As an F-bomb enthusiast, I take great exception to Republican front-runner Donald Trump being derisively called a vulgarian. First, it’s offensive to vulgarians to be associated with someone as tacky as Trump. Second, the Donald talking about his junk nearly nonstop for the last two weeks is like the 10th or 11th thing with him that makes him unqualified for the office he’s seeking.
Let’s start with the vulgarity charge. This is a man who thinks it’s totally justified to sucker punch a protester because they flipped the bird. “Well, a lot of people don’t - you know, the finger means, ‘F you.’ A lot of people think - and you have children there, you have a lot of children that go, you know, they go with their parents - a lot of people think that’s very inappropriate.” Trump remarked to The Washington Post editorial board.
Children could see a finger? My stars. This is the same guy who thinks his repeating a word we all delighted using sans repercussions when The Sopranos was on the air (Remember Big Pussy?) from the podium was fine for children.
Maybe he’s just against regular-size fingers?
No, it turns out, he’s also against some people’s (clearly not all people’s) profanity. His campaign manager Corey Lewandowski has been deputized as Trump’s bad-word patrol. This week he man-handled a person holding an anti-Trump sign at a rally in Tucson.
“Not even screaming things that make sense, and often screaming tremendous obscenities,” Trump told the WaPo editorial board. “I know [Lewandowski] went in - he took a lot of heat a couple of days ago in that same rally because he went in to get - to quiet people down, and they had a couple of signs ‘F-you’ - it just said ‘F-you,’ meaning the word spelled out, and you have cameras there, you know, it’s on live television.”
Trump feigning offense at obscenities is the free speech equivalent of a Larry Craig. (The anti-gay former U.S Senator arrested in an airport bathroom after trying to get frisky with a man who turned out to be an undercover cop.)
So like off-color language, Trump is all for his right to be inappropriate and not politically correct, but if someone else does it-it’s cause for a punch in the face. This is basically what you’re hearing when this rejected Muppet character uses the term “First Amendment.” It means he gets to say whatever he wants and everyone else better “watch out.”
But if you think the worst thing about Trump and his misinterpretation of the First Amendment hinges on holding your tongue and saying “truck,” you’re wrong. It’s Trump’s belief that we need to loosen the libel laws, which would have the most chilling effect on the only profession mentioned by name in the Bill of Rights (hint: the press).
Trump, an onion-skinned petulant man-child, thinks he should be better able to sue publications that print bad things about him. A free press is the foundation of any democracy; opposing views are its byproduct. It’s the whole idea behind an adversarial system: Your opponents say things about you that you don’t like.
Trump is a real estate developer; his solution to every problem is to build a wall to keep out some undesirables and sue the pants off the rest of them.
He actually told the WaPo board that the only Hispanics who don’t like him are illegal. Hear that? You have to love him or he’ll go birther on you just like he did to the first half-black president of the United States.
So now let’s list some of the other reasons Trump is already too close to the nuclear codes: He thinks water boarding is a quid pro quo like in a mob movie. “He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue.” That is not foreign policy, that’s foreign fantasy. “They can chop off heads and drown people in cages...and we can’t waterboard?” he asked Wolf Blitzer.
No. No we can’t. That’s because we’re better than terrorists. We have no moral authority if we’re torturing for sport. Or torturing for information. Or torturing anyone for any reason.
Trump has also said we should “take out” the families of alleged terrorists. Yes, this aspiring war criminal wants to kill women and children as a part of policy. You know who else thinks that’s a sound practice? North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. Speaking of thin-skinned tyrannical human rights deniers.
Saying Trump is a vulgarian is like saying the problem with George W. Bush is he’s not a very good painter. It’s so far down on the list, it’s not even worth mentioning. So don’t.
Tina Dupuy is a nationally syndicated columnist and host of the podcast, Cultish. Tina can be reached at email@example.com