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Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib from Michigan excoriated President Donald Trump in language that was brutally crude.

AMPLIFICATIONS: Behaving properly

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By Monday, Jan 7, 2019 Viewpoints

I know this makes me sound like a fuddy-duddy from the Eisenhower years, but why can’t people behave properly in public? What’s with all the cursing and bad grammar? Is no one taught public decorum anymore?

The bad grammar has been an issue for decades, but social media has all but erased proper spelling and word usage. I fear that acronyms will be all our youth remembers. I take less issue with some mistakes, as it is easy to confuse “effect” and “affect,” but please people, learn to use I and me properly. It’s not that difficult. Always put yourself last in the sentence, and say it out loud. “Can you please drive Mary and I to the emergency room?”is just wrong. Take Mary out of the sentence and you can hear the mistake.

U.S. Rep. Rashid Tlaib, D-Michigan.

It is just not very difficult to learn the difference between “there” and “their” or that “farther” is used for physical distances, “further” denotes figurative distances.

Not that I have a lot hope that grammar will improve. After all, a recent TV series tells us “The Kids are Alright,” when they clearly are not ALL RIGHT. And song lyrics destroy the English language on a daily basis. Songwriters, however, are under more constraints than other writers and well, it wouldn’t have been the same if James Brown sang, “I Feel Well.”  Heck, Dickens loved the run-on sentence and Shakespeare tossed out more than a few sentences that ended with a preposition, but one likes to think they at least knew the rules.

Laziness, artistic license, rhyming schemes — all excuses for poor grammar, but all understandable. I have less patience with potty-mouthed politicians and celebrities cursing during prime time. Then again, everyone curses during prime time, which used to be that safe period between eight and 11 p.m. when you could watch a show with your kids or elderly relatives and not be embarrassed by the topics or the language.

Performer Cardi B.

There isn’t much one can do about it, and in all honestly, I do not believe in censorship, so when my daughter was little I was careful not to let her watch anything I deemed too mature. I felt it was up to me, not a network executive, to guard her sensibilities. Now that 15 is looming she told me how “satisfying” it is to say the “F” word, which I tried to shut down quickly while mentally sending hateful thoughts to Cardi B, a woman who cannot speak in public without swearing. As much as I enjoy a good curse word, I never used the F-word until my twenties. I have friends who are rolling their eyes right now, as I am not known for puritanical speech, but I certainly did not speak that way in my youth and I keep my foul-mouthed tendencies under wraps around my child.

However, there is no way to avoid these changes in our culture. Beto O’Rourke dropped the F-bomb when giving his concession speech and Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib from Michigan used an especially filthy phrase while discussing the possible impeachment of Trump. Which begs the question – why? What could possibly be the point? Lack of self-control? Hoping to look cool in front of young constituents? Whatever the reason, they need to stop.

These newly elected members of Congress and possible presidential hopefuls (O’Rourke) should adhere to the same rules woman have had to follow because we need as many friends as possible while trying to fix the damage caused by the last two years under Trump and his cronies. Women who have risen up corporate ladders or been named a local principal or elected to Congress all know that they have to work twice as hard as their male counterparts. And their reputations must appear spotless.

That is absolutely unfair. It always has been, but by minding their Ps and Qs also means that those same politicians will not be denounced by Fox or Sinclair News, at least not for misbehaving in public. It seems strange that such sentiment would issue forth from this ultra-liberal, but we have much, much larger fights ahead of us. If we lived in normal times I would argue to leave them alone, that language is fluid, that censorship is wrong. But we do not live in normal times and Democrats need to remember that much of the country — much of the middle of the country — upholds conservative, Christian values. Let’s not drive away those Independents with swing votes. If you are in the public eye, please speak as though there are always children in the room.


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