Readers at Caffeinated Politics over the years have known me to call attention to the use of curse words used in publications such as Isthmus (for using the same word as in the headline to this blog), national publications like Newsweek (for the F word), and The New Yorker (for the same language now used publically by a Madison conservative). I have also, over the years, called attention to various public individuals who from their position have debased themselves with their word choices.
This weekend I read the latest article from Paula Fitzsimmons, a Madison conservative who advocates for local police and their issues. Had it not been for the two lines posted below she would not be mentioned here today. Her article is the same complaints that have been registered before. Yada Yada.
But then this…..
….They’re the ones who will have to inherit this s*** hole of a nation we’ve become…
…I don’t have kids who will have to inherit this s*** hole of a nation we’ve become….
I am not the word police, nor want to be one. But there is a lowering of standards and foundations that do catch my attention and concerns me. It would seem that any true conservative could at least agree with me on that point.
Words matter and how they are used does reflect on the person using them. Trash talk just gives the perception of a lower-educated and less serious-minded person. That is true if on the printed page of a magazine, from a national leader, or one who wishes to make a point about local police matters with an online article.
I know one thing for certain. As someone who has worked in broadcasting and reported a fair share of news stories, and handled press relations in a legislator’s office the number one rule is that words matter. Words reflect who we are, what values we have, and wish to share with others.
Since 2015 I have written many times about the crude and offensive language used by Donald Trump. I have lamented that his behavior is unsettling and that others are picking it up as their own. As an example, Trump’s use of “s***hole countries” in a White House meeting was vulgar and racist. It is because of that type of language used by Trump, and often from a microphone, that more than one teacher has spoken to me about how boys feel more empowered to talk as they wish in school. Parents have told me how more difficult it is to set certain norms in the home when kids can accurately state, “the president says it”.
When children mimic cursing and coarse language we chalk it up to ‘learning a new word’ or ‘acting out’. When an adult blatantly does it…twice..it is just classless.
And so it goes.