Trash talk and the White House

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - BY WES­LEY PRUDEN

The darn­d­est peo­ple have ants in their pants in the wake of the rev­e­la­tions of Don­ald Trump’s vul­gar trash talk. Who knew such be­hav­ior still had the power to of­fend? And peo­ple even more darn­d­est are say­ing that trash talk has never blis­tered the walls of the na­tion’s locker rooms, where for decades boys have been boys, and some of them very bad boys, in­deed.

The first lady, who for eight years has trans­formed the White House into the last sur­viv­ing vaude­ville venue (who needs Mozart when you might get Kanye West), re­vealed her­self to be al­most ter­mi­nally of­fended by Don­ald Trump in a stump speech for Hil­lary Thurs­day in New Hamp­shire.

“Last week we saw this can­di­date ac­tu­ally brag­ging about sex­u­ally as­sault­ing women,” she said. “I can’t be­lieve that I’m say­ing that, a can­di­date for pres­i­dent of the United States has bragged about sex­u­ally as­sault­ing women.

“This was not just lewd con­ver­sa­tion. This wasn’t just locker-room ban­ter. This was a pow­er­ful in­di­vid­ual speak­ing freely and openly about preda­tory be­hav­ior, and ac­tu­ally brag­ging about kiss­ing and grop­ing women, us­ing lan­guage so ob­scene that many of us were wor­ried about our chil­dren hear­ing it when we turn on the TV.”

Michelle Obama is right to be con­cerned, though she shouldn’t worry about what her daugh­ters, lovely girls that they are, have heard at the most ex­pen­sive pri­vate school in the na­tion’s cap­i­tal. They’ve heard it al­ready. The chil­dren of Amer­ica, if they watch tele­vi­sion, in­dulge the In­ter­net, or lis­ten to rap mu­sic they’ll hear things that would make the Don­ald’s ears burn.

To pro­tect her chil­dren she must keep them up­stairs in the fam­ily quar­ters, and away from some of the Hol­ly­wood stuff she and the mis­ter fre­quently have in to en­ter­tain their guests.

Some of the rap­pers who per­form in the house once oc­cu­pied by Lin­coln and Adams, Jef­fer­son, Jack­son and FDR, spin rhymes about their bitches and their ho’s, the thrill of killing cops and bring­ing down all man­ner of bad things on Amer­ica.

Trashy be­hav­ior is not only in­vited into the White House, but the first lady’s hus­band has be­stowed hon­ors on some of those who have tracked trash into the house. Nei­ther should the first lady al­low the girls to watch the video of Dad on his campaign plane, where he once dis­played an erec­tion through his pants to tempt and tease the lady re­porters in the front seats.

But it’s good, as she said in New Hamp­shire, that de­cent men don’t talk the way the Don­ald talked a decade and more ago. And it’s good, too, to get the re­as­sur­ance from no less than LeBron James of the Cleve­land Cava­liers that the Don­ald was wrong about locker rooms. The locker rooms of the NBA are where only the thought­ful and eru­dite wis­dom of cham­pi­ons can be heard, and there’s never a harsh or naughty word to dis­turb those read­ing qui­etly from their Gideon Bi­bles.

What the Don­ald did was not locker room talk, Mr. James says, but “trash talk.” The dis­tinc­tion is im­por­tant, he says, but he didn’t say what it was. “We don’t dis­re­spect women in no shape or form in our locker room. That never comes up. We don’t dis­re­spect women in our locker room.” That will be re­as­sur­ing to the baby ma­mas of the men in the NBA locker rooms, some of whom have not one, or two, or three or even four dif­fer­ent baby ma­mas, but more, and eight or nine kids. The dad­dies have to work so hard on their slam dunks and in­side game to pay for school, pi­ano and bal­let lessons that they just have no time for trash talk.

Michelle, of course, is not re­spon­si­ble for what her hus­band does when she’s not there to keep him in line when young ladies are present, any more than Hil­lary is in charge of Bubba’s zip­per. But Hil­lary is re­spon­si­ble for the char­ac­ter as­sas­si­na­tions she in­sti­gated and su­per­vised of the women Bubba abused. Hil­lary be­lieves the women who said they were raped, be­cause she says women never lie about sex­ual as­sault.

Michelle is re­spon­si­ble for the speeches she makes, ex­on­er­at­ing the high crimes and mis­de­meanors of those who throw sticks and stones at Don­ald Trump, who has done no more than cer­tain high Democrats of her ac­quain­tance. It’s wrong when the Don­ald does it, and wrong when Democrats do it.

Some­thing good could come from this tawdry pres­i­den­tial campaign that seems to have no end. Women, per­haps led by a past and present first lady, could lead a clean-up of the cul­ture. God knows the cul­ture needs it, and only women could get it done. But it will re­quire more than throw­ing the first stone. Wes­ley Pruden is ed­i­tor in chief emer­i­tus of The Times.

Michelle Obama

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