Another President, another adultery (allegedly). A few quick points:
1.The “We should have a President we could be proud of” ship has sailed a long time ago, basically when both parties nominated their worst possible candidates to take on each other. The 2016 presidential election pitted a highly corrupt and compromised Democrat lesbian in an open relationship with a serial rapist husband whose behaviour she tolerated and enabled for decades against a “colourful” tabloid businessman ex-Democrat with three wives and a hard-earned reputation for sleaze and cutting corners. All this was well known to their supporters and to the parties that ended up endorsing them for the top position.
2. That Donald Trump might have been unfaithful to at least one of his three wives will not come as a shock to anyone who knows anything about him, from his playboy past to the campaign-time controversy over “grabbing them by their pussy”. Trump is a creature of the ultra-liberal New York and its anything-goes business-entertainment elite; he has never been known as either a social conservative or a committed Christian. The sections of the Republican base which identify as such supported him for their reasons and despite his record and reputation, not because he was champion of family values. Again, this bargain with the devil is not new and not news.
3. It has certainly been eye-opening to watch the liberal and liberated Democrat and progressive political and media establishment becoming all of a sudden morally outraged about adultery by a major public figure, previously considered to be a private matter involving two consenting adults, something between the husband and wife to work out, and in no way a disqualification from public service (recall Bill Clinton and John Edwards amongst many others).
4. It has certainly been equally eye-opening to watch the social conservatives and conservative and Evangelical Christians within or at least generally on the side of the Republican Party suddenly ceasing to be morally outraged about adultery by a major political figure. I’m old enough to remember when “character matters”, sexual peccadilloes were career-ending, and adultery was not only a religious and moral offence but also indicated qualities like untrustworthiness, deceptiveness and impulsiveness.
5. Hypocrisy has been strong on both sides; it’s all about the man not the ideals.
6. It bears noting that Bill Clinton faced impeachment not for “having sexual relationship with that woman, Monica Lewinsky” while in office, but for lying about it under oath – which pretty much everyone on the left didn’t think was a big deal (he only lied about his private life, not anything serious). The difference between that situation and Trump’s is quite clear; it does not exculpate his behaviour but it underlies the laughably shifting standards of the left.
7. I’m no angel myself so I don’t expect politicians to be angels either. Sure, it would be nice if they were men and women of integrity and character, but it would also be nice if they were competent and principled. Alas, we’re all shit out of luck.