Jakarta -The United States, the big country, is always overwhelmed with the scandal of infidelity by their presidents. Since 1804, until President Donald Trump, the issue has always been repeated and the facts are true.
President Donald Trump is traveling on an obsolete street in the history of the presidency.
He fought in a legal battle with porn actress Stormy Daniels, who said Trump had an affair with him a decade ago and Trump’s lawyer paid “secret money” to keep him silent about adultery. Daniels is expected to add more fuel to the storm of fire in a “60 Minute” interview with CBS scheduled to run later this month.
But the Trump critic predicts the struggle – permanently – endangers his political standing and may destroy his presidency by deceiving themselves. That’s because the allegations of the president’s sexual carelessness are nothing new, and the president and successful presidential candidate have overcome this storm with minimal long-term damage in the past.
The dynamics return to the early (history) of the Republic. In 1804, Thomas Jefferson was re-elected as America’s third president even though he was publicly accused of immoral acts for having an affair with Sally Hemings, one of the slaves on his plantation in Monticello, Virginia. This relationship emerged as a campaign issue when Jefferson’s opponents spread articles accusing him of having several children with Hemings. Jefferson still won easily. (In recent years, DNA tests set Jefferson to be the father of six Hemings children.)
Another president who managed to deal with the affair was Grover Cleveland. As governor of New York, he was known as a political reformer when he became Democratic presidential nominee in 1884. But his opponents dredged the allegations of having an affair with a woman named Maria Crofts Halpin who gave birth to the Cleveland Son. Cleveland said he was not convinced he was a father, but admitted an inappropriate relationship and noted he paid a child allowance for a while in 1874.
The problem for his opponents was Senator James Blaine of Maine, Republican presidential nominee in 1884, having to deal with his own financial scandal, which is generally considered worse than Cleveland’s sexual offenses.
Cleveland won the last election. His opponents had yelled at their campaign, “Ma, Ma, where is my Daddy?” But after his victory, supporters came up with a counter spell, “Ma, Ma, where my Daddy? Go to the White House, ha, ha ha.”
The personal side of the Cleveland story does not end there. As president in 1886, he married Frances Folsom, 21, who was 27 years his junior and known Cleveland as the daughter of a friend when he was a child.
The marriage caused a sensation due to their age difference and because Frances was an unbearable subject for the newspaper as a young, accomplished and beautiful woman who soon became a celebrity. The intense media interest in their relationship and the repeated attempts to invade the couple’s privacy, even on their honeymoon, transformed President Cleveland against journalists and photographers covering it.
He does not call them “enemies” of the American public, because President Trump has described the “fake” media today, but Cleveland condemns journalists as “distractions” and “animals.”
In recent years, President Warren Harding, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson are female seducers, historians say.
However, the media did not publish such things at the time and the affair did not matter much during their nomination.
These patterns were tested again by Bill Clinton 20 years ago. During the 1992 campaign, he was accused of adultery but still won the White House. As president, he was dismissed by Parliament in December 1998 because he lied under oaths about his affair with former staff at the White House Monica Lewinsky. After a very public exposure of the obscene allegations, the Senate freed him and refused to remove him from office.
However, the episode caused Clinton to spend a full year of his presidency when he fought the allegations expressed by special prosecutors and the news media.
Clinton is very embarrassed by impeachment, but he succeeds in persuading most Americans despite his flawed personal life he is a good president because his public policy produces prosperity and keeps the United States out of the big war.
At the end of his presidency, his job approval ratings have recovered. Other presidents have overcome the sex scandal, showing public policy more than just personal sin.
Currently, some women accuse Trump of sexually abusing and making unwanted advances in the past, which he has rejected. This accusation erupted during the 2016 campaign but he also won. Despite repeating his accusers on past accusations since then, he remains popular with his political base.
Of course there are some big differences in the Trump case. No other president, for example, has been accused of having sex with a porn star, as claimed by Stormy Daniels. (Trump says this never happened.)
The main thing is that he’s on a worn-out street filled with the scary details that other presidents have. And Donald Trump might do it too.