When was the last time you got really worked up over a political sex scandal? It's alright, nobody really does anymore. Seriously, unless your congressman is sleeping with your wife, or your son, or your dog.
That's where we're at as a society now--we've come to expect a certain amount of indiscretion from our politicians, so it takes something really spectacularly raunchy to get our attention. Sex scandals are nothing new in America. Consider Alexander Hamilton, George Washington's Secretary of the Treasury who slept with a woman while (gasp!) they were both married to other people. In 1843, U.S. representative James Henry Hammond proved himself to be a freak even by modern standards, admitting to a homosexual relationship as well as "Dalliances" with his teenage niece and some of his slaves, including a 12 year old girl. Even Daniel Webster created a new definition of sexual specialty, preferring "big black women as vulgar as himself" according to the press of his time.
The Juiciest Sex Scandals Are Presidential
Of course, for most of us, the ultimate political sex scandal is the presidential one, and two names come to mind with this Commander-in-Chief of all scandals--John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton. And whether it's a series of trysts with a Hollywood sex goddess or a nice relaxing cigar and a blowie from a big haired intern, there was nobody in the country who wasn't talking about these two classic scandals as they happened. And the talk went on for years. Compare that to a more recent scandal, say the one from presidential hopeful John Edwards. In case you forgot all about that one (like I did), he apparently had an affair with an actress (gee, that sounds familiar) and it all came out during his campaign. Not only does almost nobody remember that just a few years later, but probably the only reason it derailed his campaign is that he happened to have a wife who was fighting breast cancer at the time and he had played the loving husband card so prominently in the campaign.
Modern Voters Can Less Than Traditional Voters
So that brings us to the point...It would take a lot, I mean a lot, to get a modern voting public to actually care about a sex scandal. Think about Donald Trump, for instance. I would be really disappointed to learn that he's not a serious player. I mean, if Donald Trump cant get laid well and often, what hope is there for the rest of us? And Hillary Clinton? We're all assuming that the only reason she didn't react more strongly to Bill Clinton's misadventure is because she was getting her needs met elsewhere anywhere (man, woman, machine, something). Is there anything sexual about either of those two that would change your mind if you're planning to vote for them? As long as whatever they're doing doesn't involve kids, animals or m tax dollars, I think I'm pretty much fine with it.
Some Bible Thumpers Never Forgive
That's not to say that everyone is like me, of course. There are still some bible-thumping church ladies who cross a candidate off the list when they stray into the realm of extramarital sex. There is also a portion of the population that will panic at the first sign of homosexual sex, interracial sex, or sex that is not performed in one of the three universally-approved positions. I've got to believe that they're in the minority, though, and for a candidate to eliminate themselves from a political race through a sexual foray, it would have to be something truly memorable--the kind of act you can only find on videos for sale in Tijuana.
This Is All Happening Now
Why is this change taking place? Why is it so different now than it was even a decade ago? Quite simply, the omnipresent modern media has shown us that people have sex with other people, often regardless of little factors like gender, age, race and marital status. We see it every day among politicians, actors, sports stars and more, so desensitization is to be expected. Depending on how you look at it, we're either a wonderfully open-minded civilization or we're hopelessly jaded. Personally, I prefer to think it's the former, but if a presidential candidate is reading this, please understand that when you hire the escort to beat you with licorice ropes and read Shakespearian love sonnets to you, I do not want to hear that you used our taxpayer money to do it.