Dennis Prager

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.

Last week, Trump may have made his one contribution to American history. His was the first speech of a person seeking the nomination of major party to be its candidate for president to use such language.

Had he used the F-word once and apologized, I would not have written this column. But, and this IS important, he used it once and, upon seeing the enthusiastic reaction, felt encouraged to use it again and again.

The audience's reaction is even more important -- and more distressing -- than Trump's use of the word. Had there been booing, or had someone who invited him arisen to ask that he not use such language, or had some of the women walked out, the good name of the Republican Party and of conservative values would have been preserved. But if Republican women -- and I emphasize both the party and the gender -- find the F-word used by a potential candidate for president of the United States amusing, America is more coarsened than I had imagined.

If we cannot count on Republicans and conservatives to maintain standards of public decency and civility, to whom shall we look?

The argument that Trump told it as it is, that he's one guy who isn't afraid to call a spade a spade, is nonsense. Any fool can curse in public. Just like real comedians elicit laughter without the F-word, real politicians and real leaders inspire people and tell tough truths without that word. Somehow, Lincoln inspired America without cursing, and Winston Churchill would not have been more effective had he said, "F--- Germany."

Not only does the use of the word disqualify Trump as a serious candidate for president of the United States. So do the points he was trying to make with it. For example, our gas prices are not high because America didn't order anyone to lower them. They are high because the value of the dollar has been debased by President Obama's monetary and fiscal policies and because the president and the Democrats won't allow us to drill for the oil we have in abundance on and offshore.

Leading Republicans need to announce that there is no place in the Republican Party for profane public speech. You cannot stand for small government without standing for big people.


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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