THE EXAMPLE OF BILL CLINTON “Because we want to live in a world which is not dominated by a division of people who live on the cutting edge of a new economy and others who live on the bare edge of survival, we must be involved” William J Clinton.
These words no doubt portrays a man who all his life is committed in making the life of people meaningful. God, in his wisdom, has a purpose and plan for the life of everybody. Some people are able to fulfil this plan and purpose not for only themselves but for society in general according to the way they carry themselves in life. Bill Clinton, no doubt, is one leader, who continues to show that he was and is a born leader not to be served but to serve despite his frailties.
“Part of our essential humanity is paying respect to what God gave us and what will be here a long time after we're gone”.
Reading ex-President Clinton's book 'My Life', one gets a striking candid portrait of a leader who decided early in life to devote his intellectual and political gifts and his capacity for hard work, to serving the public. His life and work after his presidency has served as a beacon of hope and positive influence not only for the American people but the whole world at large.
President Clinton has committed himself to making his life meaningful to society culminating in the establishment of the Clinton Foundation and the yet to be opened, Clinton Presidential Centre located at the bank of the Arkansas River in Little Rock.
Through the Foundation, Bill Clinton had made the battle against HIV/AIDS a focal point. The Foundation also works for racial, ethnic and religious harmony in regions of the world where these issues challenge development and stand in the way of increased global interdependence. Further, Bill Clinton is involved in initiatives to help underserved communities. In 2002, the Clinton Foundation launched the Harlem Small Business Pilot Programme.
The Foundation as part of its programme currently focuses its work also on Citizen Service, Leadership development and the Economic empowerment of the poor.
The Clinton Presidential Center, which would be opened on 18th November 2004, epitomises the vision of a former leader who has resolved to leave a mark for the living generation and those yet unborn. The Center is meant to serve as the base of operations for ex-President Clinton's national and international public service initiatives and the promotion of progressive ideas.
Everybody will agree with me that this would not be to the benefit of members of the Democrat Party alone. Looking at what Bill Clinton has initiated, both the Democrats and the Republicans would not regret having Bill Clinton as their former President and I believe if the American Constitution would allow, Bill Clinton would certainly become president again. If history is to be written about presidents who have brought dignity and honour to presidency, Bill Clinton will be one.
Most ex-presidents after their term either become lost in oblivion or commit themselves to unnecessary propaganda to achieve selfish ambitions, which tend to create rancour, division and hatred in society.
At least, Ghana is privileged to have a living ex-president in the person of Mr. Jerry Rawlings. Coincidentally, he and Bill Clinton served their terms of office as presidents at the same time. One would have expected that his actions and inactions would impact hugely and positively on society as an ex-leader for about 20 years. Mr. Rawlings declared after his presidency that he was committing his life to the fight against Malaria in Ghana and Africa in general. This was welcoming news and one would have expected to see a huge impact of his initiative after almost four years.
Instead of moulding his life and get involve in initiatives to make an impact on society, it is disheartening to hear him on political platforms at times insulting and making derogatory remarks about political opponent just to advance the course of his party. Mr. Rawlings in no doubt has a role to play in building society by channelling his energy and efforts in more positive initiatives rather than involving in propaganda for just a political party. Bill Clinton, his friend, should be a living example for him. He should try to come to terms to the fact that his term as president is over and should behave as a statesman with a desire to unite Ghanaians and bring hope to the underprivileged in society.
It would not be long for President Kufour to bring his presidency to an end (if he wins the 2004 elections, which is certain, he has four years, if not he has just 4 months). I would like to advise my honourable and highly esteemed President to start dreaming of something big not only for the NPP but for society after his term in (2008). A visit to www.clintonpresidentialcenter.org will give an overview of what Bill Clinton is doing.
Long Live Ghana. Long live all ex-presidents. Kojo Frimpong-Bonsu Accra Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.