Looking back at the impeachment of Bill Clinton

Impeaching Bill Clinton in 1998 was the right thing to do. It was the right thing to do not because of perjury and subornation of perjury, but for the sin of adultery and betraying his wife.

Make no mistake: The scandal that defined President Clinton’s second term was about sex, not about perjury. Many Republicans fell into the trap of denying that the scandal was about sex, and I committed the same error. The most important promise a man can make is his vow to remain faithful to his wife. A man who will betray his wife and expose her to national public embarrassment, as well as betray his daughter is someone who cannot be trusted to remain in office. He should have been convicted in the Senate.

Not only that, but the President’s adultery with a White House intern young enough to be his daughter represented a severe power imbalance. Clinton’s adultery was not just a personal moral failing – it was an abuse of his power as President. It is astonishing hypocrisy that a political party that allegedly supports the “Me Too” movement and victims of sexual assault to openly embrace Clinton to this day.

I believe the 1998/1999 impeachment battle broke our politics. Democrats’ behavior in the impeachment of Clinton is one of the primary things that led to the rise of Donald Trump. Before 1998, there was a gentleman’s agreement between the parties that character mattered, which is why people like Gary Hart were forced out of politics when his adultery was revealed.

Democrats shattered that agreement, to the point that millions of Republicans also decided character did not matter – they wanted to “fight fire with fire.” Before the impeachment and its aftermath, it would have been unthinkable that a man who was not only a serial adulterer, but was openly proud of it would become the Republican Party’s nominee for President. Actions have consequences.

We are in a post-Christian culture, which is devolving into a pagan culture. If we as Christians ever want to reclaim our culture and live in a country that respects righteousness, then we need to confess that character matters and that our leaders should be held accountable for these obscene moral failings and violations of God’s Law. We need to stop being afraid of our own shadow and confess God’s Law.