Apparently Focus on the Family chairman James Dobson said today that he would not vote for John McCain if McCain were the Republican party’s candidate for the presidency. Among Dobson’s reasons? McCain “has a legendary temper and often uses foul and obscene language.”
In response, Ross Douthat at TheAtlantic.com remarks:
Finally, attacking McCain for his tendency to use “foul and obscene language” seems like the purest form of social conservative self-parody. Particularly given the Bush Administration’s record on that front.
No kidding. In addition to the episodes mentioned in those two articles that Douthat links to, there was also that famous moment, pictured above, when Bush flipped a camera his “one-fingered victory salute“.
The reason I bother bringing this up in a film blog at all is because I saw a pro-Bush propaganda film called George W. Bush: Faith in the White House (2004) at the local film festival four years ago, and I can remember the audience whooping with glee at many points during that film — not the least of which was the scene in which the narrator says that Bush spent his wayward youth “smoking, drinking, cursing,” followed by the scene in which Bush’s Uncle Bucky says that Bush, following his conversion, “stopped chewing and cussing and became a totally disciplined guy.”
I frankly don’t care if Bush or McCain or anyone else uses colourful language; I’ve been known to use it once in a while myself, and I think I’m in pretty good company on that score. But it is striking to see how a certain segment of the American Christian population needs to persuade itself that “cussing” is only what “bad people” do, and how that same segment of the population not only turns a blind eye to the “cussing” that “good people” do but actively promotes the falsehood that they don’t actually do it!