Marital fidelity has long been one of many yardsticks with which our politicians have been measured against. While it’s not exactly fair to tie any given politician’s marital fidelity, or lack thereof, to their job performance, it does say quite a bit about one’s ability to keep a promise. Promises are the currency of any political campaign, and they are often as cheap as they are plentiful on the campaign trail. They’re often broken which can be expected, but a promise made on the alter carries a bit more weight.
When Trump was caught on tape bragging about getting away with sexual assault, he attributed his lack of accountability to his fame. While that may have been true at the time, it’s certainly not what won over the Christian Conservative base that populates the Republican party. It’s my belief that it was his promises, or more to the point, the promises he made in support of Christian Conservative pet social causes. Causes like banning abortions, or packing the SCOTUS with justices who support so called religious liberty.
Now if you’re old enough to recall, much like our current president, Bill Clinton faced similar accusations. Conservatives were apoplectic when it came to light that he carried on an affair with a White House intern, and then lied about it on national television. This was a consensual affair, mind you, and there was no talk of “grabbing them by the pussy”. There were no shady payments made to porn stars nor non-disclosure agreements being signed. There was no Harvey Weinstein style quid pro quo, just a stained dress and a blowjob in the Oval Office. At that time it was deemed enough of a moral depravity by Conservatives to impeach Clinton, and there certainly was no talk of mulligans or giving him a pass. What Clinton lacked of course was the aforementioned promises.
I find it just a little ironic that we’ve come full circle now. That this presidency could be brought down, however incidentally, by Trump’s infidelity is incredible. His heavy reliance on a misguided concept of attorney-client privilege to shield him from Mueller’s investigation may now be coming back to bite him in the ass. Whatever correspondence that was conducted between Trump and Cohen under that false pretense was possibly seized yesterday by the FBI. At stake now are the very promises Trump made, and which Conservatives accepted, in exchange for looking the other way. Had they stuck to their principles and applied their moral judgement equally across the aisle, they perhaps wouldn’t be facing a Democratic wave during this midterm election. A Democratic wave which promises to throw a spanner in the works on Capitol Hill and grind the Christian Conservative agenda to a halt.