bill clinton “did not have sexual relations with that woman, miss lewinsky.” or at least he didn’t think he did because his definition of the term “sexual relations” wasn’t clear. in fact, during his deposition he goes on at great length, to start, trying to figure out what the term actually means. it doesn’t sound, at the time, as though he does. but after linda tripp’s recorded conversations with lewinsky were released, lewinsky herself went before the grand jury, and that blue dress was handed over as dna evidence, clinton changed his tune and admitted he did have sexual relations with her. but, his admission to the country wouldn’t come until after he and hillary dragged monica through the gutter. even the erroneous bombing of a sudanese pharmaceutical factory which occurred around the same time lewinsky was to go before the grand jury, turned out to be nothing other than a tragic distraction.
despite denying sexual assault allegations from multiple women, and the affair with lewinsky, bill clinton was eventually impeached. life went on. everything regarding his time in office, came and went. it wouldn’t be until the hillary/trump battle for the white house, this would all be revisited. the notion of one sexual abuser (trump) calling out another (bill clinton) was irony at its finest. and now, with trump in office, society once again finds itself faced with a president complete with a torrid past.
while clinton scandals like whitewater morphed into trump’s russia collusion and other conflicts of interest, the sexual abuse issue has remained the same. but now, with the birth of the #metoo movement and victims of sexual abuse feeling empowered to share their stories, society’s landscape regarding what it accepts and doesn’t, has changed. a rebirth of morals and ethics continues to mature. social media has helped tremendously.
in 1998, the internet was alive but brand spanking new. it wasn’t until 2007, the web’s very first hashtag appeared on twitter. thirty years ago, society scrambled for aol free internet disks to hop online and explore the brave new world. so, while there certainly may have been various chat rooms to visit and digitally chat, no one was using the internet in the ways they do now. what would monica clinton memes have looked like? what kind of wild arguments would have been had on facebook then?
now that society has tools like social media and the abilities to create content at will, political/sexual abuse and corruption don’t go unnoticed as it used to. hillary clinton, despite her past and present shady actions and behavior, was clearly the better candidate in 2016. would she had won if she divorced bill in 1998? would she have won if she believed lewinsky instead of trying to defame her? perhaps she would have won had she simply visited wisconsin?
bill clinton, like some other men in society, has received a pass for his behavior. to this point, trump has also received a pass. their charming and manipulative ways have obviously covered their dark sides. of course, a man’s level of power determines how much they get away with. had harvey weinstein been a president or senator, would his fall still occur? if producing hit movies doesn’t completely protect a rapist from being taken down, why should being a president?
the #metoo movement has reached politics. roy moore lost. franken is stepping down. anthony wiener left. but trump, still sits in the white house. and as society accepted oj simpson’s acquittal in exchange for aquitting the officers who pummeled rodney king; so will society accept bringing down an incompetent sexual predator in trump, in exchange for allowing bill clinton to sit in office to finish out his term, despite being impeached.