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Extra resources for The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (A Lively Learning Guide by Shmoop)
Disregarding the past Page 4 is the basis of our delightful national spontaneity, but it also leads us to move blindly from one social cataclysm to the next, to make the same mistakes over and over again. Fortunately or unfortunately, the present cannot be completely divorced from the past. What has happened before continues to affect what is occurring now, and affects what will happen in the future, whether we choose to acknowledge that or not. As urgently as we may want to turn our attention away from images of Monica Lewinsky on her knees in the hallway of the Oval Office, it is worth considering, at least for a moment, the ongoing consequences of this national erotic caper with regard to both broad-based sexual culture and, more specifically, to the role sex plays in national politics.
In the end, it is our unrealistic expectations of political, economic, or spiritual leaders, more than their failure to live up to those expectations, that keep us from relating realistically and effectively with a complex and decidedly non-ideal world. The spectacle of having the most explicit details of Bill Clinton's sexual desires, fantasies, and behaviors on public display week after week, month after month, has forced the nation to come to terms with its president as a man first and a national leader second.
Page 24 What else could Tripp have done to react against this presidential (through his lawyer) attack on her credibility? The most odious method of defense is the launching of attacks on innocent by-standers in the service of one's case. The worst example, by far, of this mode of defense is Clinton's bombing of the medicine factory in Sudan on the day that Monica was giving evidence. It is extremely difficult not to believe that the timing was designed to take attention away from Monica's testimony, but in this respect the attack on the camp in Afghanistan was also suspect, because the "terrorist" leaders were supposed to have a conference there a few days later, so it would have made more sense to wait until then for the attack.