Not since the Clinton presidency has sex been so prominent in American politics. It was after his famous claim that he “did not have sexual relations with that woman” that Clinton was charged with perjury and obstruction of justice. Over-coverage and perceived political attacks shrouded the Lewinsky-Clinton scandal. The results of the following election were due partly to voters seeking “personal morality” in their president. Notwithstanding, Democrats found the Clinton scandal a “drag,” decreasing fervor in the Democratic base by way of political fatigue.
Neither the Bush nor Obama presidencies were marred by sexual scandals. The Obama family was frequently featured in entertainment magazines like PEOPLE and US Weekly. They understood the art of media. And, they understood that Democrats’ passion for Clinton had waned because media coverage of his scandal had pumped out all the juice their base had left. Certainly, it was a “drag.”
President Donald Trump is not a traditional presidential figure. Having no political or military experience, he is most well known for his reality television show “The Apprentice.” He understands the evolving media. Perhaps he is reminiscent of President Ronald Reagan, who started his career as a Hollywood actor. But, even Reagan had gubernatorial experience.
The Clintons’ marriage remained intact. President Trump has been married thrice — his first two ended in divorce. This is an unlikely image for a Republican, whose party claims to “stress the integrity and preservation of the family unit.” The source of these words, President John F. Kennedy, was alleged to have had an extramarital affair with starlet Marilyn Monroe.
It was President Clinton’s words that led to the charges against him. What began as a moral issue quickly turned legal. He was not removed from office, but the aftermath involved Larry Flynt investigating the private lives of Republican opponents. Clinton representatives called it a “private issue,” but its aftermath led to many similar allegations against House and Senate Republicans. Two decades later, Republicans have become targets again.
President Trump is haunted by ghosts from his past. Currently embroiled in a legal battle with adult actress Stormy Daniels, he continues to deal with claims from other women making similar allegations of sexual misconduct. To him, the situation is legal and nothing more. Gone are the social taboos of adultery, a biblical commandment for a so-called Christian nation. Gone too is sexual conservatism. Even when confronted, President Trump knows that his lawyers are on the matter. His alleged affairs have all been tangled in legal agreements.
Women have been suing him to have their voices heard, but the president purports that he will sue all the women who attempt to defame him. Moral character is no longer a legitimate reason for impeachment. The number of claims arisen against politicians suggests that conservatives appear as liberal about sex as liberals.
It may not be okay in the eyes of the public to be sexually promiscuous, but this hasn’t stopped front-running politicians. They have prepared the proper checks and balances to assure that the consequences of their promiscuity have as little harm as possible on their livelihood. Even if these claims threaten their careers, there’s always a check around for a lawyer to keep it under wraps. Nevertheless, the aftermath of Clinton’s scandal has not been forgotten — no one wants a “drag” in the White House.