This Is For  Y O U  th  Newsletter

A Sixteen Year Old's Perspective on President Clinton

Sixteen-year-old Christopher Vincent wrote the letter below. It appeared in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, and was picked up and read by Chuck Colson on his national radio show, Break Point. Colson called the letter brilliant:

RE: Character Matters, Says 16-Year-Old To the Editor:

I am 16 years old. Though I am not old enough to vote, I am writing this on behalf of my generation. The recent speech by the President and the reaction of our nation to it gives me reason to write this letter in hope that those who read it will be challenged to look closely at the condition of our nation.

In the President's speech he admitted to having a relationship with Monica Lewinsky that was improper and wrong. Then he said that it was time to move on.

Many people have said that the President's private affairs are his own business and people should not pry. Others have said that the President's private affairs do not affect the job he does. The President himself touched lightly upon the supposed injustice of prying into his personal life in his speech.

Hugo Grotius once said that a man cannot govern a nation if he cannot govern a city, he cannot govern a city if he cannot govern a family, he cannot govern a family unless he can govern himself, and he cannot govern himself unless his passions are subject to reason.

The President is accountable to the people. We must know whether he can control himself or not. If the President cannot control himself, he certainly is not capable of governing a nation. Yet we sit in our selfishness and refuse to look at the truth because it does not feel good. We look at the nation and see a booming economy. We look around and see prosperity and say, Why should we mess this up? And yes, Mr. Clinton has helped with all these things. But there are better things than financial security, and there are worse things than poverty. We give the control to a man who can make us feel good but cannot control himself.

I would like to call your attention to a recent international affair where Pakistan and India were developing nuclear weapons. The President offered a deal to Pakistan saying that if they would stop developing nuclear weapons the United States would protect them in the case of an attack. The Pakistani minister of foreign affairs said that he did not believe that the President (Clinton) would follow through on his promise. This was because he saw the character of our President and realized he could not be trusted. This endangered the lives of the citizens of Pakistan and India, more than 900 million people. Although war has not broken out, we must heed the warning: the character of the President effects the entire world.

The American people have chosen to become selfish, and my generation --your children-- are growing up seeing the highest authority in America, a man who cannot control himself. Why should I put others first when the President himself will not even put his duty to his wife or his nation before his sexual desires? I'm asking you, the generation that holds the voting power, to think of your children and the future of the world. If we cannot trust our President to fulfill his marriage vows, can we trust him to do what he has promised us?

And if we cannot trust the man our parents elect, can we trust our parents? You owe it to the world, you owe it to God, and you owe it to your children to consider this.

Hey YOUth! If you have scriptures or an experience that you would like to share, please write to us; we'd love to hear from you!

Back to Index

This Is For Youth Newsletter
A Publication of New Foundation Publ