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Mitt Romney Should Cuss, Maybe?

Scott Galupo, on why he loves a guy like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: [1]

Personally speaking, I don’t want Christie to hitch himself to the Romney wagon this year. Temperamentally, the two of them represent about as stark a contrast as two politicians could. Something my grandfather used to say has stuck with me as an adult: I don’t trust that guy. He doesn’t drink or curse. He never has any fun. As I see it, this sentiment falls somewhere between what Edmund Burke meant, and what is commonly meant, by the word “prejudice.”

Scott feels the same way about the Philly rascal Ed Rendell. More:

These are my kind of guys. They inhabit a certain paradigm in my mind. It doesn’t make me proud to say this, but the part of me that feels comfortable with them is the reason why Mitt Romney will always seem like an alien to me.

I get that. I get all of it.

13 Comments (Open | Close)

13 Comments To "Mitt Romney Should Cuss, Maybe?"

#1 Comment By MH – Secular Misanthropist On June 22, 2012 @ 10:29 am

I know I’m in a distinct minority, but I like Mitt Romney. He seemed competent as our governor and didn’t do anything embarrassing, so who cares if he doesn’t cuss.

#2 Comment By Turmarion On June 22, 2012 @ 10:51 am

On the one hand, I’m sympathetic to this, in an abstract way; but I’m also torn.

I never cussed at all until I got to college. As I’ve remarked before, my Baron-Cohen test results indicate that I’m only a few points shy of an Asperger’s diagnosis, and there’s also a touch of OCD that I can perceive within my psychic makeup. The point is that when I was told not to do this or that, I universalized it into a highly rigid paradigm. Thus, I didn’t cuss around Mom and Dad (most people wouldn’t); but I not only didn’t, but was incapable of, cussing anywhee else, even under extreme emotions.

As I got older, I made a point to try to loosen some of the psychological rigidity (still an ongoing struggle as I approach 50, alas, but much better), and part of that process was cussing. It was college, after all. Eventually, I graduated, got a job, got married, and had a child. I rarely use inappropriate language nowadays, beyond an occasional “Oh my God!” or “damn” or “hell” as punctuation–and not much of that. I certainly use far, far less profanity around my child than my parents did around me, or than was typical of their generation. I can still use a few doozies when needed, but I restrict them to adults-only company, and not often even then.

Despite my blue-streak phase, I never have been totally comfortable with profanity and such, and even though I don’t have a moral issue with it, by and large, I think generations after the 60’s, especially the Gen X and Millennials, use far, far too much profanity. That’s part of the reason, as I mentioned on the Wes Anderson thread, that I don’t watch much comedy any more–if it’s not outrageous and gratuitous sex humor, it’s f-bombs here, there, and everywhere.

Regarding politics, I think some of this feeds into the old boys-club, machismo ethos that when real men do manly things, they cuss a blue streak because that’s truly manly. That attitude drives me up the wall. First, the whole backroom, bare-knuckle aspect of politics is part of what’s wrong with it, to begin with; and secondly, it reinforces the same old nasty paradigms of gender behavior. Talking thug isn’t manly–it’s thug.

Look, as I’ve said more than once, barring a miracle, I’m going to vote third party this year. Even though Romney is more palatable than most national candidates the GOP has fielded in the last decade or so, I think he’d be beholden to economic and political interests that would cause him to govern differently from what he might prefer. The chances that I’d vote for him are approximately those of a snowball in Tartarus.

Having said which, if I were going to pull a Rod and say, “I’d almost vote for X just to tee off the Y,” I’d say that I’d just about vote for Mitt just because he doesn’t cuss. At least that would be a change of pace.

Btw, Rod, have you looked into that issue about how the comments get cut off after fifty posts?

#3 Comment By Grumpy Old Man On June 22, 2012 @ 11:05 am

Reminds me of the old joke about the nun who was so pure, so pure, that when she died her soul rose super-rapidly toward the pearly gates, causing St. Peter to shout, “Say s**t a couple of times, Sister, or you’ll go into orbit!”

#4 Comment By Mr. Patrick On June 22, 2012 @ 11:28 am

Why would Mitt Romney swear? What does he have to make him angry?

#5 Comment By David J. White On June 22, 2012 @ 11:46 am

I don’t trust that guy. He doesn’t drink or curse. He never has any fun.

