WASHINGTON — The members of what was once called the "party of conscience" — that is to say, the Democratic Party — have denounced President Donald Trump for his sallies into vulgarity. Well, hear, hear! I am with you all the way, fellows and fellowesses! Let us resist the temptation to sound like shock jocks on the campaign trail. Yet, I don't think Trump is at the heart of the problem.
I have not heard of the Republican National Committee caution the president against using crude, back-alley language while campaigning. It is the Democratic National Committee that has repeatedly had to caution its candidates for high office against vile language, and I am not talking about some dirty-mouthed candidate from some remote congressional seat. I am talking about the Democratic National Committee cautioning its top-tier presidential candidates against using foul language that runs athwart Federal Communications Commission guidelines.
Some weeks ago, ABC News, which broadcasted the debate aired in Houston on Sept. 12, cautioned the Democratic presidential candidates to "avoid cursing or expletives in accordance with federal law and FCC guidelines." Has any previous network broadcaster felt obliged to issue such a warning? That night, things went OK, but since then, the F-bomb has been flying — most notably from the mouth of young Beto O'Rourke. Other even cruder formulations have been heard from Democrats, and again the Democratic National Committee has felt called upon to urge its presidential candidates to tone it down.
Remember, this is 2019. Many of the Democratic candidates are women. They are supposedly the keepers of American virtue. What would Eleanor Roosevelt say? What about Jackie Kennedy? Back in their day, I'd imagine, if a Democratic presidential candidate let fly the F-word, the men in the white coats would come calling.
The Democrats such as Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand (recently retired from the presidential field) are political stars of the #MeToo movement. They are dampening sexual ardor among adults in the office space — and, I assume, on park benches — while introducing crude, back-alley language in pursuit of the presidency. This is just one of the contradictions that the Democratic Party embraces. Has anyone ever been elected because of his or her fluency with four-letter words? Has a whole field of candidates ever rushed to demonstrate its fluency with four-letter words as our Democrats have?
As a historian, as a presidential historian — remember my scholarship on the Clintons — I will tell you that never in all the years of our history has practically the entire upper tier of a major political party had to be cautioned against vulgarity by the party's professionals. For that matter, I am not sure that the Communist Party of the USA had to issue such a warning to its candidates. George Wallace was innocent of even a hint of such language. We have had some world-class demagogues such as Huey Long and "Pitchfork Ben" Tillman, but they never used the obscene language that the present field of Democratic presidential aspirants uses.
What has come over the Democratic Party? Well, I think I shall ask my friend Donald Trump the next time I see him. He obviously understands the Democrats best. He has fashioned a political strategy and a parlance that brings out the worst in these amateurs. In their whole field, which once numbered almost 30 candidates, there is not a statesman among them. They have no dignity, no restraint and no feel for the American people. Before his 2016 campaign, Donald had never run in a political race in his life. He found himself running in 2016 against the woman that Bill Clinton boasted of as the "most qualified person for the position." Donald beat her fair and square, and ever since, the Democrats have been grumbling, "No fair."
It now appears that the Democrats within the government even tried to snatch the election away from Donald, a historic first. My agents within the government tell me that indictments are going to be filed, and one will be for John Brennan, the former director of the CIA. More will be coming. If this is true, hold on to your toupee.
R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator. He is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and the author, most recently, of "The Death of Liberalism," published by Thomas Nelson, Inc. To find out more about R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.