Old Dominion Boulevard is one of the most beautiful streets in all of Alexandria. Every spring, thousands of dogwoods and azaleas in that neighborhood, known as Beverley Hills (yes, with an “e”) put on a spectacular display of bloom and color. But an even more impressive miracle happens year after year down the boulevard at the venerable Beverley Hills Church Preschool, founded in 1939. There, teachers and parents have worked together for decades to mold toddlers from ages 2 through 5 into creative, happy and thoughtful children ready to take on the challenges of elementary school and the real world. As a parent I found many aspects of BHCP’s child-rearing philosophy useful, but one particular phrase helped enormously, especially in the heat of a full-blown kiddie meltdown: “Use your words.”
Given the present state of our politics and an increasing number of meltdowns emanating from various Democratic leaders, I’d say it’s time to go back to preschool.
First, I’ll acknowledge that every American politician needs to take a refresher in the basics of civil speech. Let’s start with President Trump. We have watched him numerous times make a variety of shockingly profane and sexist statements. We know that lots of past presidents frequently used profanity, but most with the exception of Richard Nixon had the good sense to evade recording.
Our recent national election seems to have changed everything, ushering in a brand new era where public profanity by Famous Persons is suddenly “in.” Apparently well-educated Democratic politicians are using swear words routinely to convey their sense of loss, outrage and frustration as the faithful applaud. Anti-Trump demonstrators wield ugly signs at their marches that probably confirm each other’s thoughts but must be bleeped out on TV. DNC Chair Tom Perez has let loose several times at union rallies. Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand dropped the ever-present f-bomb the other day during a newspaper interview. Several of her Democratic colleagues have followed suit with their versions of mouthy malfeasance.
I can understand the profanity of former Clinton operatives, who are still agonizing and scratching their heads as to why their candidate lost. Famous personalities like Ashley Judd, Amy Schumer and Stephen Colbert can also get away with lewdness and cursing because, after all, they’re paid to get good ratings.
The same cannot be said of the several Democratic leaders and spokesmen (and women) whom we’ve observed helplessly flailing and repeatedly failing the English language. They know better and should hold themselves to a higher standard. They remind me of the loser kid who went home with a stupid participation trophy: after a huge tantrum and being sent to your room, the only option left is to chuck that lousy plastic trinket into the trash.
Democrats, please grow up and symbolically graduate from preschool. You are presumably well-educated and smart enough to know that English grammar affords hundreds of colorful ways to express one’s pain, anger or disappointment. Now’s the time to use all those other great words.