrote to Peter Carr: “He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world’s believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions.”

Machiavelli wrote in “The Prince,” 1513:

  • “The promise given was a necessity of the past: the word broken is a necessity of the present.”
  • “A prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promise.”
  • “A wise ruler ought never to keep faith when by doing so it would be against his interests.”
  • “Politics have no relation to morals.”

David Broder wrote in the Washington Post article “The Reformer has Enemies … and Only Lukewarm Defenders, May 16, 1994: “A year ago last week, President Bill Clinton gave an interview to several of us from the Washington Post. … At the end of the interview, he stood before the fireplace in the Oval Office and recited to us a passage from Machiavelli’s ‘The Prince.’ In a hoarse voice, he said, “Listen to this: ‘It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out … than to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies … and only lukewarm defenders.'”

Born Aug. 19, 1946, Bill Clinton was the 42nd U.S. president, the third youngest president, and the second president to be impeached.

Encyclopedia Britannica states: “In the United States the impeachment process has rarely been employed. … Andrew Johnson was the first U.S. president ever impeached. … In December 1998 the House of Representatives voted to impeach President Bill Clinton, charging him with perjury and obstruction of justice in investigations of his relationship with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky.”

His birth name was William Jefferson Blythe IV, but at the age of 15, he took his stepfather’s name Clinton.

Bill Clinton was a graduate of Georgetown University and a Fulbright Scholar before becoming governor of Arkansas. Bill Clinton was elected with only 43 percent of the vote 1992, as the independent candidate Ross Perot pulled votes from incumbent George H.W. Bush.

Though a liberal in contrast with George Bush, Bill Clinton held views which would be considered conservative when compared with many in his party today.

In 1996, President Clinton signed a Republican-sponsored welfare reform bill which helped people get off of welfare and balanced the federal budget for the first time in nearly 30 years, resulting in an historic budget surplus not seen since.

In 1997, President Clinton signed into effect the Taxpayer Relief Act which stimulated the economy by giving the largest capital gains tax cut in U.S. history.

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On Sept. 21, 1996, President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA): “I have long opposed governmental recognition of same-gender marriages and this legislation is consistent with that position.”

The Defense of Marriage Act, signed by President Clinton, stated: “The word ‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word ‘spouse’ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.”

In his Hanukkah Message, President Clinton stated on Dec. 20, 1997: “The coming year will mark the 50th anniversary of the state of Israel, where the story of the first Hanukkah took place so many centuries ago. … From the days of the ancient Maccabees down to our present time, tyrants have sought to deny people the free expression of their faith and the right to live according to their own conscience and convictions. Hanukkah symbolizes the heroic struggle of all who seek to defeat such oppression and the miracles that come to those full of faith and courage.”

President Clinton stated in a Christmas radio address, Dec. 25, 1993: “Today Christians celebrate God’s love for humanity made real in the birth of Christ in a manger almost 2,000 years ago. The humble circumstances of His birth, the example of His life, the power of His teachings inspire us to love and to care for our fellow men and women.”

At an interfaith breakfast, President Bill Clinton remarked Aug. 30, 1993: “I bought a book on vacation called ‘The Culture of Disbelief’ by Stephen Carter, a professor … at the Yale Law School. He is himself a committed Christian, very dedicated to the religious freedoms of all people of faith, of any faith, in the United States. And the subtitle of the book is ‘How American Law and Politics Trivialize Religious Devotion.’ And I would urge you all to read it from whatever political as well as religious spectrum you have. …”

President Clinton continued: “Sometimes I think the environment in which we operate is entirely too secular. The fact that we have freedom of religion doesn’t mean we need to try to have freedom from religion. It doesn’t mean that those of us who have faith shouldn’t frankly admit that we are animated by the faith, that we try to live by it, and that it does affect what we feel, what we think, and what we do.”

At James Madison High School, July 12, 1995, President Bill Clinton stated: “The First Amendment does not require students to leave their religion at the schoolhouse door. … It is especially important that parents feel confident that their children can practice religion. … We need to make it easier and more acceptable for people to express and to celebrate their faith. …”

President Clinton continued: “If students can wear T-shirts advertising sports teams, rock groups or politicians, they can also wear T-shirts that promote religion. … Religion is too important to our history and our heritage for us to keep it out of our schools. … Nothing in the First Amendment converts our public schools into religion-free zones or requires all religious expression to be left behind at the schoolhouse door. … Government’s schools also may not discriminate against private religious expression during the school day.”

President Bill Clinton addressed the National Prayer Breakfast, Feb. 4, 1993: “The first time I ever saw Billy Graham … he came in the 1950’s, in the heat of all our racial trouble, to Arkansas to have a crusade. And the white citizens council tried to get him, because of the tensions of the moment, to agree to segregate his crusade. … He said, ‘If I have to do that, I’m not coming.’ And I remember I got a Sunday school teacher in my church – and I was about 11 years old – to take me 50 miles to Little Rock so I could hear a man preach who was trying to live by what he said. And then I remember, for a good while thereafter, trying to send a little bit of my allowance to the Billy Graham crusade because of the impression he made on me.”

On June 29, 1994, President Bill Clinton spoke regarding Independence Day: “The Declaration of Independence … delineated the very idea of America, that individual rights are derived not from the generosity of the government, but from the hand of the Almighty.”

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