WASHINGTON – Twenty-five years ago on Nov. 3, 1992, William Jefferson Clinton was elected president of the United States – and Hillary Clinton is still trying to take his place.
As historians and pundits recall his third-way presidency, another slice of his legacy can’t be ignored – the trickle-down effect of his womanizing, his DNA-proved extramarital involvement with Monica Lewinsky in the nation’s most important workplace and the couple’s treatment of women overall, from “bimbo eruptions” to Paula Jones to Juanita Broaddrick.
The behavior of adults at the top of the food chain seeps into the culture and can’t be extracted from events of the future. Today’s eruptions of sexual harassment claims can be explained as a volcanic reaction to simmering rage among women, who, as a group, have been sexualized, victimized and silenced for too long. We have reached not so much a tipping point as a boiling point.
What goes up comes down, all right. But what goes underground – forced to steep in darkness and silence – comes back up with a vengeance.