One of the things that seemed crazy at the time was Donald Trump’s bringing out the women who made accusations of sexual assault against Bill Clinton. The polls bore it out, in that nobody especially held that against Hillary. On another level, though, maybe it did work with swing voters. Not (just) that Bill Clinton did Bad Things, but he did Bad Things and people voted for him anyway. Ergo, you can vote for Donald Trump even if he did Bad Things. Or is, in general, not a good person. Democrats spent eight years talking about compartmentalization and how you don’t have to like the person to support them for president. I voted for Bill Clinton in 1996 and came to regret that for multiple reasons, one of which is that character does count. So ironically, the reason I regret voting for Bill contributed to my voting for Hillary. But personal scoundrelry really did become normalized during his era, even if there are clear distinctions to be drawn between their behaviors. Less than 40% of Americans approved of Donald Trump, but 47% of him voted anyway. His voters tended older (old enough to remember Bill), and it’s not unreasonable to believe that it’s not that they didn’t care about Trump’s misbehavior, but that they had compartmentalized it in a way they were trained to a couple decades ago.


Category: Espresso

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2 Responses to On Bill Clinton

  1. CK MacLeod says:

    Good point – though another aspect of it is that it underlined HRC’s simple weakness in the sense of “She is the kind of person that can get walked all over – UNLIKE ME.” And, really, it is rather hard to imagine DJT, in some version of the HRC-position of the late ’90s, showing a scintilla of restraint against a woman treating him the way he has treated his wives and others. A double standard? Of course! “You better believe I’ll take advantage of a double standard that benefits me – anything else would be Little Marco-level wimpiness!”

  2. Jaybird says:

    If you can get a guy to switch his calculus from deontology to utilitarianism, you can pretty much get him to do anything.

    Drawing a great deal of attention to Bill Clinton’s past relationship with these women (many of which reportedly had consent issues), you got a lot of people to switch to utilitarianism.

    After that, it’s the easiest thing in the world to get them to re-order the things that will best contribute to The Greater Good.

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