Trumped up Morality — No Winners — My Confessions
15 October, 2016
Clinton and Trump are helping Obama look more Presidential every day. Though he hardly deserves to be remembered as a great President. History books will talk of him wistfully because he was the first US black President. But he is leaving a country in turmoil after his insipid presidency. Unfortunately for US citizens, neither Trump nor Clinton will enjoy the confidence and support of the public or the backing of the legislature.
The main reason is that the election has become grubby. Rather than attack his policy proposals, the Clinton camp chose to attack Trump on his treatment (real and alleged), of women. This despite Hillary Clinton having possibly the most compromised morality of any Presidential candidate.
I cannot fathom why neither major party couldn’t come up with a better candidate. From what I have seen of Mike Pence, he would have been head and shoulders above these two.
Instead of learning what the nominees can do for the USA, currently in a deep state of economic and social malaise, all US citizens are learning about is each Presidential candidate’s cheating, lying ways.
More frustrating is that the media seem ready to crucify Trump for behavior which shouldn’t be very surprising to anyone, least of all Democrat voters.
Meanwhile they have failed to properly prosecute the much more serious allegations against Clinton regarding national security, and fraud and deals in relation to her, her husband and the Clinton Foundation.
I don’t believe for a minute that Donald Trump hasn’t forced himself on women in the past.
Whether the women were particularly horrified at the time is another matter. I say this for a number of reasons.
First, Donald Trump is 70 years old. That’s a few years older than me. I grew up watching movies where the Hollywood hero was always the man who took an aggressive approach with his women (yes I am using ‘his’ intentionally). This applied to the characters played by diverse actors such as John Wayne or Elvis Presley. If they set their mind on a woman, they went after her aggressively.
John Wayne and Patricia Neal in 1951
I remember many scenes, usually after a heated argument, where the man would grab the woman and kiss her hard while she resisted, only to melt into his arms and return his kiss. Other scenes where the male lead would smack or grab the butt of a woman in a cheeky manner to her faux horror but secret delight as she grinned to her girlfriends.
There were the scenes of the young couples who went parking in their car on the hill overlooking the city. Even if the girl was interested, back in those days there was no way she could make the first move. Instead the young man would go to kiss her, and she resists at first, but eventually acquiesces. Then his hands go wondering, and she resists at first … you get the picture.
And of course the wealthier, famous or even devious the alpha male character was in the movie, the more likely he was to act this way and be ‘successful’. Think of the characters of John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, Clarke Gable, Humphrey Bogart, and everyone who played James Bond up to the 2000’s.
Often there would be a twist because it turned out the man had been duped into ‘seducing’ the femme fatale who was really a ‘honey trap’, leaving James Bond or whoever ruing his libido … until the next time.
There were so many beautiful women who always seemed to be matched with men old enough to be their father. Marilyn Munro, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Natalie Wood, Susan Hayward are the names which spring to mind. And of course all the Bond women.
This was the world Donald Trump grew up in. A world where America’s favorite President, JFK, couldn’t keep it in his pants. But the media looked the other way, and in many ways his philandering just improved his reputation. A woman’s man, yet married to one of the world’s most beautiful women with lovely children and from the most Catholic of backgrounds. President playboy JFK was in office when Trump was in his late teens.
It was all acceptable behavior in the world that Donald Trump grew up in, and behavior which was rewarded on screen, and apparently off it.
Second, even without those vintage Hollywood movies, that type of behavior by ‘alpha males’ starring in modern TV and movies is often responded to and rewarded. In modern TV and movies where women can match the males in hand-to-hand combat, how many times have we seen a fierce fight or challenge end with the man eventually dominating and taking his ‘reward’ from his willing co-star? I can recall scenes like that from NCIS and Hawaii Five ‘O’, and just about everything Maggie Q has been in!
Third, there seems to be no end of good looking young women who are happy to have flings with rich and powerful men. It may be for the thrill, the notoriety, the social opportunities, the notch on the belt, the presents and money, or a combination of the above. The reasons probably vary from one woman to the next. Many of JFK’s ‘conquests’ told later in interviews for his biographies that the sex wasn’t particularly good, but that they were excited by who it was with.
