Does It Matter?

Twenty-two million Americans tuned into 60 Minutes to learn about Pres. Trump’s alleged affair with a pornographic actress. One might be tempted to say that such affairs should have no bearing on a person’s ability to be the commander in chief. John F. Kennedy had plenty of mistresses; Lyndon B. Johnston had more.

Yet Bill Clinton’s affair with an intern got him impeached and almost cost him the presidency; Al Franken lost a seat in the senate for repeated, tasteless invasions of personal space. The philanderings of men who crave power must mean something, right? Especially in the “MeToo” era?

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16 Responses to Does It Matter?

  1. Kaelon McNeece says:

    In this new, modern era, those who previously had a voice have now become empowered to speak out against injustices against them and against others. When involved in an intimate relationship with someone of high power, especially if they’re the president, a person can feel pressured into the relationship. Simply imagining the possibilities of what angering someone with high power that just might be unstable or vengeful enough to act upon it can do is frightening. Therefore, it seems reasonable that someone might feel discouraged to speak out against what has happened to them by power-hungry notable figures in society. Thankfully, society’s newfound trait of listening to and condemning the exploits of the power hungry have given those that have been wronged a floor to speak on that will be acted upon.

  2. Brianna Leigh Ladnier says:

    In the case of Donald’s affair with Mrs. Daniels, I would like to first point out that it was entirely consensual. Ms. Daniels made it clear that she was not in the same position as many of the women we have seen in the Me Too Movement in terms of being pressured into sexual intercourse through someone in significant power. Stormy Daniels had an entirely consensual, sexual relationship with Mr. Trump.
    However, similarly to the Me Too Movement, Ms. Daniels was pressured into signing a nondisclosure agreement by intimidation. In doing so, several unethical practices took place. Mrs. Daniel states that she originally wasn’t going to sign the nondisclosure agreement. However, one day she was putting her daughter into her car and locking her in her car seat when a man approached her. She stated that he whispered in her ear that she better do what Mr. Trump wanted her to do. Then, she said he looked at her daughter and said “What a beautiful daughter. I’d hate to see something happen to her mom…” Mr. Trump claims all of Mrs. Daniel’s recounting of the events is false, and as far as I know, Mr. Trump does not even admit to knowing about the nondisclosure agreement or even having the affair. This is where I believing Mr.Trump’s affair can be distinguished from a marital problem to a problem for his presidency.
    If a president has an affair with multiple women and simply refuses to speak on the subject but continues his actions, I believe that is between the wife, husband, and mistresses. There should be no harm outside those relationships, and I disagree strongly with cheating, but I do not believe the public should throw their pitchforks in the air for an unfaithful president. However, they should begin to become angry when their president lies to the entire nation about his actions. If Trump and his staff refused to speak on the subject, I feel this would be a much less significant case. There have been plenty of women who have accused Mr. Trump of having a sexual relationship while he was married. However, most of those have faded away without problems because Mr. Trump generally ignored the allegations.
    However, Mr. Trump and his staff have been adamantly denying Ms. Daniel’s claims consistently, despite evidence of Ms. Daniel being given $130,000 by Trump’s lawyer. The lawyer states that it was out of his own pocket, but it is difficult to believe a lawyer would give someone $130,000 to keep quiet out of his own pocket without notifying Mr. Trump. There was also evidence of a nondisclosure agreement with all the signature necessary present, other than Mr. Trump. This was yet another tactic used by men in power quite often that female business persons especially need to be watched for. The reason behind this is they are not legally bound by the contract, so if they decide to break it whenever they chose to they can keep the document unsigned. However, if the female, Ms. Daniels in this case, breaks the nondisclosure agreement first, he can sign the document in that moment and take the woman to court for breaching the contract.
    This is hard to pull off to someone who knows their way around the world, especially if they themselves have a lawyer present. However, Mr. Trump supposedly used his position of power to trick both Ms. Daniels and the lawyer by continuously pressuring her to sign it and claiming the lack of Mr. Trump’s signature was due to his extremely busy schedule and the fact she did not want to do to him what he was about to do to her.He used his power to manipulate her, and that shared undeniable similarities with the MeToo Movement.
    Another reason I believed this situation blew up other than the legal troubles and lying president is the media blowing up the negatives of this story. Every time I have seen this news story being covered, with few exceptions, has been in the favor of Ms. Daniels attacking Trump. I watch a variety of news sources, so it does not lie in the fact of my blindsidedness, for I will watch anything from CNN to FoxNews to the YoungTurks to Alex Jones to John Oliver to Tomi Lauren. However, those who normally ruthlessly defend Trump even if he killed a puppy were generally silent on the issue. If anything, they would attack Ms. Daniel’s career and state she only wants the money, but they never defended him with the kind of evidence the other end of the spectrum presented. Those who would attack Mr. Trump for wearing the wrong shirt color immidiately bombarded their listeners with different cases, testimonies, and evidence of this situation occuring, so I do believe this played a large factor in exploding this story.

