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A People's History of the United States, Chapter 24, Zinn Howard - The Clinton Presidency

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  1. Bill Clinton's trail of broken promises
  2. Clintons penchant for people pleasing
  3. Corruption
  4. Comparisons between Clinton and his Republican predecessors
  5. The Crime Bill (1996)
  6. A myth of political prosperity

It is no secret that most politicians make vows to the American people in order to get elected and oftentimes they will say certain things to please the public as well. It is one of the reasons politicians have a reputation as manipulators. It is this topic that Zinn starts the chapter off with and spends a good amount of time pointing out Bill Clinton's trail of broken promises. A myriad of examples are listed in which Clinton said one thing to the American people but upon further inspection, he often either didn't do what was promised or did something completely different. One of the most notable statements is Clinton's promise for "change" during his campaigns, which Zinn argues did not happen.

[...] One of the most notable statements is Clinton's promise for during his campaigns, which Zinn argues did not happen. He notes he left no legacy of bold innovation in domestic policy or departure from traditional nationalist foreign policy? (Zinn, 643). Clintons penchant for people pleasing didn't end once his election campaign was over. Instead of fully representing his political party, he avoided confrontation by making decisions which would make conservative Republicans content. This is relevant when considering Clinton's cabinet appointments. [...]


[...] The Clinton administration was reluctant to raise taxes on the superrich and raised taxes only by a few percentage points, which Zinn refers to as a pitifully small step in view of the need? (Zinn, 664). Ultimately, Zinn mourns for the change that was promised that could have been made under the Clinton presidency. His tone comes across as almost seething when he says ?Instead of giving out contracts for jet bombers and nuclear submarines, contracts could be offered to nonprofit corporations to hire people to build homes, construct public transport systems, clean up the rivers and lakes, turn our cities into decent places to live.? (Zinn, 665). [...]


[...] A People's History of the United States. HarperCollins Publishers, 2003; Chapter 24: Clinton Presidency,? 643-674. Throughout A People's History of the United States, author Howard Zinn highlights the corrupt motives of the political elite and seeks to bring attention to the parts of history seldom covered. This is especially clear in the chapters 19: ?Surprises?, 20: Seventies: Under Control??, and 22: Unreported Resistance?. However, it is in chapter 24: Clinton Presidency? that this motive of uncovering the corrupt side of politicians becomes most apparent. [...]

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