That is their business and not something we should make judgement on. Many of these women probably let the man think he is doing the chasing and making the ‘conquest’, it’s good for his ego, and makes the ‘prize’ more desirable to him, when in fact they were the predators.
I know none of this makes it ‘right’ for a man to ‘force’ themselves on a woman, but in my formative years, and probably more so in Trump’s formative years, it was normal behavior, and was often part of a ritual, where it gave the woman the opportunity to resist just long and hard enough so she didn’t come across as too ‘easy’.
This is simply a statement of fact, with no moralizing. People just went along with the process.
So I am putting Trump’s (and Bill Clinton’s) alleged behavior in context.
Added to this context is the feeling of immunity that rich and powerful men like Trump or Bill Clinton have. They feel they could do pretty much whatever they want and get away with it — secret service agents or private security covering up or dealing with any ‘messes’. Just like JFK and his brother Teddy got away with some horrendous behavior. It should not be surprising at all that these allegations against Trump are surfacing.
I can certainly put my hand up to behavior in my past which would horrify the apparent saints that we have controlling our mainstream and social media coverage. I know I wasn’t the only bloke born in the 50’s acting in that way. Even men who weren’t particularly easy on the eye were more successful with women the more confident and aggressive they were. I’m not talking physical abuse, I mean the grabbed kiss and the forceful wondering hands.
I was openly told by male mentors to assume that if she is with you, then chances are she does want to have sex. So act accordingly because she won’t make the first move. So I was always at risk of making unwanted sexual advances. Sometimes my advances were spurned in a way which could not be mistaken. But I was only encouraged in this behavior by the greater ‘success’ the more ‘assertive’ I became. The lesson we learned back then from real life experience is that women liked men to be confident and ‘take control’.
I know that wasn’t the case for all men, but you can’t talk about the 1960’s and 1970’s without talking about sexual revolution. Before the aids epidemic in the 1980’s, western societies had become more promiscuous than perhaps our children have been.
I also know the world has changed, and I think for the better. We live in a world where women now feel a lot freer to be a male’s equal or even the more assertive one, when seeking out sexual partners. But I would hazard from what little I see on TV depicting teenage children, there is still an expectation on the male to make the first move.
I am referring to straight couples anyway. I don’t know how it worked in the world of gay men during my formative years. It never occurred to me, but I understand there were all sorts of ‘codes’ which indicated you might be a willing sexual participant. They probably had a less stressful time satisfying their sexual urges.
I really had no idea. Any homosexual on TV was always portrayed as extremely camp. Think the flamboyant Lee Whiteman (Paul Karo), on ‘The Box’, or Mr Humphries (John Inman), in the British sitcom ‘Are You Being Served?’ Both these shows featured in my teenage and young adulthood years, and ‘instructed’ me on how homosexual men acted. Though I later learned there were and have always been spoken and visual codes which allowed gay men interested in ‘action’ to seek out each other. There is a very funny read on such codes here.
Perhaps it would have been easier for Donald Trump and me if members of the opposite sex had made it plainly obvious they were up for action, without us having to take the risk of making an unwanted sexual approach. Then there would have been far fewer unwanted sexual advances made. Not that I am admitting to a long string of unwanted sexual advances, but there were some – so I guess I am too morally corrupt to run for office now too?
There was an expression I am aware of which goes, ‘the only unwanted sexual advance is the one that isn’t reciprocated.’ So if it was often reciprocated, or rewarded, isn’t it understandable that men of that era learned to behave that way?
Of course by the 1990’s we should have all learned the real world had changed, even if the movies and TV still rewarded the aggressive alpha males.
Nevertheless I wasn’t surprise to learn in 1998 about the sexual relationship between 1995 and 1996 with then 49-year-old President Bill Clinton and a 22-year-old White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. Most people I have heard talk about it, both men and women, do not think Monica Lewinsky was ‘forced’ to participate. In fact it appears she took great delight, which is evidenced for the affection she showed Bill Clinton at political gatherings.
