What President Clinton does and gets away with says little about him but a lot about Americans. His alleged sex affair with Monica Lewinsky is just more evidence. Opinion polls taken since the most recent sex scandal show that a majority of Americans think that Clinton's sexual peccadillos are private matters and none of our business. However, they'd call for resignation or impeachment sanctions only if he perjured himself or suborned perjury by others. After all, so this argument goes, adultery isn't breaking the law - which I understand is illegal in certain jurisdictions.
If we determine what's moral and immoral simply by looking at what's legal and illegal, we are a nation in deep trouble and headed straight for the moral abyss. Just look at the daytime television trash shows such as "Jerry Springer", "Sally Jessy Raphael" and "Montel Williams". They feature mothers who sleep with their daughter's boyfriend, children who curse their parents and brothers who have sex with their sisters. They defend their despicable behavior to voyeuristic audiences in the crudest and vilest terms. But, for the most part, their behavior is not illegal; however, that fact does not, at least should not, elevate their behavior to a moral norm that we should accept nor does it make their behavior any less despicable.
While we don't have hard and fast evidence that Clinton had oral sex with Monica Lewinsky, a 21 year-old White House intern, the evidence coming in about Clinton's prior sexual misconduct doesn't lend much credibility to his recent denials. Arkansas state troopers have testified under oath they acted as procurers for Clinton. In 1992, Clinton denied an affair with Gennifer Flowers only to, reportedly, admit that he did have an affair with her when he gave testimony at his deposition in the Paula Jones case.
Given the allegations about Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, I want to ask America's parents, especially fathers, how would you feel about your young daughter winning the prestigious job of White House intern and then risk having a sex affair with White House personnel, including the President of the United States? Or would you consider that just a private matter between the President and your daughter and hence none of your business?
Aside from all the sex scandals, the true legacy of the Clinton administration is that it will probably be remembered as the most corrupt administration since the Warren Harding presidency. During the Clinton presidency, we've seen: Whitewater, "Filegate", "Travelgate", indictments of cabinet secretaries, campaign finance corruption, and so many sex scandals such that a few more might easily convert the Paula Jones case into a class action suit. Yet in the wake of these and other scandals Americans are generally supportive of Clinton's presidency.
There are some real dangers to the Monica Lewinsky affair. Right now we are confronted with a deteriorating Iraq situation. Saddam Hussein is exploiting Clinton's sex scandal by telling his people that the U.S. may launch an attack on Iraq, not because it is in violation of a U.N. mandate but because Clinton seeks to divert attention away from his domestic problems. If we do attack Iraq, it might or might not be a political move to divert attention. We can't tell for sure. To avoid this problem in the future, maybe we Americans ought to make it clear that no presidential sex acts really bother us unless, of course, they are illegal such as pedophilia and bestiality.
There's another thought about this recent sex scandal: where are all the feminists and congresswomen who worked themselves into a frenzy during the Clarence Thomas hearings?
Walter E. Williams
January 29, 1998
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