Monica Lewinsky, a former White House intern involved in an affair with President Bill Clinton, has called for changes in the political system. She argued against presidential self-pardons and in favor of fixed retirement ages for public servants in a Vanity Fair opinion piece.
The post was inspired by Lewinsky’s recent conversations over the US Constitution’s 14th Amendment, which deals with a person’s ineligibility to hold public office im the event that they participate in insurrection. Monica Lewinsky didn’t specifically mention him, but her article was sparked by Donald Trump’s appeal of a Colorado court decision that found him guilty of rebellion but permitted him to run for president in 2024.
Monica Lewinsky noted her shock that the only clause addressing a candidate’s disqualification for such behavior is found in the 14th Amendment, which is recognized for guaranteeing equal protection under the law. She started looking at constitutional amendments and questioned why there weren’t more protections in place.
She was shocked to learn that the 27th amendment to the Constitution, which mostly addressed congressional raises, had been ratified in 1992. She came to the conclusion that it was time for constitutional upgrades because there had been no recent modifications.
Monica Lewinsky Prohibiting Presidential Self-Pardons
Monica Lewinsky article centered on the change she advocated, specifically prohibiting presidential self-pardons. This theory is pertinent in light of the multiple ongoing criminal accusations against Trump, which include tampering with the 2020 election, keeping confidential government information, and paying Stormy Daniels hush money. In the event that he is found guilty of any crimes and re-elected, Trump may theoretically pardon himself, albeit this is still an unproven legal theory.
Monica Lewinsky stressed—making reference to Monopoly—that the Constitution should not be interpreted as a game and said that the head of the executive branch ought not to have a get out of jail free card.
The introduction of term limits and a maximum age of service for elected officials is another suggestion made in Lewinsky’s paper. She defended her position by citing the minimum ages of 25 for senators, 35 for presidents, and members of the US House, correspondingly. Lewinsky made reference to the advanced ages of President Biden (81) and Trump (77), arguing that while experience is necessary, there comes a point where qualifications can be swamped by mental rigidity and a disconnection from cultural reality.
The necessity for reforms to the political system, such as term limits and maximum age restrictions, a ban on presidential self-pardons, and retirement ages for public servants, is brought up in Lewinsky’s piece. She calls for updating the constitution to guarantee accountability and justice in the democratic process.
Additional changes that seek to address other significant issues have been offered by Monica Lewinsky. In lieu of a popular vote, one of these amendments would do away with the electoral college system that now decides presidential elections. Reaffirming women’s reproductive rights is the goal of another proposed amendment, which was made in reaction to the US Supreme Court’s 2022 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
President Clinton was subject to impeachment proceedings for lying about his romance with Monica Lewinsky throughout the controversy. At the time, he was 49 years old, and Lewinsky was 22. Clinton was ultimately found not guilty by the Senate.
Since then, Lewinsky has continued her education and graduated from the London School of Economics with a master’s degree. She has also taken a proactive role in the fight against cyberbullying. She has talked about how the incident affected her and how it stigmatized and embarrassed her in public. She emphasized that she lacked the same authority and clout that shielded the president at the time and reported felt completely dehumanized and ashamed.
In a 2016 interview with the famous news channel, Lewinsky detailed her experience, saying that the events of 1998 and 1999 left her feeling as though every layer of her identity and skin had been violently peeled. The humiliation stuck to her like tar, and she compared it to figurative skinning.