But today we accept that in a relationship where there is a power imbalance, such as employer and employee, or senior and junior co-worker, or just older man and younger woman, then the relationship can’t be fully consensual because of the pressure felt by the one in position of least power. What this means is if a more senior person, decides to make advances to the more junior person, they had better hope that it doesn’t come back to bite them.
But many of us would be aware of long term relationships which blossomed at work, often between a senior and more junior employee, or the doctor and the nurse, or the professor and the research assistant (too clichéd?), which just don’t happen nowadays because of corporate policy and the fear of a future legal quagmire. Which is sad.
It was no surprise to me that Bill had his dalliance with Monica. And by all accounts it was one of unequal balance if judged only on the admitted facts of nine sexual encounters primarily involving Monica performing oral sex on Bill, and somewhere along the way a cigar was involved.
Bill could not, and would not have been impeached for that, because as best I can tell from all the history I have read on the subject, he was not breaking any laws at the time. Where he got himself in trouble was when the affair became public, he lied to the public, and then he lied under oath in court. This was during the sexual harassment case brought against him by Paula Jones. Bill tried to ‘pervert the course of justice’ by trying to convince Monica to lie about it at the same hearings.
The only reason that he wasn’t successfully impeached was it required a 67% minimum vote in the Senate and every Democrat voted along party lines to protect their president, effectively saying to their constituents that despite all the actual evidence, they don’t think Bill Clinton lied under oath or tried to influence a witness’ testimony – despite him having admitted the former.
So the Democrats high moral standards, which they claim today against Trump, were nowhere to be seen back then.
I wouldn’t have cared less about what FDR, JFK or Bill Clinton did sexually while in office, unless it was illegal. And it appears at the very least with Paula Jones Bill did act illegally, because on November 13, 1998, Clinton settled with Jones for $850,000, the entire amount of her claim, but without an apology, in exchange for her agreement to drop the appeal against the original dismissal of her sexual harassment case.
In April 1999, a judge found Clinton in civil contempt of court for misleading testimony in the Jones case. She ordered Clinton to pay $1,202 to the court and an additional $90,000 to Jones’s lawyers for expenses incurred. The judge also referred Clinton’s conduct to the Arkansas Bar Association for disciplinary action, and on January 19, 2001, the day before Clinton left the office of president, he entered into an agreement with the Arkansas Bar and Independent Counsel Robert Ray under which Clinton was stripped of his license to practice law in Arkansas for a period of five years, and was fined. Sometime later the Supreme Court barred him from practising for life for the same offence.
All the while this was going on, Hillary Clinton was calling Jones, Lewinsky and all of Bill’s other rape and sexual harassment accusers who had come forward, liars, trailer trash, looney tunes and other names, and threatening them verbally about the consequences of pursuing the matters.
So she and the Democrats supported Bill through all this and now he stands as one of the most favoured sons of the Democrats. Meanwhile Hillary Clinton decided she would become a feminist champion after declaring her intention to run for President. In one of her tweets she wrote a line she used in subsequent speeches around the country, “Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed and supported.”
The fact that she said this with a straight face, and the Democrats hailed her – that’s the hypocrisy I can’t stand.
Commentators say it is only fair that Clinton is using Trump’s crassness, and alleged sexual harassment, or aggression, because he mentioned Bill Clinton’s infidelity, and her support of him.
What most of the media and a lot of the public forget is that Trump only mentioned that AFTER Hillary Clinton attacked him for his past words and treatment (some true, some alleged), of women. He said in the first debate that he was going to refrain from going to certain embarrassing places. But the Clinton camp kept bashing Trump as a sexist/misogynist, so we now have the most negative and disgusting Presidential Election in US history.
That is despite the fact that Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump, have probably acted with at least as much if not more sexual propriety than the great Democrat President JFK. And that their form of real and alleged predatory sexual behavior was not only immortalized in the macho male celebrities in Hollywood and on TV, it still is!