Stormy with a chance of Hypocrisy
The Barest of things...
Right around 20 years ago Republicans were clutching their pearls over the fact that Bill Clinton had defiled the Oval Office by getting an intern to engage in oral arguments with the First Willy. They seemed shocked by the behavior of a man with a long history of sexual indiscretions that included rape accusations, a fact that did not seem to bother Democrats all that much while party leaders gleefully accepted campaign donations from Harvey Weinstein years before the #metoo movement. The soap opera played out on the nightly news and made stained blue dresses, misuse of good cigars, and the definition of the word “is” part of our great national history.
Now it is the Democrats who are apoplectic over the fact that Donald Trump – also a man with a long history of sexual indiscretions and accusations - probably had an extramarital indulgence with a porn star in 2006. National newscasters cannot work the words “Make America Horny Again” into their reporting enough, rarely giving credit to Greenville’s own Trophy Club for coining the phrase in the first place. The same people that dismissed and even shamed Clinton’s accusers back in the day are now holding an adult film star as the paragon of virtue, truth, and justice while it is now the Republican’s turn to tell us that there is nothing to see here.
Meanwhile, pundits on both sides are spending countless hours of television and radio time explaining how one guy is a terrible human while the other did not do anything wrong, based purely on their party affiliation. To date, I have only heard one voice claim that he never wanted to hear or pass judgment on the sexual dalliances of either man (conservative talk radio host Dennis Prager) but I have yet to hear any partisan voice suggest that cheating on your spouse makes you a scumbag regardless of which side of the aisle you align with.
This is what is wrong with the division caused by the current state of the two party system. Marital infidelity should be a pretty black and white issue where one is either for it or against it (with the majority of us being against it, I would hope). Unfortunately, because of politics, people choose to rate its severity based on what party the miscreant has chosen to represent. For one guy, screwing around is none of our business but it is the end of the freaking world if a man with opposing views should dabble in the wrong partner’s well.
For my part, I cannot help but recall a guest speaker in my entrepreneurship class at Appalachian State University in 1999. He told the tale of how he walked away from a multimillion dollar business deal after his potential business partner bragged about diddling his secretary behind his wife’s back. “If he’ll screw around on his wife – the one person who is supposed to trust him more than anyone else on Earth – how easy would it be for him to screw me over?” was the lesson there. I admit that it was an odd story to tell in the context of the lecture but it definitely stuck with me over the years as an interesting and obvious way of judging someone’s character.
Trump, and Clinton before him, are simply another two guys in a long line of guys undeserving of the trust of the American people. Arguing over their differences or trying to explain away the actions of one but not both of them is partisan politics at its worst. That said, I doubt I will see any reduction in the “this isn’t about Clinton” or “Trump wasn’t president yet, so it doesn’t count” takes on my television, radio, or social media feeds anytime soon. So here’s to putting it where it doesn’t belong provided we agree on taxes, health care, and gun control, I suppose. Leave it to modern America to politicize infidelity with such panache.
fête it be...