Late last week an 11-year-old audiotape surfaced in which Donald Trump discusses sexually assaulting women. “Grab them by [their genitalia],” Trump said about beautiful women. He also claimed that “When you’re a star, they let you do it,” and discusses trying to have sex with a married woman.
These remarks may prove to be Trump’s ultimate undoing: many high-profile members of the Republican Party began to openly renounce and harshly criticize him, some rescinding earlier endorsements and urging him to drop out of the race. Democrats and liberals were similarly critical, demanding that Trump recuse himself from the 2016 election. At the second presidential debate on Sunday, Hillary Clinton rightfully hammered Trump over his words: “I think it’s clear to anyone who heard [the tape],” she said, “that it represents exactly who he is.”
Clinton is right, and the massively negative Republican reaction is a welcome development. Although it is certainly possible that Trump can change his behavior and become a better person (nobody is irredeemable), this conduct is unacceptable, and if he does not become a better person then he deserves to live the rest of his life in shame and irrelevance. He should certainly be kept away from the Oval Office.
There is one question worth asking in the midst of this political firestorm, however: why are liberals repulsed by Trump’s perverted sexual ethos while they’re perfectly fine with Bill Clinton’s?
Lewd Comments Versus Criminal Behaviors
Younger Americans may have trouble recalling Bill Clinton’s serial sexual degeneracy, but it’s not hard to look it up. For instance, years ago White House volunteer Kathleen Wiley accused the president of sexually assaulting her in the early ‘90s. Paula Jones claimed that, around the same time, Clinton propositioned her for sex and exposed his genitals to her. Juanita Broaddrick claimed Bill Clinton raped her in an Arkansas hotel room in 1978. Another woman, Eileen Wellstone, claimed Clinton raped her while he was at Oxford University in the late 1960s.
Like many sexual assault cases, these accusations lack the critical evidence necessary to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Clinton perpetrated these crimes. But four different accusations from four different women isn’t anything to dismiss lightly. Broaddrick in particular is a perfectly credible witness to her own alleged rape, and if Clinton was willing to rape Broaddrick, there’s no reason he wouldn’t be willing to rape or assault any of the other women.
Even if every one of these allegations were false, however, Bill Clinton has still led a perverted and deviant sexual life, and by his own admission. He successfully seduced young White House intern Monica Lewinsky, for instance, carrying on an illicit affair with her for nearly two years. In at least one instance he ejaculated on Lewinsky’s clothing. He also may have engaged in sex with Lewinsky at the same time his wife was present in the White House. He then lied to the country about it. He also lied under oath about it, perjuring himself and besmirching the legal system of the United States of America, all to cover up his own pathological sexual immorality.
Clinton also carried on a sexual affair with at least one other woman, Gennifer Flowers. During both of these affairs he remained married to Hillary Clinton. So he broke his wedding vows to commit sexual infidelities.
None of these things “excuse” Trump’s perverted and dangerous opinions about women, of course; nothing can do that. But it is notable how liberals have responded to the Trump audiotapes. Hillary Clinton, for instance, tweeted that the United States “cannot allow this man to become president.” But from the testimony of multiple women and the direct admission of Bill Clinton himself, we already have had a president who follows a twisted and degenerate sexual code.
So Mistreating Women Is Only Bad If Republicans Do It?
Now, according to Trump, there is a critical difference between his conduct and Bill Clinton’s: At the second presidential debate on Sunday Trump claimed his words—crude and inexcusable though they were—were simply words. Bill Clinton’s sexual misconduct, on the other hand, moved beyond words into the realm of action. He was serially unfaithful to his wife, he carried on at least one sexual affair with a young woman in a subordinate position, and may even have raped and otherwise assaulted several women.
So far we don’t know if Trump’s claim is true, since Trump himself stands accused of sexually assaulting multiple women. As with Bill Clinton, these accusations lack the evidence necessary to convict Trump in a court of law. But they are still troubling, and—in light of Trump’s recently revealed comments—disturbingly plausible.
In either case, the sexual pathologies of both Trump and Bill Clinton are disgusting and even possibly criminal. Yet why do liberals love Bill Clinton, even though he is a serial sexual deviant who also stands credibly accused of assaulting and raping multiple women?
Several possibilities come to mind. Perhaps liberals simply don’t believe the women who accused Clinton of raping him, or simply don’t care about his sordid sexual affairs. Another is that liberals actually think rape and sexual immorality in general are nothing to get upset about, but they’re nonetheless willing to exploit public sentiment to demonize Trump.
The third possibility is perhaps the most horrifying: liberals do think sexual assault and sexual depravity are very bad things, but they’re willing to look the other way when a Democrat does them. Maybe liberals are so committed to advancing progressive public policy that they consider a few raped women (and a few broken marriage vows) to be acceptable collateral damage. “It’s okay if Bill Clinton raped Juanita Broaddrick,” they might say to themselves. “He was still a great president.”
This is not all that far-fetched. Recently, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd admitted “feminism sort of died” during the Clinton administration. As she put it, feminists “had to come along with Bill Clinton’s retrogressive behavior with women in order to protect the progressive policies for women that Bill Clinton had as president.” So perhaps liberals are willing to put aside terrible crimes against women when a Democrat is the perpetrator, so long as the Democrat will continue to advance liberals’ political interests.
To be fair, it’s objectively good that the Left is trying to keep Trump out of office. He is unfit even to run an ice cream parlor, and he should be nowhere near the White House. We should join our liberal friends in submarining Trump’s chances to be elected president.
Still, it is important and not a little bit stomach-churning to imagine: if Trump were running as a Democrat, and if he were fully committed to the Democratic Party’s platform, do you think liberals would be all that upset if they heard him crack a disgusting joke about sexually assaulting women?
Probably not. As a matter of fact, they’d probably elect him president.