There has been much talk in the news about former U.S. First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s likely 2016 presidential run. The focus of discussions lately? A now 16-year-old scandal involving Hillary’s husband, former American President Bill Clinton, and his extramarital affair with then-twenty-something White House intern, Monica Lewinsky.
Many from both sides of the political aisle, Republican and Democrat, have used this to denigrate her character. While not the biggest Clinton cheerleader, I have to honestly ask what difference does it make?
Whatever you feel about Bill Clinton’s actions, he cannot be impeached again. Figuratively speaking, the time has already been served for this particular crime. Even Lewinsky, the alleged victim in this case, had any and all hopes of a viable career in Washington taken away. Should people be marked with a “scarlet letter’’ for the duration of their professional lives because of a personal transgression?
It wasn’t even a transgression committed by Hillary for God’s sake.
In the eyes of some, Hillary committed a crime through deciding to forgive her husband. Quite frankly, it is none of the public’s business whether or not she forgave him, either for genuine heartfelt reasons or political aspirations. Infidelity is a common occurrence and, to those it affects, is not necessarily a relationship deal breaker.
On both sides of the border, elected politicians take an oath to serve the public. It is a politician’s public actions that voters are supposed to take into account. Hillary should be made to answer for her experiences as Senator and Secretary of State alone. There is plenty for political opponents to go after.
You could even make the argument that she should be made to answer criticisms levelled against current President Barack Obama’s administration, under which she served during the first term.
We have plenty of elections approaching us here in Canada as well. It would be a shame to see this type of standard applied to candidates in either the upcoming Toronto municipal or Ontario provincial elections.
Everybody has skeletons in their closets. Be careful which ones come tumbling out when you choose to attack someone else.