Why nobody cares about the Stormy Daniels allegations against Donald Trump

By Jonathon Van Maren

Those of you who follow politics will have been exposed, in all likelihood, to the latest distasteful news about President Donald Trump’s pre-presidency personal life. Stephane Clifford, a porn performer who went by the name Stormy Daniels, has accused the president of having an affair with her shortly after his marriage to his current wife Melania. She also claims that she took a $130,000 hush payment from Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, and recounted the details of the alleged affair in a CBS’ 60 Minutes interview with Anderson Cooper.

Since the story broke, liberals have been triumphantly accusing Trump supporters—and most notably evangelicals, who turned out for Trump in enormous numbers—of blatant and unforgivable hypocrisy. They seem to be shocked that the Stormy Daniels interview does not appear to have budged Trump’s approval ratings, which stood at 44% prior to the interview and dropped by a mere 2% after the interview, a dip well within the margin of error. Nearly 22 million people watched the interview, and it seems that most responded with a collective shrug. How is it possible, progressives are demanding, that the same people who claim to care so much about morality and the sanctity of marriage can be so unaffected by these revelations?

The answer is a simple and obvious one: The issue of Trump’s scummy personal life and string of adulteries was already litigated ad nauseum in the past election, and voters decided that these things were not enough to push them into the Clinton camp. The reason nobody is surprised by these allegations—which Trump denies, but the public appears to believe—is that it is entirely consistent with what voters heard before the election. Melania, after all, is his third wife, and Trump cheated on her two predecessors, Ivana Trump and Marla Maples. He bragged about his affairs in his books. The Billy Bush tapes caught him boasting, after his marriage to Melania, of making aggressive moves on women. The Stormy Daniels revelations, in that context, are barely “revelations”: They are simply another, albeit repulsive and graphic, confirmation of what everyone knew before they voted.

The story of why evangelical and conservative voters cast their ballot for Trump despite his long and public history of blatant and unrepentant adultery has already been told, over and over again. Stephen Mansfield wrote an entire book, Choosing Trump, on precisely that topic. I wrote a long essay over at LifeSiteNews shortly after the election, explaining why social conservatives preferred a man like Donald Trump to the radically pro-abortion opponent of religious liberty Hillary Clinton. Nobody voted for Donald Trump because they thought he was a virtuous man. They voted for him to keep Clinton out of the White House, and because he promised that he would be an ally when it came to policy and judicial appointments—a promise he has thus far largely kept.

Of course, there are a few sycophants that do seem to confirm the progressive narrative, with Jerry Falwell Jr. of Liberty University being the most egregious example. There is nothing that Trump can do, it seems, that will dissuade Falwell from ceasing his full-throated defence of Trump’s actions and his character. Falwell has embarrassed himself on public television numerous times throughout Trump’s short presidency, and one gets the distinct feeling that he wants to be a political player like his father was. But aside from a few cringeworthy outliers, most evangelicals have no desire to defend Trump’s actions—they simply defend their choice to vote for him over Hillary Clinton.

Don’t get me wrong here. I think that moral character is extremely important, and I wrote a barrage of unpopular columns on that subject during the election. But the Left does not seem to realize that their belated virtue-signalling on marital fidelity does absolutely nothing to convince voters that they should have voted for a woman who cynically intimidated and discredited her own predatory husband’s conquests, and that their communities would be better off with Clinton in the White House. It wouldn’t’ surprise me in the slightest if there are more allegations or revelations in the future. And if they do, they will again come and go with barely a blip. Decade-old allegations of another Trump affair is simply not new, and to almost everyone, it is certainly not news.


For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.

3 thoughts on “Why nobody cares about the Stormy Daniels allegations against Donald Trump

  1. Sam says:

    Interesting. I believe you missed the point as to why progressives are astonished at Trump’s support remaining high despite his affairs. The progressives received the full brunt of the family values conservative scorn for any and all attempts to liberalize the country, e.g. same sex marriage, etc. But now, those same conservatives overlook Trump’s decidedly anti family values behaviour.

