I see Linda Tripp is back in the news, she of the Monica Lewinsky episode. Ms. Tripp has already had her 30 minutes of fame, but evidently she wants more time in the limelight, claiming to have knowledge of the former President, Bill Clinton’s affairs. Who cares and should we care? Americans have a problem with sex. We are preoccupied by the affairs and sexual goings on of other people. We especially want to know about any possible salacious details regarding our favorite movie stars and other public figures, even our Presidents.
Sex sells. When you are about to pay for your groceries, these tawdry, so-called news sources, confront you as you pass through the line. Daily news stories and books are replete with sexual content and sexual innuendo. A recent on line best seller was horribly written but it sold millions of books.
Donald Trump in his march to the nomination of the Republican Party has brought up the issue of sex, thinking that sex is a political issue that we should be concerned about in our deliberations on who is best to serve our nation as the next President of the United States.
A story about the sexual and drug crazed life of Charlies Sheen knocked the more important discussion of President Obama’s speech about our involvement in Afghanistan off the headlines of Cable News. America we have a problem with sex.
I miss the old days when the media kept what they knew about the sexual dalliances of our politicians off the headlines. The idea was that a person’s sexual behavior was private and really no ones business.
Let’s look at President Bill Clinton for example. Congress spent a fortune on attempting to impeach the then President Clinton for lying about his having sex with another woman other than his wife. People were so persuaded by his tawdry behavior, not, that they re-elected him. He still holds a greater than 60% approval rating. People like him and they thought having a job was more important than what Bill did or did not do in the bedroom.
A writer of more recent times, Fawn Brodie, made a small fortune writing about Thomas Jefferson and his love life with Sally Hemmings. She happened to be his slave and oh, that’s right she was black. Here was a President who had been dead for over 150 years, and people were buying a book about his love life, really! Jefferson was a Renaissance man, a great man, the author of our Declaration of Independence, a complicated man, a political thinker and philosopher. She could have written about many things regarding Jefferson but she chose to write about his alleged affair. The public ate it up and bought her book by the car load. His love life was his business not ours. What he did in the bedroom did not affect his job performance nor his contributions to history but wow, inquiring minds want to know.
Who knows why we are so focused on a person’s sexual behavior? Maybe Linda Tripp has a boring life. In a way her preoccupation with the Clinton’s reminds me of the mind set of a stalker. It could be that we are still affected by our Puritan heritage.
Europeans find our preoccupation with sex, strange. They believe that sex is part of life. Back in the days of Benjamin Franklin, it was not uncommon for people of the aristocracy to go to a ball with your husband and your lover, or the other way around.
As to why Donald Trump brings up sex we can only speculate! What Bill Clinton has done has absolutely nothing to do with how Hillary Clinton would perform her duties as President of the United States. Perhaps, what Donald Trump is trying to do is to deflect the media’s attention away from his own wife’s history.
The 21st Century has brought with it, it’s own problems. The problems that we face are far too important to focus on the sexual behavior of our current candidates or their wives or husbands. Sex sells but as long as a person’s sexual conduct does not affect a person’s job performance it matters not. It is no ones damn business except for the individuals involved. Sex belongs in private, let’s keep it that way.