Clintons' Influence on Teens
Jason Fodeman never liked to talk about the world of politics. But when he realized that no one was talking about how the 42nd president's actions were impacting the behavior of his generation, Fodeman, then 17, decided it was time to speak up.
"The president is a role model, a person that many kids dream of becoming," said Fodeman, now 19 and a sophomore at The Johns Hopkins University. "I thought, he has all this power, but he has no morals. Is that what we really want in a president?"
Fodeman turned his question into his first book, How to Destroy a Village: What the Clintons Taught a Seventeen Year Old (Publish America, May 2003). What started as a casual conversation over dinner with his parents turned into a year's worth of writing How to Destroy a Village, which captures his perception of the likely consequences of what he calls the "do as I say, not as I do" legacy of Bill Clinton's administration. The book lays out Fodeman's view of Bill and Hillary Clintons' misdeeds, the complicity of the Justice Department, and the free pass given to the president by a largely adoring media.
"It leads to a conclusion that, all too often, parents prostituted principles, turning a blind eye to the scandals while sending a confusing and mixed message to their progeny," Fodeman said. "Ultimately, it is the very fabric of society that has suffered."
Like the unspoken messages in violent video games and rap music, Fodeman said, the image portrayed by the president is heard loud and clear by American teenagers.
"The Clintons didn't teach us violence, but they did teach us everything about wrongdoing," Fodeman said, speaking of Hillary Clinton's alleged involvement in the Whitewater real estate scandal and President Clinton's impeachment. In Fodeman's eyes, Bill Clinton's prosecutors didn't focus on the whole problem. "Adultery was not the main issue. Withholding information, lying under oath, and 'copping' a plea to avoid prosecution in the waning days of his administration were affronts to the Constitution. To me, tolerating this behavior says values are not important, that we should be willing to overlook our leaders' foibles as long as the economy is strong."
During summer 2002, Fodeman served as an intern for Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., who provided a jacket endorsement for the book along with William F. Buckley Jr., founder and editor of the National Review, and Reed Irvine, chairman of Accuracy in Media. The 228-page book is widely available and includes a foreword by David P. Schippers, chief counsel to the House managers for the Clinton impeachment and author of Sell Out: Why Bill Clinton's Impeachment Was Over Before It Began.
Fodeman is majoring in economics with an interest in government and politics and he hopes to attend medical school after graduating from Johns Hopkins. He is the son of Leslie J. and Channe Fodeman of Westport, Conn., and a graduate of Staples High School, also in Westport. His book is available on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, Borders.com, and through bookstores. To speak with Fodeman, contact Amy Cowles at 410-516-7160. Members of the media may submit requests for review copies to Publish America at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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