Language is important. Words matter. Action follows speech. That’s why it’s so disheartening to hear the dirty words uttered by our presidential candidates, led by President Trump. It’s no doubt emulated by many people around the nation, including children.

I have a good friend in New York. We have been best friends for more than 50 years and we have stayed in touch through thick and thin. Somehow he has evolved from an anti-Vietnam liberal to a hard-core conservative who likes Trump.

Recently I was talking with my friend about the news of the day and I told him that John Dean, the star witness who delivered the most damning testimony in the Watergate hearings against President Nixon, had commented on the current impeachment hearings for President Trump. Dean had said that that particular day was the worst day for any presidency since Watergate.

My pal instantly shot back, “John Dean? He’s no good. He profited from Watergate by writing books. He’s ‘gutterslime.'”

I had never heard this word before and doubted that it would be found in any dictionary. But my longtime friend spit it out quickly and with contempt. I realized that here was another topic we shouldn’t talk about if we were to remain friends.

Trump reached into the same filthy bag of insults and contempt, using a slur when he argued that we should not be giving foreign aid to poor countries like El Salvador. This is not presidential, folks, nor is it polite, diplomatic or respectful. It was not the first time nor the last that Trump has used such language.

It will be very interesting to see if Trump can hold his tongue during the upcoming primaries, party conventions and campaign, especially when we get into one-on–one presidential debates. I doubt that he can.

 

John Hale

North Monmouth


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