Dennis Prager
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.


Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph.
 
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