Now that I think about it and this Newsweek article that was written by David Friend contributed to it and even though he didn't argue this himself, but the more I think about it the 1990s is the decade when Liberals won the Cultural War. Because there was one scandal after another both in politics and government, but in entertainment as well and yet America survived it and we prospered so much as a country in that decade with the end of the Cold War and the economic boom of that decade thanks to new trade, new technology, the deficit coming down and actually leading to a balanced budget by 1998. (Ask a Millennial what a balanced budget is and they'll tell you its a budget where everything is spent equally, because they've never seen one before) And a lot of Americans perhaps especially my Generation X, but Baby Boomers decided as a generation and country that its OK.
So what if a politician sleeps with women they're not married to and cheats on their wives. Thats bad for their wives and their children, but that doesn't affect me and its not my business anyway. Which I believe was the attitude about all of these scandals where it didn't involve people actually getting physically hurt or falsely accused. We go from the King of Tabloids who was Donald Trump (yes, the same man) in New York and all of his affairs with other women when he was married with kids at the time, to Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas who just happened to be running for President in 1991-92 and one famous affair that he had in that time period of the late 1980s and early 1990s with Gennifer Flowers.
To entertainment celebrities like Tommy Lee (from Motley Crew) and actress Pam Anderson and they having their sexual affair literally in public and making a video about it. O.J. Simpson was a real true crime story with two real murders involved and in that sense at least was a real story with real significance. Ao in that extent at least it was a serious story. But it was a tabloid story because of the main character involved, the other serious characters involved and where the story took place which was Los Angeles.
But go from the mid 1990s to the late 1990s and again with Bill Clinton who in many ways was a Hollywood character the John F. Kennedy with the cameras always on him with reporters writing down everything they hear and find out about him, but then reporting it, unlike with JFK. With the Jack Stanton character from the movie Primary Colors (played by John Travolta) almost seeming too real. To Bill Clinton's last sex scandal from the 1990s involving him and a White House intern in Monica Lewinsky who is only two years older than me and 27 years younger than Bill Clinton obviously young enough to be his daughter.
But if that doesn't seem to be a big enough Hollywood story for you, how about the Speaker of the U.S. House Newt Gingrich who made it a priority of his to remove President Bill Clinton from the White House (one way or another) and was President Clinton's biggest critic of the 1990s, as well as one of his best partners as far as the legislation they were able to pass together in that divided government and continually bashed the President as being immoral for his sex scandals especially the Lewinsky scandal, gets caught having an affair with his secretary while he was married to another women. Newt Gingrich winning the title of Hypocrite in-chief. He closest he would ever come to being President.
America goes through all these scandals, the Christian-Right in America which has had more of their own share of sex scandals and other scandals in America (Jim Bakker, Jim Swaggart, etc) and yet they reach their highest point in America as far as political power and having a veto voice inside the Republican Party as far as where they have to be politically and get to decide its presidential nominees. The Republican Party wins complete control of Congress of 1994 winning back the House for the first time since 1953 which they would hold onto until 2007 and win back the Senate in 1994 that they would hold onto until 2001. Plus the GOP would hold at least 30 governorships and a majority of state legislatures in the mid and late 1990s and would hold all of that power other than losing the Senate in 2001 and win back the presidency in 2001, until the late 2000s when Democrats finally won back the House and Senate in 2006.
With all of this political power moving to the Right and even Far-Right in the 1990s, Americans as a people and I believe with Generation X completely coming of age in the 1990s being a big factor of this, we essentially decided as a country, so what! So what if free adults have consensual affairs with people other than their spouses. Thats a matter between them and their families. Not something that should be decided by government certainly and shouldn't cost people their jobs even in public office simply because they're in loyal spouses.
I believe the 1990s gave rise to gay rights movement of the 2000s, and movements that opposed the War on Drugs, privacy thanks to the War on Terror in the 2000s, becoming a big issue and concern with the belief that government was becoming big government in our personal lives. The Culture War was ending in the 1990s because of everything that we went through as a country and people being able to see all of these individual scandals that in the 1950s would have ruined most Americans if those scandals were made public and in many cases people would have faced serious legal consequences for them even if they were private and consensual.
Americans saw these scandals and saw a lot of people behaving badly and irresponsibly, but deciding that those affairs aren't mind and people weren't getting hurt physically, financially, or being falsely libeled because of what someone did to them, this is not something that I should be personally concern with. And just let the people who were affected by this personal behavior decide for themselves what and if should be done about it. Instead of big government stepping in.
|Source: Watch Mojo- OJ, WJC & CK|
Watch Mojo: Top 10 Defining Moments in 1990s America