    Can the argument be made that Evangelicals supported Trump for his pro-life policies over Hillary’s pro-choice policies? Absolutely. However, Evangelicals have given Trump a pass on his immoral behaviour. There is no need to actively support Trump any longer – Hillary is not anywhere near the picture – and Evangelicals are free to drop their support in exchange for keeping their family values intact. Don’t forget, Evangelicals are free to support the policies they like but also criticize the President for his behaviour. And, interestingly enough 42% more White American Protestants said that personal indiscretions do not disqualify a candidate from office in late 2016 than in 2011. What was the difference between those two times?

    However, what has happened here is the conservatives have shown that their family values are not actually held that important – they refuse to stop supporting Trump or to denounce him the way they would anyone else. Seriously, the Republicans investigated Bill Clinton for a single, arguably much less problematic, sex act and almost impeached him for the aftermath.

    Bottom line – the progressives are saying “don’t lecture me about family values anymore”. Evangelicals relinquished that card through their continuing support for Trump, despite the need for it disappearing. That is the source of progressive astonishment, not

    • john zylstra says:

      family values are important… but so is behaviour in office, vs behaviour years before being in office. PRObab ly many conservatives feel betrayeed even by politicians in general, such as behaviour by the Kennedys, and even FDR who otherwise seemed to be reasonable leaders, even if they were not conservatives. so why should the conservatives sacrifice their own champion on the basis of his own personal behaviour, when the liberals never seemed to do so, playing both sides of the fence, promoting all kinds of immorality as freedom, and condemning the conservatives on their own moral standards. of course, evangelicals know that no one is perfect, but concentrating on that seemed to leave the deaths of thousands, millions of unborn as casualtys on the battlefield of these so-called freedoms. As reprehensible and as sad as some of trumps actions have been in the past, how is it better to support not only the sexual immorality of the liberals, but also the deaths of millions of unborn, the total illogical and irrational revision of gender, marriage, and sexuality in general?

      • Sam says:

        I’m not saying the evangelical support for Trump’s pro-life policies is in any way wrong – this is, or at least should be, perfectly expected given the pro life position of the conservative evangelicals. Instead, I’m arguing that the undying support for Trump across the board (or at least the apologies for him which make it seem like supporting him across the board) creates a scenario which appears contradictory to progressives.

        I agree that conduct prior to and during the time in office is important. The electorate can only choose who to put in office based on the pre-election conduct and will judge the politician by their conduct in office. I think that old (or older) allegations are important (within reason – a single fairly minor high school indiscretion probably shouldn’t disqualify a politician) but Trump’s Stormy Daniels affair was in 2006 … when he was about 59. Is that an old indiscretion? Does that still matter? Did he ask for forgiveness? Did he apologize? These are the issues for the electorate to mull over and decide.

        I also agree that politicians for both sides let the electorate down many many times – I think it is important to send those politicians the message that their actions/indiscretions are improper and not to be tolerated.

        I do take issue with liberals not sacrificing their own politicians for indiscretions. Yes, liberals adhere to a different ethical code, which introduces some noise in the signal; however, when the liberal politician crosses the liberal line, the liberals are happy to dethrone them (see Anthony Weiner, Al Franken, John Conyers).

        Perhaps the best way to explain the way liberals are responding right now is the two different ethical codes held by the groups. I’m certain we can agree that evangelicals have a stricter ethical code, especially when it comes to sexuality, than the liberals. The liberals are using their looser ethical code to judge Trump’s actions, finding his actions wanting on the looser standard, then wonder how the evangelicals with the stricter standard can support him.

        The fundamental issue is that there hasn’t been a separation in the evangelical support between Trump’s pro-life policies, which it makes perfect for evangelicals to support, and the evangelical support for Trump’s indiscretions. It is this lack of separation that confuses the liberals and incites a visceral reaction.

        I also think it is entirely possibly to send Trump the message that evangelicals like his policies but that his behaviour needs cleaning up. Furthermore, punishing Trump for his indiscretions does not mean you support the liberal policies as you noted above – evangelicals would just be trying to optimize their politician.

        By the way, sorry for ending the above post without a proper sentence. I was rearranging the post and missed the final edits before posting.

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