I am so pleased to see that after Rashida Tlaib, new congresswoman from Michigan, said of President Trump that “we’re going to impeach the mother*****r,” far fewer people than usual pretended to be outraged.
There are two sides to this coin. One of which is the simple fact that, come on, are most people really offended by that kind of language? Are we seriously suggesting that it is a disqualification from public life, or serious thought? Because honestly now, who — from the president of the U.S. to corporate CEOs to workers on the factory floor to cops to Hollywood celebrities — doesn’t use it?
We are a culture that celebrates reality TV stars and uses the internet. We have long ago passed the point at which intemperate language means anything except that someone lives in the 21st century. It’s simply not offensive, so why pretend otherwise?
But the other side of this coin is that the very people who demand that the rest of us pay attention to these issues and consider them outrageous have lost all moral authority.
The morality police came out in droves to support a man whose entire career in public life has been gold-crusted profanity, and who is most celebrated for calling his political enemies names. The “family values” crowd threw their support behind a serial adulterer who pays off his mistresses before he divorces his wives. The “Christian Coalition” voters backed a man with no knowledge of the Bible, who violates six out of 10 commandments every morning before breakfast.
No one cares if they are outraged; their morality is cheap. Why should we care about the stern disapproval of people who sacrifice their values for power? If you’ll vote for a man who violates the biblical commandments on marriage, don’t try to tell us that we should care whether someone violates a biblical injunction about homosexuality. If you support a man who mocks Christ’s instruction to help the poor and the weak, then don’t pretend we should be horrified about the profanity of those who take it seriously. If you’re standing with a man who views the seven deadly sins as business opportunities, you’re not next to godliness — you’re in the sin business.
You no longer get to cast stones.
The right used to enjoy a great deal of moral authority in this country, because — harsh and angry as they were — the rest of us assumed they were at least serious about their convictions, and so we had to take those convictions seriously.
But people who trade their morals for 30 silver electoral votes don’t get to sit in judgment of the rest of us. You made your bed and there’s a porn star in it. Also, your megachurch pastor is sexually abusing his parishioners. Sexual assault is still offensive to the rest of us, but you? Ah, it’s hard to say, anymore.
But, America is done pretending to be offended on your behalf. What I personally am most ashamed of is that I ever took your morality act seriously for so many years.