The wizards of smarts in the political arena are telling us Donald Trump’s campaign is over because of recently leaked tapes of a private conversation from 2005 that was disparaging to women. The comments are so offensive, they say, he’s not fit for office.
From the moment the tapes were made public, the drumbeat to Trump’s personal walk of shame began. Politicians who formerly endorsed him fled in terror, not wanting the soiled stain of sexual stigma attached to them. NeverTrumpers descended in holier-than-thou glee as they declared how noble and right they’ve always been not to support such a despicable man. And the left has been howling like puritanical wolves, condemning him for his immorality and sexist treatment of women.
I find this reaction to Trump’s private conversation rather ironic. It’s ironic coming from a secular culture that long ago declared objective morality dead. It’s ironic coming from politicos and media bottom-feeders who defended the abusive and disgusting behavior of Bill Clinton, not when he was a private citizen but when he was a sitting president.
It’s ironic coming from a Republican political elite that has told its religious base that social and moral issues don’t matter in politics. “It’s all about the economy, stupid. Leave your morals in the church but don’t voice them in the public square.”
The creep of moral relativism in America has been steady for many decades, increasing in speed to the point that the “slouching toward Gomorrah” has become a sprint. The notion that there is objective truth or absolute morality has been universally panned to the point that everything is tolerated except standards of right and wrong. “Everyone decides for himself what is right, especially when it comes to sex” is the mantra of today’s culture.
For years, Christians in particular have been attacked and silenced as they’ve tried to challenge the immorality that is pervasive in today’s society. When they tell people casual sex is wrong, they get the inevitable, “You have no right to tell me what I can or can’t do.” If they oppose sexual immorality in any form, including adultery, they’re maligned as sanctimonious puritans by lovers of libertinism.
How ironic, then, that a culture which rejects moral standards has suddenly become so pure and pristine, sitting in judgment of someone they deem too immoral to become president because of something he said in private. As a logical person, I have to ask these paragons of newly found virtue where this standard by which they’ve judged Trump is found.
If morality is relative to each individual—a purely subjective experience—by what standard are they judging Trump? Obviously, in such a secular climate, there can’t even be a “standard.”
Why should anyone listen to people who out of one side of their mouths declare the death of objective moral standards yet out of the other condemn someone for violating objective moral standards?
Those who are complaining about Trump today have no basis for their moral outrage. That’s because their secular amoral worldview rejects any basis for that moral judgment. Any argument they make against the “immorality” of Trump is stolen, or at least borrowed for expediency, from a religious worldview they have soundly rejected.
The fact of the matter is that Judeo-Christian ethics have been driven from our culture and declared a dinosaur from an ancient past. Right and wrong, virtue, morality, goodness—these have been rejected in pop culture, our education system, the media, and politics. We have been told repeatedly that character doesn’t matter because everyone’s values are different. All that matters is an ideological agenda and the power that goes with it.
It was this mentality that fueled the defense of Bill Clinton in 1998 when the world discovered the truth about his illicit affair with a subordinate, Monica Lewinsky. Clinton, who had been accused repeatedly of abusing even raping women—all defended by his wife, Hillary—lied about sexual relations with a young woman who worked for him in the White House.
When his despicable behavior was exposed to the point that he couldn’t deny it any longer, Clinton spoke to the American people. In August 1998, he gave the following address about his lies, his disgusting sexual behavior, and his mistreatment of a woman who worked as a subordinate.
As you know, in a deposition in January, I was asked questions about my relationship with Monica Lewinsky. While my answers were legally accurate, I did not volunteer information.
Indeed, I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong. It constituted a critical lapse in judgment and personal failure on my part for which I am solely and completely responsible. . . . .I misled people, including even my wife. I deeply regret that.
Now, this matter is between me, the two people I love most–my wife and our daughter–and our God. I must put it right, and I am prepared to do whatever it takes to do so.
Nothing is more important to me personally. But it is private, and I intend to reclaim my family life for my family. It’s nobody’s business but ours.
