Scott Tibbs

In country music you just can't say the F word

By Scott Tibbs, March 21, 2022

There was a time when even secular conservatives would have been appalled by someone openly wearing a shirt with the F bomb on it. Openly disrespecting the President of these United States with obscenities is not a conservative position. Delta Airlines was right to tell the man to leave the plane for the offensive language on his shirt, and the man wearing the shirt is not a "victim" of anything other than his own childish desire to troll people.

I have seen this called the Trumpification of politics. And yes, conservatives have become increasingly crude over the last 6 years and the fact that the President of these United States has himself been crude in public has encouraged that behavior. Trump repeatedly broke his promise to be presidential. If there were any norms of presidential behavior left before 2017, Trump shattered what was left.

But I do not blame Trump for this trend, as it existed before Trump came down the escalator in 2015. Trump tapped into something that was already there, though before Trump it was confined to a small section of the Republican Party and conservative movement. This is much broader and deeper than one man’s influence. Plus, every adult is responsible for his own behavior, before and after June 16, 2015.

I can hear the response in my head now, because I have seen and heard it constantly since 2016:
But Scott, the Left was saying "F*** Trump " the entire time he was in office! Now it is time for them to get a taste of their own medicine. Refusing to fight fire with fire is why we lose.
First, of course it is tempting to embrace the first argument. We are all human, and we all desire payback. But if we are serious about politics and policy, principles must come before payback. Even if not "fighting fire with fire" caused us to lose, we should not be willing to do that.

But that is not why we lose. The people who love the "F*** Biden" shirt are going to vote Republican anyway. People in the middle will not be persuaded and could be turned off by conservatives dropping F bombs, and it will energize the other side to fight back. There is no benefit in being crude for the sake of being crude. We damage ourselves and make it clear that we are not serious about policy when we indulge childish behavior.

There are plenty of ways to "fight back" without resorting to acting like Eddie Murphy performing a stand-up routine in 1987. You can point out bad policy, bad results and bad rhetoric in addition to dishonesty and hypocrisy. Using obscenities accomplishes none of that and does not convince voters of why you would make their lives better. Conservatives need to stop encouraging this behavior.

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