When I was suffered from depression when in graduate school, a friend of mine told me he could tell that something was wrong, because, as he put it, “You’ve not only lost your virtues, but you’ve lost your vices, too!” (In other words, not only was I no longer self-disciplined, punctual, and productive, but I had also stopped smoking cigars, drinking, hanging out with friends, etc.)

#6 Comment By jamie On June 22, 2012 @ 12:05 pm

this is so irrational. we have no idea what our candidates are really like in private. please don’t support this.

#7 Comment By alcogito On June 22, 2012 @ 12:24 pm

I see. So there is something fundamentally wrong with people who are polite to everyone, even if they disagree with them, responsible citizens and parents, and keep their promises, and those who do the opposite are more trustworthy. Hmmmm. Don’t think I want to live in your world.

#8 Comment By Franklin Evans On June 22, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

I almost never use profanity in writing. I just find it inadequate to the task of expressing how I really feel. In the interest of fair disclosure, though, and should any of you have that rarest of opportunities to have the honor of hearing me speak (ahem), here is the rating system for Franklin’s temper.

Grade 1: Sarcasm, squinting the eyes.
Grade 2: Grade 1 enhanced to included just walking away.
Grade 3: Low-intensity profanity (replace these words with the usual Anglo-Saxon monosyllables) — darn, heck, excrement.
Grade 4: Usually in reaction to something, especially when startled, the high-intensity profanity which I leave to the assumptions of the reader.
Grade 5: Curse in Serbian. That’s a good time for others to walk away from me.

As for Romney, all we need is a high-definition microphone with the gain turned up enough to pick up what he may be saying under his breath. I’d also recommend bugging his office and home, but that’s too tritely cliched any more.


#9 Comment By TWylite On June 22, 2012 @ 1:26 pm

Naw, he should have a commercial where he rides around in a tank, to prove what a tough but regular G.I. Joe he really is. That worked pretty well for another Massachusetts governor running for president, as I recall.

#10 Comment By Mister Pickwick On June 22, 2012 @ 2:18 pm

I’m no Mormon, and not a Romney campaign supporter either, but what I admire about Mitt is his apparently genuine attempt to “walk the talk” of his faith. As a Evangelical, I get that. If you profess devotion to a Creator, it follows that you’ll try to live in a way that displays that devotion in practice. Honor the Creator in your speech, in what you do (or don’t) take into the body the Creator gave you, etc. But I guess that the cussin’ and drinkin’ issue has historically separated Mormons and Evangelicals from Catholics and perhaps Orthodox as well. So long as not cussin’ and not drinkin’ are genuine elements of a larger lifestyle discipline that holistically tries to honor the Creator (and not just part of a smokescreen or a facade), I don’t see what there is to ridicule.

#11 Comment By Mister Pickwick On June 22, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

Another thought: I think this issue is another reason why, when push comes to shove, a lot of Evangelicals will get over their theological aversion to Mormonism and vote for Romney. Deep down, most Evangelicals respect Romney and other practicing Mormons because they “walk the talk” of their faith and take a lot of flak for that. That’s a situation we Evangelicals can identify with, because we’ve taken flak for similar lifestyle choices that run counter to the culture.

#12 Comment By Sean Nelson On June 22, 2012 @ 4:52 pm

I agree, Rod. Romney seems too pent-up to be someone I could identify with. (He almost needs a scandal to humanize him–at least GWB was a cokehead when he was young.) He comes across as trying to be nice, or something, but he usually just looks awkward. Yes, this is another version of the asinine “who would you rather have a beer with?” but Romney is just this side of the uncanny valley. It’s kind of hard to imagine him not wearing a suit, if you know what I mean.

Of course, I was in the Army, so my obscenity tolerance is pretty high. When I was in the National Guard, I used to notice that my language deteriorated as soon as I put on my uniform for monthly drill. Not the best reflection on those who serve our country, I admit, but I’m telling you: my response was practically Pavlovian.

#13 Comment By Orthodox On June 22, 2012 @ 9:36 pm

Disclosure: I don’t like Romney for his policies; Obama is far, far worse; I probably won’t vote.

Romney will do well sitting across from Putin. I can already hear the Democrats screaming about how he’s so nice, but he screws them in negotiations. He will be hated for his niceness, but he will use it to cut down his enemies. Remember the Reagan SNL skit, where he pretends to be a goofball, then sets about planning everything in Iran-Contra? Swap in nice and you have the future comedic image of Romney.