So, I’m trying to keep straight my politically correct morality score card: Pornography, for instance: does it remain a seedy, embarrassing pastime which ought to be publicly frowned upon? Or, in 2017, has it become perfectly respectable entertainment? It’s all a bit confusing, you see, because the whole Ted Cruz/Twitter-pornography thing has stirred up quite the giddily scandalized reaction.
For those not in the know, earlier last week a sexually explicit video clip turned up on Senator Ted Cruz’s Twitter account and, apparently, someone from his office “liked” it. “It was an honest mistake,” he’s insisted; a staffer accidentally hit the wrong button.
There’s every reason to accept the Texas Republican’s benign explanation.
Still, for discussion’s sake let’s stipulate he had been caught checking out sleaze flagrante delicto. What if he was watching the lewd loop? What if it was his cursor that clicked that “heart” button? Considering today’s enthusiasm for all things degenerate — exactly what’s the problem? From TV, film, music and, most recently, even the political landscape, the workaday American is unrelievedly hammered with insouciant claims that even the grossest, most dissolute eroticism is simply no bigee. Anyone peeping out an objection? Practically any objection at all? They’re mercilessly lampooned as puritanical, oppressive, obsessive.
I know: it’s “the hypocrisy” element that is the supposed centerpiece of the Cruz hub-bub. It’s not misbehavior that is the offense but having the crust to remark against misbehavior. That gets up folks’ hackles. Cruz, recall, is a “right-winger” and — grab the smelling salts — a famously outspoken, pro-family, pro-marriage Christian. If he’s been busted peeking at dirty movies? Well …
But hold on. The hypocrisy snipe poses a real problem for a sizable chunk of the “Cruz-is-the-Devil” set, most of whom are doubtless liberal Democrats. Who, pray tell, are their heroes?
Hillary Clinton comes to mind — the supposed feminist champion who’s invested a substantial part of her adult life running interference for her sex-abuser husband. Or perhaps Vermont’s junior Senator is their man — Bernie “Lake-Champlain-Beachfront-house” Sanders. He’s a phony, too, of course. When he’s not yawping like a flame-eyed Red, he’s enjoying incongruous affluence at any one of his three — count ’em! — residences. (Sounding the Marxist siren-song while living like a one-percenter? Great work if you can snag it, Mr. Elected Official.)
Admittedly, we’ve come to expect moral schizophrenia from contemporary progressivism’s precincts. Really, what choice do they have? Not a few of their most heralded icons — hound dogs like Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy, even the latter’s older brother John F., hardly comported themselves in off-hours like the soul of gentlemanly virtue.
Until approximately two years ago, however, political and social conservatives could be counted on to supply an alternate narrative: Yes, there is distinctly delineated right and wrong, including below-the-waist matters. Sex is an important, maybe even sacred business; not a bibelot to be used, then cast aside at the user’s convenience. If none else, the dreaded “Christian Right” was expected to uphold some vestige of these standards; demanding basic, time-honored decency.
A good part of that presumption, alas, has evaporated. When “our guy” was caught on video lasciviously sniggering like a fourteen-year-old lothario about his exploits with women not his wife, an outbreak of leftist-level excuse-making and rationalizations suddenly swamped Republican talking points, “conservative” media and talk radio. “It was only ‘locker-room banter’.” “All men speak like that in private.” “Hillary’s hubby did worse!”
To be clear: oodles of GOP-voting, Bible-believing “Evangelicals” and devout Catholics fell right in line with this relativistic crap. “Lesser of two evils”, don’cha know.
Real head-scratching stuff.
And how about the plague of US military muckety-mucks suddenly being demoted or even relieved from duty; a “growing list of generals and admirals mired in scandal”, including sexual profligacy, adultery, racy text messaging. USA Today: “top officers [were] found to have been carousing at strip clubs, swinging with multiple partners and frequenting prostitutes in Asia.” In the past year, six generals in the Army alone have been “punished for sexual misconduct or improper interactions with women.”
Putting the question forward one more time: Why all the angst? I thought these sorts of shenanigans were ineluctable, to be expected invariably among “alpha male”, “great leader” types?
Mind you, the Creator of every human being — male, warrior, head honcho, head-of-state included — rates the chap who controls himself more impressive than the one who captures cities (Proverbs 16:32). Conquering yourself? Much more splendid than any military – or sexual — conquest.
Was it toward the end of last century, or a lifetime ago, that General Norman Schwarzkopf wrote, “The main ingredient of good leadership is good character … because leadership involves conduct, and conduct is determined by values.”
Western Civilization is being challenged afresh: Do we throw in with founder Sam Adams? He charged,
Nothing is more essential to the establishment of manners in a State than that all persons employed in places of power and trust must be men of unexceptionable characters … The public cannot be too curious concerning the characters of pubic men
Or, in the shock-wave of twenty-first century hedonism do our convictions implode? Does the urging of voluptuary Liberals and, lately, sloppy, shallow Conservatives lull us into abandoning any elevated expectations of our leaders? That they ought to observe fundamental rectitude — even behind the scenes?
The “let-us-eat-and-drink-for-tomorrow-we-die” secularists and libertines – either Left or Right — can’t have it both ways. If people are actually only less-shaggy beasts, if a fornication-saturated, hormone-dominated culture is to be celebrated, if mankind is to be ruled by its glands and appetites — then when a church-going, traditionalist standard-bearer succumbs to their animalistic philosophy, no tsk-tsking is permitted. Nor moralizing of any stripe. Point of fact, from materialists’ perspectives, it ought to be regarded as progress; even if it transforms our society into a sewer.