Now, pay close to what he says next because it directly applies to what is happening with Trump, so much so that he should mimic the former president by using these very words in his own defense:
Even presidents have private lives. It is time to stop the pursuit of personal destruction and the prying into private lives and get on with our national life.
Our country has been distracted by this matter for too long, and I take my responsibility for my part in all of this. That is all I can do.
Now is the time — in fact, it is past time to move on.
We have important work to do — real opportunities to seize, real problems to solve, real security matters to face.
And so tonight, I ask you to turn away from the spectacle of the past seven months, to repair the fabric of our national discourse, and to return our attention to all the challenges and all the promise of the next American century.
So willing were the media and Democratic politicians to get past the sexual impropriety of the president that they did just what he said. For months and years following, Clinton defenders repeated with defiant fury, “This is a private matter and has nothing to do with the issues at hand. The American people don’t care about Clinton, Lewinsky, a soiled dress, and a cigar.”
The vile and lewd sexual exploits of the president and his mistreatment of a young woman who was in a powerless position didn’t matter. Not one iota.
Coupled with this defense of Clinton was the overall messaging that the moral absolutism of Christianity and any religious types who dared judge another person’s actions or character needed to exit the public stage. The only thing that was important was the progressive cultural and political agenda of the Democratic Party.
I would posit that this has not changed. All the same people in the media and political class today who are condemning Trump don’t give a wit about what he said on that tape. It’s all smoke and mirrors with them. Given the rampant immorality in D.C. and throughout the political media, they’re hardly shocked by the businessman’s comments.
They don’t believe in absolute morality anyway. And even if they do have some semblance of conscience, they don’t think it matters what happens in private. All that matters is pushing their liberal agenda. If it takes being hypocritical about Trump, then so be it.
Their moral outrage is as fake as Hillary Clinton’s smile during a debate. The real outrage they feel is over any threat to their ideology and their quest for power.
Yet the sanctimonious fools on the right have little-to-no sense to see this or how they’re playing into the hands of the left. Republicans have become mere pawns in the Democratic Party’s game of political power.
This started years ago when the Republican Party suddenly became enlightened and decided that social and moral issues don’t matter. “It’s the economy, stupid! Don’t talk about the evils of abortion. Don’t talk about the Ten Commandments or prayer in schools. Don’t talk about the immorality of same-sex marriage or transgendering or even homosexuality. Don’t talk about Bill Clinton’s sexual abuse or anything that touches on issues of character.”
Their message to the salt-of the-earth types and “hobbits” who believe in right and wrong, principles, and the Bible has been “For God’s sake, just shut up!”
For years, the religious right was attacked and maligned from within the Republican Party. They were accused of being backward, stupid, moralistic boobs. Political elites were ashamed to share the same space with them on the public stage. They just wanted them to go away.
Well, they didn’t go away, but they did listen. If morality doesn’t matter in politics, then just elect someone who will at least stop the leftist juggernaut (or slow it down) even though he’s immoral, unprincipled, egotistical, and not really much of a conservative. And if he damages the GOP political elite in the process and takes a bit of the shine off of their arrogant crowns, so much the better. Voila, Donald Trump.
So now we have a tape that show’s Trump is an immoral, nasty guy, speaking as many guys do in their “man-space” (frats, military bases, golf courses, locker rooms). Is it defensible? No. Is it gross? Yes. Is it immoral? Indeed. But for a society that has declared absolute morality dead, what credible response does it have to Trump or anyone else?
It doesn’t have one. All it has is mock outrage that signifies nothing.
Can Democrats (and Republicans) who defended Bill Clinton criticize Trump with any moral authority? No. They have no moral authority. They abandoned it for political gain, and that’s all they’re concerned about today—power, not virtue.
As for all the Republicans—particularly those of the establishment, the political elites—what can they say except that they are reaping what they have sown?
They shunned the religious right and said morality doesn’t have a place in politics. All that matters is economics and the sustainability of the Grand Ole Party.
They—the GOP political elites now chiding Trump voters about virtue—made a deal with the Devil long ago to secure political influence and power. By abandoning the moral foundations that would have prevented the rise of Trump, they have no basis on which to even whisper about the immorality of Trump.