Monday, September 14, 1998

Week of 09/14/1998

Target: Sex In Society - Part 3
Sex, Politics, and Hypocrisy
- by David Matthews 2

There it is, boys and girls, live and on the Internet!

You too can hear the tawdry details of Bill Clinton’s sex life, complete with detailed descriptions of where and what he did with former intern Monica Lewinsky, in the privacy of your own home computer!

No 900 number to call!

No credit card information to give out!

No adult verification passwords needed.

No, this one is FREE, FREE, FREE!

And you won’t have to worry a thing about the government trying to shut this one down, because this is coming from the Republican members of the House of Representatives! Yes, the Conservative Backlash Coalition, inheritors of the Salem Witch Hunts, the McCarthy Red Hunts, and the original anti-sex crusades, has gone hardcore!

Okay, enough hype. The Kenneth Starr report on President Clinton is out, and this is apparently now time for confessions from both sides of the dysfunctionally elite. As Bill Clinton tries to find another million ways to say he’s sorry to as many people as possible, conservative Republicans are now airing their own dirty laundry.

Representative Dan Burton, the first one to publicly call Clinton a "scumbag," had to publicly admit he isn’t the pillar of morality he claims to be. Yes, Burton had his own affair in the 1980’s, and has a child to back it up. Yes Dan, Clinton is a "scumbag," but at least he didn’t burden that other woman with an illegitimate child.

And hidden amidst the release of the Starr Report was the admittance that another conservative member of Congress by the name of Helen Chenoweth had a skeleton of her own in the form of a brief dalliance with an unnamed married man, who was also a conservative member of Congress. Chenoweth’s campaign for re-election has been to bash her Democratic opponent through his party’s connection to Clinton. Miss Pot, meet Mister Kettle!

What’s going on, you ask?

In short, a political purging of the worst kind.

In previous discussions on this topic, we’ve seen how our dysfunctional view of sex in society has been not only rewarded, but has also led to even greater societal problems. Now we will start to see how this dysfunction escalates even further.

In many ways, our dysfunctional perspectives of sex in society has led us to this scandal. Remember that our intellectual minds have long since forged ideals that are incompatible with the real world we all have to live in. That combined with our intellectual disdain for all things primal has forged unrealistic expectations in other people, including and especially the people we elect to public office.

Jimmy Carter’s pre-presidential interview for Playboy Magazine in 1976 struck a cord with many of the dysfunctionally elite, not just because of the publication, but also because what was being said. Here was an affirmed Baptists who would inhabit the White House in less than a year admitting he was a human being with - *GASP* - very human feelings and desires! Oh the humanity!

This ran contrary to any other president in recent history. President Nixon did everything in his power to suppress and otherwise outlaw any reference to sex, even though his own Presidential Committee on Pornography said that that kind of action from government was CAUSING the ills of society, not the curing them. President Reagan had his own committee stacked to the hilt with the most pious of anti-sex crusaders who gave his administration the green light to do what Nixon’s refused to.

Because of this intellectual purging of all things primal, we have led ourselves to envision our politicians as these perfect icons of humanity. You hear the moralists amongst us railing on and on about electing men and women with higher standards than the average citizen. You hear about words like "moral authority" and "moral leadership" being bandied about like they were the lifeblood of our elected officials.

The belief that our elected officials are somehow more than human goes back to the old days when nobility was considered the providence granted personally by God. Indeed, in the case of Great Britain, the crown was not only the government leader, but the leader of the Church of England as well. This was called the "Divine Right of Kings."

We have, in effect, deified our politicians. We have placed them on pedestals and treated them as gods.

So horrible it is, then, to see a politician knocked off that pedestal. To be revealed that indeed they are not gods, but mortal men and women. No better than the rest of us.

But believe it or not, that IS the way it must be. We don’t need politicians claiming themselves to be leaders by God. A government forged from the people cannot make the claim that all men are created equal when they believe that they themselves are somehow better than anyone else.

And that brings us back to Clinton. One of the key elements that got him elected back in 1992 was that he appeared to be just as human as anyone else. He didn’t appear to be your average politically-correct Stepford Pod Person. He showed up at talk shows playing the saxophone with the band. He admitted he had some troubles in his marriage, even though he never publicly admitted to having an affair with Gennifer Flowers. And even though this author had his suspicions of the dubiousness of the governor of Arkansas, Clinton certainly convinced enough people to put him in the Oval Office.

In many ways, this sad situation of questioning the sexual peccadilloes of our politicians could have been a non-issue. If we didn’t give credence to our dysfunctional elite, letting them set the standards for the rest of us, our elected officials could admit to being human beings instead of pseudo-gods. If Clinton defied the will of the moralists and admitted he had affairs, the whole issue of catching him in a lie would be moot.

Unfortunately, our intellectually-dominant members of society refuse to admit their dysfunction, and like alcoholics in denial, they’ll continue to tighten the noose even further until something breaks. Instead of making sexuality a non-issue, it will be an ever-present issue both in the November election, and almost certainly into the 2000 campaign.

If we as a society are to ever purge ourselves of this dysfunction, we need to fight back against the moralists and the dysfunctionally elite. Stop letting other people tell you how to live your life. Recognize that your life is governed by both your intellectual aspirations and primal needs and deal with them.

In the end, this obsession with other people’s sexual escapades will hopefully prove to be the downfall of the moralists. Don’t get caught up in their witch hunt!

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