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Committing Hari-Kerry
by Selwyn Duke
11 December 2003John Kerry

Do we really want a President who drops the F-bomb in public discourse? Fo' sheazy.

Both great saints and great sinners can enjoy great fame, only, being one of the latter is a surer way to achieve it. After all, more people know the name “John Lee Malvo” than that of “Father Benedict Groeschel.” This is most likely why Democrat presidential aspirant John Kerry used an expletive recently when describing George Bush’s Iraq policy. The word was not, however, a four-letter one as might be defined by the Massachusetts Senator and the creators of the lexicon of the left. In case you’re wondering, this would be a term such as tax-cuts, chastity, obedience, discipline or honesty. No, armed with the knowledge that when you lack the acumen to distinguish yourself by rising above a pack of clamorous contenders you must instead sink below it, Kerry went with an old standby: the “f-word.”

Kerry said that no apology would be forthcoming and I wouldn’t have expected otherwise. This is because if you believe that this bit of vulgarity was just an errant comment born of passion, a slip of a tongue animated by righteous anger, I have some land in the Whitewater development to sell you. On the contrary, given the fact that Kerry was quoted by Rolling Stone magazine, it’s safe to assume that this comment was designed to endear him to its grunge demographic; it’s his way of saying, “Hey, I’m a cool guy.” It’s a desperate move by a frustrated, desperate man who’s waging a waning campaign, where the light at the end of the tunnel is a mirage that grows increasingly faint with each stump speech. His ignoble act, however, combined with the fact that Democrats have in the past jockeyed to afford prison inmates the right to vote, has to make one wonder what the Kerrys of the world think is the nature of the sort of person who would vote for a liberal Democrat.

It’s not that I think there aren’t other politicians who let ‘er rip during some of their less pristine private moments – I know there are. But the difference is that while such behavior never lends one the air of a desert mystic, these people have not contributed to the defining of deviancy downward by introducing profanity into political discourse. And that is the real issue here: John Kerry has, in a selfish and juvenile effort to buttress a flagging campaign, harmed his country by setting an example that contributes to the coarsening of her sons and daughters. It’s bad enough when rappers and other popular culture predators set the worst possible example and influence ten-year-olds to call girls “hos” and exhibit other guttersnipe behavior, but it’s far worse when a high-profile public official follows suit.

I won’t go so far as to say that Kerry has set a precedent, but he certainly has cut a road into virgin territory – and not too much of it is left. Just consider the transition we have undergone during the past several decades: when Rhett Butler said to Scarlett O’Hara in the 1939 classic “Gone With the Wind,” “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn,” it was considered to be a pushing back of the envelope. Since then, we have experienced what seems like an inexorable progression toward the total elimination of prohibitions against the use of profane language. Just recently, in fact, the Federal Communications Commission loosened the restrictions governing the use of the f-word on public airways. Does the acceptance of such language in political campaigns in which the candidates must court the lowlife vote lie just on the horizon? Maybe, maybe not, but if it doesn’t it will be no thanks to Senator Kerry and his ilk.
Andrew Card, President Bush’s Press Secretary, suggested that Kerry should apologize and said, “That’s [making such a comment] beneath John Kerry . . . “ But this is where I part company with the White House on this matter, because I suspect that nothing is beneath John Kerry. His spokesman, Stephanie Cutter, defended his action by saying that the Senator doesn’t “mince words” and remarked, “I could think of a lot of words to add to the one John Kerry used that would be equally appropriate.” Well, I don’t mince words either, but with over one-million non-profane ones in the English language, it’s not hard to administer a tongue-lashing without descending into the profane. In fact, for the benefit of John Kerry and his acolytes I’ll demonstrate how it’s done: Senator, by all rights your campaign should be washed out with the soap of public rebuke, but will most likely go the route of an old soldier and just fade away. And sir, if you want to seem hip you can start by dispensing with the Kennedyesque affectations – they don’t play all that well beyond Harvard Yard. In fact, what your behavior reveals is a man who is really, really desperate, treading water in swill in a campaign that is really, really close to being really, really over. Is that cool enough for you, dude?

Selwyn Duke's homepage is The Truth Page

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