  3. Kamaljyot Bhalla says:

    To a certain degree of course this doesn’t matter. How does an affair with the President of the United States affect politics? It does not. But at the same time, one can begin to think about what that says about not only our president, but our nation as a whole. When allegations like this begin to arise, it may be better to not only question those involved, but us as a whole as well. People outside of the US judge us by such news. Not only is this just sad, but pathetic as well. May there one come a day where such allegations would not be “popular” and the #metoo movement will be of history and not the future.

  4. Tija Johnson says:

    This is a tricky subject because to a certain degree the american people will judge you based on your past & present actions. I feel that people don’t like him as a person or president so they will use anything to tarnish his name. (Please don’t I’m sticking up for him. God no.) I also feel that when you are in the public eye, you are held to a higher standard (not saying its right but its true) and on many occasions Donald has failed to meet those standards. This incident just goes to his credibility as a person, not necessarily what he can do as a “president.” (I still don’t think he’s suitable for such title but hey, that’s what they elected.) Tragic.

  5. Dev Jaiswal says:

    It might be reasonable to say that Donald Trump’s nocturnal misadventures do not affect his ability to be President. However, these allegations do affect the reputation of America as a nation and the view with which people around the globe look at our country and its peoples. How good of a country can America be and how honest and trustworthy can its people be if the American president, who supposedly is the amalgamation of American values in a person, is having affairs with pornographic actresses? I have heard this questioning of American “goodness” firsthand. I was visiting family in India when Donald Trump became President. After the news of his election, Indian social media was littered with “memes” that highlighted the people’s election of Trump as hilariously stupid. The view many Indians held of America fell that night. If this allegation were to be true, that view would only fall further, something I would hate to see happen as a proud Indian-American.
    Abuse of power is also an issue. Can someone say “no” to the President of the United States? Hopefully the “Me-Too” movement is successful in exposing the wrongdoings of those abusing their positions of power. Perhaps these exposures will cause Americans to hold themselves more accountable, and perhaps the view the world currently holds of the U.S. will improve over time.

  6. Ihatepolitics says:

    It is not just the affair that people are upset by. It is the fact that he is lying. He has denied the affair from the beginning ,and will not admit to him paying her to not talk about the affair. The people though take it as if he can lie about being faithful to his wife what else could he be lying about. It is especially true for his supporters questioning him, considering that they would primarily vote for the keeping of marriage to being a faithful relationship between a man and a women.

  7. Millie Perdue says:

    When we elect leaders, it is a given (hopefully) that we automatically hold them to higher standards as to best represent the ideas and personality of the nation as a whole. If a normal man, in a normal town had divorced many times, had three children, and cheated on his current wife, the townspeople likely wouldn’t be surprised, but it doesn’t make the man very liked. Many would probably question his morals. So if we can’t trust the President to uphold a basic decency in home life, (not even mentioning his numerous speech which overstepped boundaries) how can we trust him to represent the country. How does this look to other countries? I feel bad for his wife, even more so for his children for having to deal with the awkward situation and not having the power to do anything about it. The power-hungry never seem to be full, just as those thirsty for lust never seem to be quenched. If that statement could apply literally, the President would, in his current position, probably still be a dehydrated, starving man.

  8. Loveish Sarolia says:

    The issue of President Trump having an affair with a pornographic actress is not the primary concern for many as it does not personally affect them. However, the nominee he recommended for a federal judgeship believed that gay marriage would lead to polygamy and as a result show “Satan’s Plan”. If my president follows the ideals of the bigots he elects, then I’ll be damned. The idea of cheating on your wife has sadly become more socially acceptable as divorce rates grow higher. That, however, does not excuse it from becoming a moral issue. The rest of the world already thinks of Americans as idiots for voting for Donald Trump, a candidate with no previous political experience and large business assets that are heavily impacted by his presidency. President Trump needs to listen to his voters and stay in the shadows while passing acceptable bills until his presidency inevitably dies out.

