Power, Sex, and Politics

Power, Sex, and Politics, by Angelo Codevilla.

“Power,” Henry Kissinger observed, “is the ultimate aphrodisiac.” Men, but mostly women, have been trading erotic services for access to power since time began.

The ruling class’s recent carrying on over a supposed epidemic of powerful grabbers and gropers runs counter to common sense and experience. …

During my eight years on the Senate staff, sex was a currency for renting rungs on ladders to power. Uninvolved and with a hygroscopic shoulder, I listened to accounts of the trade, in which some one-third of senators, male senior staff, and corresponding numbers of females seemed to be involved. I write “trade,” because not once did I hear of anyone forcing his attention. Given what seemed an endless supply of the willing, anyone who might feel compelled to do that would have been a loser otherwise unfit for survival in that demanding environment.

This, I wager, is not so different from others’ experiences in Washington. Senior female staffers were far more open than secretaries in describing their conquests of places up the ladder, especially of senators. There was some reticence only in talking about “relationships” with such as John Tower (R-Texas) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.) because they were the easiest, and had so many. The prize, of course, was Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.)—rooster over a veritable hen house that was, almost literally, a “chick magnet.” Access to power, or status, or the appearance thereof was on one side, sex on the other. Innocence was the one quality entirely absent on all sides.

In the basic bargain, the female proposes. The power holder has the prerogative to say “no,” or just to do nothing. By a lesser token, wealthy men need not offer cash to have female attention showered on them. Money is silver currency. Power is gold. A few, occasionally, get impatient and grab. …

What, then, are our powerful rulers’ claims of zero tolerance for sexual harassment or sexual commerce about? First, they do not involve the ruling class giving up any of their privileges, never mind what are effectively their harems. They are confessions — not of their own sins, but of the sins of others. …

The Clintons and the Weinsteins, yesterday’s ruling class paragons, are useful foils. When, inadvertently, photos implicate a member of the current ruling class leadership, such as Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) in beastly behavior, ruling class colleagues and media give him a pass (“he apologized!”) and use his case unfavorably to contrast the real enemies — always on the Right: President Donald Trump and Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore. “They are disqualified from office because they haven’t even admitted their guilt!”

In short, penalties for breaches of any item of political correctness are and will remain what they have been in the past, without exception: thinly veiled excuses to harm whoever stands in the way of the ruling class’s members.

This fact ceased to be a secret some time ago and explains the difficulty of having to maintain the authority of P.C.’s strictures. Thus we have the elaborate edifice of kangaroo courts and sensitivity training that governments and corporations have imposed on their fellow Americans more or less discredited in the eyes of just about everyone. …

The current campaign against a few, carefully targeted butt-grabbers is specifically designed to renew ruling class authority to continue business as usual, meaning to make socio-political war on the usual suspects.