|Any port in a Storm?|
Jonah Goldberg and David French are scolding conservatives in the National Review for not publicly condemning Donald Trump over his claimed affair with “Stormy Daniels.” This, they say, is hypocrisy. These now-silent conservatives are the same people who made a big deal over Bill Clinton's indiscretions, after all.
I profoundly disagree.
As a matter of fact, I remember my own reaction when the story of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky broke, said to the friend who told me: “It is none of our business.” I feel the same way about Trump.
A very bright red thick solid line must be drawn between, on the one hand, adulterous relationships between consenting adults, and, on the other, sexual assault and rape. Night, meet day.
In the former case, the overriding concern is that famous people, including famous politicians, deserve the same right to privacy that is insisted on for everyone else. The reporting of such things is the sin of calumny.
And, if any one of us is taken in adultery, the best response is that of Jesus: “then I too do not condemn thee. Go and sin no more.”
Yes, adultery is a sin; just as homosexual sex is a sin, or premarital sex is a sin, or masturbation is a sin, or using artificial birth control is a sin. But these are peculiarly private sins, matters between the individual, the sex partner or marital partner, and God. They are matters in which the community or society at large has no legitimate interest, and it is hard if not impossible for anyone to condemn them in another without hypocrisy. We are all sinners.
In Bill Clinton's case, the eventual issue was not the consensual sex with Monica Lewinsky. It was that he perjured himself in denying it; and he has also been accused of sexual assault and even violent rape against other women. Weinstein was guilty of sexual assault. Franken was guilty of at least very low-level, almost trivial sexual assault.
Trump, it seems, if the accusations are true, was guilty of being rich, powerful, male, and human.