  9. Indu Nandula says:

    It is definitely appropriate to say that what happens behind closed doors does not affect a leader’s ability. However, it affects the perception of said leader, more specifically, the perception of his.her leadership abilities. It is human nature to judge people based on their actions, be they current or in the past. Moreover, this affects the perception of the United States. Such actions can be seen as being able to tarnish the nation’s reputation on a global scale.
    In an different context, it is particularly pertinent that Mr. Trump was dishonest about his intimate actions with Ms. Daniels. This lack of integrity on the part of our leader contributes greatly to a negative perception of the United States. As a leader, he is definitely held to a higher standard than the commonfolk, but not only does this tarnish our nation, but it makes him look even more rotten than ever (not that he isn’t already).

  10. Jaylen Hopson says:

    No human being should have their past dredged up without reason. Regardless of the person’s acceptance rate, craving of women, or men for that matter, is not a valid reason to question a leaders ability. The sexual interest of an individual and the overall competence of a leader have no direct correlation. The only way that it could affect the nation is if these affairs were somehow transferring political power, of which there is no proof. The public’s ample interest in the pasts of these powerful men is nothing less than an invasion of privacy. As long as both parties are willing and no one is hurt, there are nearly no repercussions for those uninvolved. If, however, the person in power is married during the affair, and the spouse is in a position of power such as the First Lady, then the situation changes completely. The spouse in question would no doubt be affected negatively by the philandering. In any other case, the publication of powerful men’s philandering only serves to slander, but the media cannot be blamed for doing their job of spreading truths and getting ratings.

  11. Theresa Ho says:

    Although I strongly disagree with cheating on your significant other, I don’t believe that you should lose everything just because of a thing of the past. It doesn’t mean that you as an individual are a terrible person and it definitely doesn’t automatically affect how you perform your job. I think people are just too harsh whenever someone makes a mistake or does something you don’t agree with. Learn to forgive and move on with your life. Holding grudges on people won’t change what they did in the past. All they can do is try better next time to not do it again.

  12. Annanesya James says:

    No matter their power, they are all still human. No one should be blamed for what has happened in the past. However, people believe that since they are in such positions of power that they set some kind of standard of how everyone should act. This is not the case. They are human, you are human, we all make mistakes. I don’t believe this is any reason for all hell to break loose and for every one to act like barbarians, but you should be a decent person no matter how decent the person leading your country is. This being said, I wouldn’t (and I’d like to believe no one else would) want to have to stand behind and put the trust of my country in the hands of someone who has had questionable actions, but that’s what voting is for.

  13. Sophia says:

    While I would consider cheating on your partner morally wrong, I don’t believe an affair should cost someone everything they’ve worked for. However, I do believe that being unable to tell the truth to the american people (as in the case of clinton with lewinsky and trump on 60 minutes) or a non consensual act (as trump himself bragged about with his famed “grab her by the” radio tape) should undoubtedly disqualify someone from holding public office

  14. Kerrigan A Clark says:

    The philanderings of these men do mean something in the U.S. We as Americans examine the lifestyles of our Presidents because we see them as a role model of how we should carry ourselves on a daily basis. Also we look to our President for hope, strength, and stability. When you go and you see your president cheating on his wife or getting into trouble because he is harassing a women, that sends a not so positive message to not just the rest of America but to the world. It shows Americans that we can act like this because our President acts like this and it also shows the world the same thing. There are countries where women are getting raped and killed everyday and the perpetrators are looking at the U.S. saying, Oh if the men in power can do it then so can we. The President and high elected officials should carry themselves with more dignity and respect, especially for our country.

  15. Sidney Mason says:

    I do not assume that the president of the United States has an infinite amount of free time to spend exciting his sexual pressures with various women, excluding his wife. Although, in the time that he does possess not dedicated to running an entire country, I don’t feel as if it is any of the public’s concern. What happens in the president’s bedroom should remain in that bedroom. If and until an affair turns into a conflict of interest regarding the well being and prosperity of the country, we do not have the right to insert our opinions of the presidents marital status anywhere. Without additional cause to believe the president is incapable of fulfilling his duties as the leader of our nation we should assume that his personal affairs bear no conflict of interest with his responsibilities

  16. Joshua Seid says:

    While the interests of these political figures outside their offices may not directly affect their job abilities, it gives the public insights. These are eye-opening snippets of their “leaders” lives that tell where their interests and morals lie. So yes, in a way, they do affect their jobs.

    On another note, this system can be very much abused. The efforts required to accuse someone of something are far less than that required to disprove such claims. In many jobs, people make enemies. It is an unavoidable reality for some and is an unfair threat that some honest people must face.

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