The Swear Police Are Mad as Heck and Coming for Trump

Photo: Jae C. Hong (AP)

West Virginia state Sen. Paul Hardesty has a hard job. He’s a self-described “conservative Democrat in a heavily Trump-supporting, evangelical Christian district, and now he has at least several mad constituents on his hands.

After Trump’s speech in Greeneville, NC, last month, Hardesty got—wait for it—three whole phone calls from constituents complaining about the content of Trump’s latest speech. Were they, perhaps, complaining about the intensely racist “send her back” chants about Rep. Ilhan Omar? Not so, as Politico reported today:

The residents of Hardesty’s district — he’s a Trump-supporting West Virginia state senator — were calling to complain that Trump was “using the Lord’s name in vain,” as Hardesty recounted.

“The third phone call is when I actually went and watched his speech because each of them sounded distraught,” said Hardesty, who describes himself as a conservative Democrat.

Here’s what he would have seen. Trump crowing, “they’ll be hit so goddamn hard,” while bragging about bombing Islamic State militants. And Trump recounting his warning to a wealthy businessman: “If you don’t support me, you’re going to be so goddamn poor.”

To most of America, the comments went unnoticed. Instead, the nation was gripped after the rally by the moment when a “send her back” chant broke out as Trump went after Somali-born Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, an American citizen. But some Trump supporters were more fixated on the casual use of the word “goddamn” — an off-limits term for many Christians — not to mention the numerous other profanities laced throughout the rest of the speech.

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Oh, no! The swear police!

All of this hullabaloo left Hardesty, who supported Trump in 2016, with no choice but to send a letter to the president last month asking him to please, sir, knock it off with the swears. Here’s a portion:

I am, however, appalled by the fact that you chose to use the Lord’s name in vain on two separate occasions when you went off the prompter during your speech. There is no place in society — anywhere, anyplace and at anytime — where that type of language should be used or handled. Your comments were not presidential. I know in my heart that you are better than that.

I would respectfully ask that you examine yourself, reflect on your comments, and never utter those words again.

Please remember Mr. President, in the United States of America, “In God We Trust,” not curse.

Got ‘em! Still, it’s worth noting that despite the conventional wisdom dating back to 2016 that Trump—with his affairs, his foul mouth, and his bad manners—would hurt his support among evangelicals, the group still strongly supports him and his policies.

But I’m sure that now, with just a few more phone calls about swears, Trump will change his mind and start following the teachings of Jesus Christ, who, as well all know, taught us that it’s OK to openly advocate for authoritarianism as long as you don’t say “goddamn” while you commit atrocities. Fucking hypocrites.

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About the author

Jack Crosbie

Contributing Writer, Splinter