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  • Reverend James Squire

Porn Star




 

Stormy Daniels is a porn star. Most of the nation knows what she has done with her alleged sexual relationship with Trump. Her story has been making its way around Facebook that in essence says that America could be saved by a porn star. She has been vilified by the conservative media. People have looked down their noses at her as though she is the worst of the worst as evidenced that she had this alleged relationship with Trump. He has denied that this took place. He said that he doesn’t really know who she is although the picture of them together with a smirk on his face tells us otherwise. She and McDougall are in his phone directory.

 

Karen McDougal who was a playmate of the month and has had an alledged affair over a long period of time with Trump doesn’t get the criticism of being the lowest of the low the way that Stormy Daniels does. Playmate is respectable. Porn star is not.

 

This is rather confusing from an ethical perspective in that 12% of websites are devoted to porn. 69% of American men and 40% of American women watch porn in any given year.  Porn remains a tremendous popular media globally and in the U. S if these statistics are true. Those statistics seem to indicate that porn has become part of our culture. That is the message found in Psychology Today.

 

So, why do people look down their noses at Stormy Daniels and not so much regarding Karen McDougal?

 

I think that we have things in reverse in the culture. Stormy Daniels may be a porn star but, in my opinion, she is a much more moral character than Trump. It seems that Trump’s evangelical base can’t make that distinction. The Southern Baptists are still fighting abuse cases that in which their pastors were involved to the point that it is a major problem in the denomination.

 

Most people know Trump’s story from the Access Hollywood tape interview. I think that there are people who can feel empathy for Trump which is a key step in Dewey’s Decision-making Steps. His current trial has not changed his poll numbers. In fact, they have improved.

 

Perhaps people would feel differently about who is the immoral person in that relationship with Trump. People seem to forget that his wife, Melania, could not be happy about this. What is it like to be his son who must put up with the commentary about his father?

 

Empathy is a key in counseling in helping people move forward. Let’s look at Stormy Daniels as more than a moral punchline in an off-color joke.

 

NPR did a running commentary about her life from a Peacock Documentary. I will quote from the NPR commentary.

 

“I am here today to tell my story and even if it is just changing a few people’ minds. At least my daughter can look back on this and know the truth.” Daniels alleged that she was abused by a neighbor in Louisiana when she was nine.

 

“She didn’t say no to Trump because it was like I was 9 again. Daniels was in her 20’s and Trump was 60”.

 

“She didn’t want to have the affair, but it was consensual.”

 

“To this day I blame myself and I have not forgiven myself because I didn’t shut him down. I feel like I am partially responsible for every woman that could have come after me.”

 

“The threats against her have been extreme. She did not feel protected by the justice system.”

 

“She didn’t realize she would one day be at the center of this giant thing as she was messing around with some game show host,” Rogen said. “She is someone who made an enemy of the most powerful guy on the planet and didn’t, like, cower.”

 

“Daniels was ordered to pay Trump $293,000 in Defamation Lawsuit.”

 

“She told the truth and paid a price for that,” Kimmel said in the film. It’s not something that just goes away.”

 

We know Trump’s context. The above is Daniels’. Who is the more ethical person?’ I don’t expect that we will reach an unanimous conclusion. What do you think and why? That’s the kind of question I would have my ethics students ponder. My thought is that the argument against Trump’s morality is found in Dewey’s steps by reflecting on the people hurt by Trump. Hundreds of thousands of people died of COVID because of his many failures regarding the outbreak. People may think that Daniels is more moral than Trump based on the Via Media ethic which is guided by the lesser of two evils. Relatively speaking who has been more wrong?

 

I bring this up because of what has transpired on college campuses between students and university administration. Before each ethics class began the term, I told the students that there is no student concern that they could not bring up if it didn’t involve a person in the school or in their family. If it was in the public domain such as in the news, we would address it. There was something paradoxical that happened. I never had an issue come up that wasn’t appropriate to discuss. Why? Basically, I was saying to them that I trusted them to rise to the occasion on any topic that came up. I also was implying that there wasn’t anything that the students could bring up that I couldn’t handle. Administrators on too many college campuses didn’t do that. They seemed afraid of the students whose job was to control them. Stefanik is the model for that approach. That is also what good parenting is about, trust.

 

Northwestern, Brown, Rutgers, and the University of Minnesota to name a few handled the protests in this manner of trust and turned  the volatile situation into a learning situation. 

 


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