One of Donald Trump’s former aides, Omarosa Manigault Newman, has just published , Unhinged, a book that purportedly reveals the president’s secrets. And apparently, there are many of them. She questions the physical and mental health of the president, and makes both personal and political allegations and comments on his life.
Because she wrote her book, Trump called her, “a dog”. Surely he wanted to insult her, but he revealed more than he intended. Real dogs are honest and loyal to a fault; they rarely turn on their owners. But if they do, it usually follows years of cruelty and abuse. So when he called her a dog – we get some idea of how his bullying pushed her to publish her tell-all tale – and the bar lowered still further.
The US president may be a serious candidate for the 5-star “most-vulgar-leader-ever-award”, but he is NOT the only crude contender.
“We have good reason to believe now that profanity is in the brain, that even if it’s not necessary to language, it’s part of human language as it’s developed. We can curb the impulse to swear, just as we can curb fight or flight responses, but it is part of our make-up, so when it seems useful to us, we use it, even in the workplace.” explains Michael Adams, Professor of English Language and Literature, Indiana University and author of In Praise Of Profanity.
I’m troubled with the pervasiveness of this attitude. President Trump revealed more than he planned when he insulted his former aide. And I believe the rise of public profanity reveals a lack of concern about where this behaviour is taking us. Our global society has sunk us to yet a lower level – now we also see a decline of civility and manners – and we just accept it. The same can be said about invasions of privacy and bullying. They have both become so commonplace, that most of us have endured soul-destroying attacks in one way or another. We get little sympathy and are told: Deal with it and get on with your life.
On internet forums, F-bombs and similar expletives are more common all the time. We giggle at video clips of children using profanity. Sometimes I have found myself punching LIKE after LIKE, until I stop and think a minute. Then I go back and punch UNLIKE. I do not LIKE profanity used when suitable adjectives and adverbs would suffice. Besides – LIKE and UNLIKE – there should be a third option: WASH THAT BIG MOUTH OUT WITH SOAP.
I can’t say I never swear, I often use “soft-swear-words”, but rarely do I bring out the F word, and never N, or C. In Spanish I don’t use the CH, I or C words – I can’t say them naturally – and I don’t want to get to the point where I can.
Have you ever thought: Why did I say / show that? Why didn’t I keep THAT to myself? Well, I sure have. Perhaps I will regret writing this post, but this is how I feel (and I am choosing my words with care). If your opinion is different; let me know. I like the openness of the times we’re living. But hey, I would like to see some self-restraint and decorum coming from the mouths and tweets of our leaders.
Leaders are supposed to – ugh, ugh, ugh – lead. Lead by their thoughts, words and deeds. It would be nice if we had that kind of leader to follow. But let’s not dump all the blame on world leaders. There are others who look to us for leadership. Maybe we need to curb our tongues, our strutting and our aggressiveness with our kids, our grandchildren, our employees, our parents, other family members, friends and strangers. Pretty-much everyone appreciates getting respect.
When I get stressed, angry or emotional, I think about people of substance – people I truly admire – I try to mirror some of their behaviours – it helps me.