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The following comments were made in a public speech last week by a man considering running for president of the United States:
On gas prices: “We have nobody in Washington that sits back and said, ‘You’re not going to raise that f—-ing price.’”
On what he would say as president to China: “Listen, you mother f—-ers, we’re going to tax you 25 percent.”
On Iraq and America: “We build a school, we build a road, they blow up the school; we build another school, we build another road, they blow them up, we build again. In the meantime, we can’t get a f—-ing school in Brooklyn.”
The man is Donald Trump. And the words render him unfit to be a presidential candidate, let alone president. They also render a need for some Republican Party soul-searching as to how a group of Republican women could laugh and cheer at such language coming from a would-be presidential candidate.
On a number of occasions, I have written that the use of expletives in public discourse has been a characteristic of the Left. Public cursing is not an issue to the intellectual and artistic left. They shrug off criticism of such language as antiquated and elitist — not to mention hypocritical, given that prominent conservatives such as former Vice President Dick Cheney and President Bush were both caught using such language.
But there is a world of difference between using an expletive in private and using one in a public speech. For those who do not see the difference, think of the difference between relieving oneself in private and relieving oneself in public. It usually takes a university education and a Leftist worldview not to see the enormous moral distinction between public and private cursing. One affects society, one does not.
I hereby plead guilty to occasionally using an expletive when angry about something particularly vile or, for that matter, in a punch line to an off-color joke — in private to my wife or to friends. Likewise, while I find the vast amount of gratuitous cursing in movies injurious to society, I do not find all such cursing offensive. The use of the F-word in a powerful private moment in the Academy Award-winning film “The King’s Speech” was appropriate and genuinely humorous.
In general, however, the use of such words — whether in public or as a matter of general usage in private — is degrading to the user, to the listener and to society.
As a father, I even banned use of the word “sucks” in general conversation in my home. I am certain that the use of that word at sporting events such as when thousands of fans scream the word at an opposing player or at the entire opposing team has contributed to — and is a sign of — the coarsening of American life.
That home teams routinely use the stadium organ to goad fans into chanting the word is only further proof of this coarsening. When I was a child, stadiums allowed smoking but not cursing. Today, smoking is unheard of, but cursing is ubiquitous. A visit to an athletic event may be marginally healthier for the body today. But it is can also be far more injurious to the soul.
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