Sex Stories: Should Voters Even Care?

 by Phil Erwin

Observers of the American political scene might be wondering if our once Puritanical culture has gone all hyper-sexed.

Two decades go, when our national news was overwhelmed with an Impeachment process stemming from assorted allegations, innuendo and a few DNA blotches, the impetus – Bill Clinton’s sexual misbehaviors – seemed an outrageous focus for our national politics. We were accustomed to thinking of ourselves as a nation of fairly responsible, mature, reasonably self-controlled people. The surprise was not that some men behaved badly; the surprise was that we could somehow have managed to elect such a poorly-behaved bastard to the highest office in the land – and the most powerful position on the planet.

Not exactly a confidence-building realization.

Two decades later, we’re wondering if there are any decent men left anywhere to elect to public office. Because it seems like all our (male) politicians are, if not on the verge of indictment for sexual misdeeds, at least deserving of serious scrutiny. After all, we just discovered we’ve spent 17 million tax dollars hiding the misbehaviors of 264 members of Congress from the public!

That is an infuriating follow-on to the recent “discovery” (a more appropriate word might be “uncloaking”) of rampant misbehaviors on the part of “some” (a more appropriate word might be “all”) of the power brokers in the Entertainment industry.

So we’re “suddenly” discovering that our movie-making “professionals” are little more than adolescent horn-dogs with mansions and huge bank accounts. And we’re “suddenly” discovering that our politicians – whom we have entrusted to manage and protect our nation – are little more than adolescent horn-dogs with an apparently unlimited public bank account (dubbed a Shush! fund by someone more clever than I.)

One wonders whether the male half of the nation has suddenly regressed to the worst of the adolescent years, and can’t keep it’s collective mind – or hands – off the curves of the other half.

The obvious answer is that people are no different now than they were in the past; they’re just not as good as they used to be at holding their secrets close to the vest.

But that’s not only unsatisfying as explanation, it also ignores one key difference that recent decades have brought about: All those horn-dogs in the movie-making business have been bombarding us nonstop with their horn-dog fantasies on film and video. (It’s worth noting that Hugh Hefner, whose Playboy magazine led the charge into a hyper-sexed national future, was once excoriated as a pornographer, but now has a star on Hollywood’s “Walk of Fame” for his “achievements.”)

And what a difference that constant exposure to Hollywood horn-dog heaven has made.

In the early years of television, the protectors of public airwaves forbade any displays of people inhabiting the same bed at the same time – even when the characters portrayed a happily married couple. (Remember Rob and Laura Petrie on their separate twin beds?)

Now we can hardly get through a single scene, let alone an entire movie, without multiple shadow-cloaked sweat-soaked, writhing body parts, sometimes belonging to more than two characters.

In sixty-some years, our filmed entertainments have gone from No skin, no touching! to No skin covered, nothing untouched!

So why should it be so surprising that the people getting paid millions upon millions to make the scandal-filled movies that now are mainstream faire might in fact be living scandal-laden lives of their own?

And given that we’ve allowed filmed drama and comedy alike (both television and movies) to drive change in American culture, why should we find it so startling that our politicians aren’t behaving any differently on the job than our entertainers behave on set?

If there’s one thing that’s actually unexpected and a bit disorienting about all this, it is that the criticizers all seem to have done an about-face. Liberals and Progressives – who have long overlooked, excused, accepted, forgiven, envied, and yes, participated in the drug-fueled debauching and debasing of our popular culture – are suddenly waving a Puritanical flag and excoriating men (when they’re Republicans) for unseemly sexual behaviors. Meanwhile, Conservative Republicans are staring at the uncomfortable reality that their only hope for retaining Alabama’s vacated Senate seat, key to maintaining their meagre majority in the Senate, is a big-talking gun-toting ex-judge with a back-story that just might include years of chasing skirts fastened around hips hardly out of High School.

Talk about a turnabout!

Pundits, commentators and the rest of us are all wondering: Who’s next? Where does it end?

But the question of the moment is: What’s gonna happen in Alabama?

How are all these new revelations and allegations of predatory behaviors by all manner of men going to affect the thinking of Alabama voters? They’ve got about three weeks to endure these increasingly disturbing accounts and decide whether they want to vote for, or against, a man who, after decades of public service, is suddenly sporting the label of a (possible) sexual predator.

The misdeeds of anyone other than the actual candidates should not effect a specific election. But the human reality is that they do. And the more we become sensitized to the fact that powerful people tend to abuse their power, the more voters will prefer to elect representatives that have never been in a position of power to have abused it. (Can you say, “term limits”?)

And of course, the Liberal Press is desperate to get the President to commit his support to Judge Moore. Because then they can resurrect the completely unsubstantiated campaign claims against Trump and scream that He’s just like the rest of the sleazeballs!

But here’s the plain truth: In this election, what Trump thinks, wants or might have done does not matter at all. The only people whose thoughts, beliefs and preferences matter are the voters of Alabama. And right now, nobody’s real sure what they think, believe or want.

Not even Alabamians.

If my cousins in Alabama were to call me up and ask me what I think they should do, here’s how I would respond:

I don’t know if the charges against Judge Moore are true, or are completely fabricated. Frankly, no one but Moore and his accusers will likely ever know, because it’s such ancient history that it won’t be adjudicated in court. And in our legal system, accusations have no weight unless and until they are proven in court. For voters, unfounded allegations should carry no more weight than gossip – which is to say, none at all. So make your choice on a simple test: Would you rather send someone to the Senate who will work to enact Trump’s agenda, or someone who will work to obstruct it?

That’s the best Alabamians can do.

And that will have to be good enough.


Phil Erwin is an author, IT administrator and registered Independent living in Newbury Park. He would like to support some Democrat ideals, but he has a visceral hatred for Lies and Damn Lies (and is highly suspicious of Statistics.) That pretty much eliminates supporting most Democrats, and a bunch of Republicans to boot.

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