Explaining Bill Clinton

Last year at this time, I was living in the country, in a Western state. It was an awful winter, and I was dealing with various challenges: heating the house from a big woodpile, negotiating unpaved country roads with a 4-wheel drive, having my house ransacked and robbed by someone who really knew how to drive a 4WD. And then there was my full-time job as a Life Skills teacher in a privately owned and operated medium-security prison for men. It was all quite a ride for this middle-aged cowgirl, and President Bill Clinton’s troubles pretty much threw me.

Mostly, I’m a Democrat. I voted for Clinton the second time. The first time I voted for Bush, who seemed competent. But when Clinton won, I turned my allegiance to someone I found easy to like. Sure, he had made mistakes, but I believed his assurances that he had learned his lesson. Many of us ’60s people still carry around a commitment to the group, to other baby boomers who came of age in those turbulent times. I liked it when Clinton looked us in the eye and so intelligently told us the nonplatitudinal truth about his marriage. I wouldn’t have believed just any public servant.

Clinton ran the country while I was only wrestling with a roomful of cons. In many ways, working with prisoners is a great privilege, and I mean that sincerely. But it’s not easy. As a Life Skills teacher it was my duty to cover five topics: critical thinking skills,...

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About the Author

Marylee Mitcham, a licensed acupuncturist and author (An Accidental Monk), lives in State College, Pennsylvania.