America Likes Her Heroes Humble

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Mary Claire Kendall Author, Oasis: Conversion Stories of Hollywood Legends
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Celebrities like Katy Perry and Robert Downey, Jr. are advocating getting naked to get out the vote. Perry bared all in a “Funny or Die” video. And, in a savetheday.vote video, Downey volunteers Mark Ruffalo for a nude scene in his next film.

Yet, liberals are shocked, shocked that gambling is going on in Casablanca, so to speak, judging by their reaction to Donald Trump’s 11-year-old Access Hollywood hot mic ‘locker room banter.’ Something Hillary Clinton tried to keep alive in Sunday night’s debate. “Horrific,” she had earlier tweeted to describe the incident.

It is the height of hypocrisy.  Especially considering Bill Clinton’s sexual misconduct and Hillary’s ill-treatment of the victims, which Trump raised in response before, with his presser featuring these women, and at the debate.

And, it’s equal opportunity hypocrisy. Many conservative Republican officeholders have quickly lined up to say they cannot support Trump given his language. Well, the truth is, there’s been plenty of boorish behavior by powerful men in the Republican firmament—including by some of the very ones now denouncing Trump, said Trump-Pence campaign manager Kellyanne Conway in a post-debate interview with Hardball’s Chris Matthews.

Of course, everyone agrees what Donald Trump said was wildly inappropriate and offensive.

It is also true that our culture is sex-drenched.  And to pretend it is an aberration of ‘horrific’ proportions for a normal heterosexual guy to talk and behave in ways that do not comport with the relevant Ten Commandments, especially given present-day norms, is farcical.

Our culture is sick. Just look at the booming, multi-billion dollar pornography business in America, buttressed by hotel chains like Marriott International, founded by the venerable Mormon, J. Willard Marriott, Sr. They offered the euphemistically named “adult entertainment” for decades; albeit, recently, especially in the last five years, these hotel chains have stopped offering porn out of monetary, not moral, considerations.

If we really cared about our sex-drenched culture and its soul-numbing impact on both men and women, that would be the focus; not this “gotcha” game where Trump is now on political death watch. (Though his stellar performance in Sunday’s debate surely staunched the bleeding.)

Donald Trump was a playboy. We get it.  But is he still?

Word is, in recent years he had a spiritual conversion and that’s why he is running for president. He’s got the talent and he can “make America great again.” He wants to give back. In fact, he told a group of evangelicals in Florida, he thinks it’s his path to heaven.

It’s a good point. Clearly, running for president has not been an exercise of undiluted pleasure for Trump, and it has surely expiated a great many of his sins.

Just like the stars I wrote about in Oasis: Conversion Stories of Hollywood Legends, including Gary Cooper, Bob Hope, and John Wayne, among others.

Besides being outsized stars, they were also big sinners.  If you wonder how big, just read my book.

But, then, as in any life, they hit a crisis point and found healing in God.

And, if there’s anything America loves, it’s a repentant sinner.  Those who are pure as angels, proud as devils? Not so much.

As Fr. C. John McCloskey, who has led many conservatives to God, said, “There are no saints in this world, only in the next.”

And, in this world, as evidenced by Frank Luntz’s focus group after last night’s debate, voters are focused on the real issues that affect their lives.

Mary Claire Kendall is a Washington-based writer and author of Oasis: Conversion Stories of Hollywood Legends. She served four years in the George H.W. Bush Administration.