Keeping it in perspective

Keeping it in perspective October 17, 2016

Michael Flynn echoes what I, and many others, have been saying.   The media is in full hysterics mode with the Trump revelations at this point.  It’s 24/7 round the clock coverage.  Which it was in the late 90s.   It’s just that, by the fourth phase of the Lewinsky scandal, the coverage centered on convincing us that if it had to do with sex, it was no big deal.  Even subtly slipping the topic of sexual assault into the mix, we learned that everyone has affairs, everyone lies about it, everyone commits perjury and you just can’t get upset when women who are obviously lying because they’ve whored themselves up to the GOP try to convince us otherwise.  Who cares what a guy did in the past, in the bedroom or below the waistline?  It has nothing to do with his job as president.

Fast forward to now.  Suddenly it has everything to do with the job of president.  And many of the same who preached the moral vacuum of sexual ethics in the 90s are leading a crusade based on Trump’s sexual behavior that would shame Peter the Hermit.  But here is the issue.  On the other side, those who were appalled at the sudden dismissal of ethics and morals in the 90s, who were outraged that we should dismiss values and truth for political expediency, are now saying we should do the same for Trump.  Some of those saying that his morals and his treatment of women are irrelevant condemned the same 20 years ago.

That’s how politics works.  In politics, it’s always politically expedient to accuse the other side of playing politics.   Of course in politics that extends to anything.  If you can make wearing a tie into the most horrific scandal because the other guy did it, and turn it around and make it a boon when your guy does it, all the better.  And since almost nobody believes the media is impartial in its coverage, we shouldn’t be shocked that the media sounds a lot like political pundits, insisting in the late 90s that Chelsea should be left alone since the kids are off limits, while insisting in 2008 that the press always goes after politicians’ kids the way they’re going after Palin’s kids.   Insisting that sexual morals and accusations of sexual assault are the most important topics imaginable, after having said the opposite within my sons’ lifetimes. It’s what politician and surrogates do.  It’s not about truth or values. It’s about winning.

But in the real world it can’t be that way. If it is true today, we should expect it to be true tomorrow.  If leaving politicians’ kids alone is right today, it’s right tomorrow.   If sexual morality is important today, then it’s important tomorrow.  If our votes do count or our modern approach to sexual morality is problematic today, then the same should be true tomorrow.

There are many reasons I won’t support Trump, his treatment of people being one of them.  And that includes, but is not limited to, his treatment of women.  For the same reason, I will never have regard for Bill Clinton or his administration.  Even if I agreed with some of Clinton’s policies, that doesn’t matter.  He alone among modern presidents dragged the dialogue down near the level we’re seeing with Trump today.  Some could argue it was him and his campaign that started it all.  Just because the same people condemning Trump now were behind Clinton then doesn’t matter.  If we want a country of values, then the last thing we can do is follow the political approach to establishing them.  Because in the world of politics, truth and values are here today, gone later today.  Good for politics, bad for society.

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