Getting Politicians to Swear off Cussing

I know this is a subject that some of you feel we’ve discussed enough. I thought so too until I saw this on the news the other night.

When the whole Joe Biden dropping the F-ing bomb in President Obama’s ear when a mike was on was first discussed, I have to admit that I’m guilty too, I just didn’t think too much about it. Then it was discussed on The View and I still didn’t think much of it. Joy Behar even made the comment that “this is “Joe Biden.” It’s just who he is and he doesn’t act any different that he ever did.” Okay, is this really how we want our leaders to talk? I’ve also heard that “in his defense, he didn’t know the mike was on.” Does that make it okay?

Meet McKay Hatch. Here is a little of what he has to say. “”We are very disappointed with Vice President Biden’s words during the passing of the health bill,” said McKay in a press conference he called Friday. Hatch founded the “No cussing club” at his junior high school in 2007, after getting fed up with the foul language he heard at school. “A lot of kids at my school, and some of my friends, would cuss and use dirty language all the time,” Hatch said. “They did it so much; they didn’t even realize they were doing it. It bothered me so much that one day I challenged them to stop.”

His cause struck a nerve, and he soon appeared on dozens of news programs, was cited by Dr. Phil and went to other schools to give inspirational talks.

The club currently boasts 35,000 members from all 50 states and 20 different countries. Now Hatch is challenging the country’s second in command to take up his no-swearing challenge.

“All we ask is for a public apology and for him to take the ‘no cussing challenge’ and show America that hope and change starts at the top,” Hatch said. Hatch suggested Biden put money in a “cussing jar” every time he cusses to remind himself to keep it clean and then donate the money to charity. He’s mailing the vice president a cussing jar.

“Many kids and adults all over the world look up to Vice President Biden as a role model,” said Hatch, who is also the National Youth Spokesperson for the Parents Television Council.

“So with that huge responsibility, he needs to be a good role model for kids and use clean and appropriate language,” Hatch said.

What do you think? Are we quickly becoming a society that allows our leaders to talk this way and think it’s okay? I know I’ve let that bomb drop but somehow, I never forgot where I was or who might hear me. I’ve never said it at work nor in front of my grandchildren. Does it make it okay that he didn’t know the mike was on? What if it were your child’s principal or teacher? What if it were your priest of clergyman? I know the announcers on the news said during this story that if they let words like this fly, they would be fired. Should it be okay for some and not others?

The other thing that I’m thinking here is “how” this word was used. Most people who do this are usually name calling but Biden seems happy with himself. Obama laughs too but I really wonder if he knew at the time what to do. I mean really, the mike is right there. Part of me wonders just how much he (Biden) cared at all and this is why it bothers me somewhat more than the F word being said in a closed-door meeting and was accidently caught by someone somehow. If you haven’t seen it, here it is. Take a close look at both of them having a jolly good laugh over it.

So, let’s discuss…….what’s your opinion?

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26 Responses to Getting Politicians to Swear off Cussing

  1. Sue says:

    I think it’d be a great idea for him to join the club! I think people in powerful positions feel entitled to do what they want with no repercussions b/c of who they are. “Well I’m the VP of the US of A so I can do what I want!” I also think that these people feel like if they do mess up a simple “I’m sorry” is all they need to do. His comment shows his lack of awareness of his surroundings also. You are at a press conference for goodness sakes! I hope he uses the cuss jar and drops a $100 for every word. That might make him think twice next time.

  2. SKL says:

    I cuss. But only in private. I have enough self-control that nobody is going to catch me using the F-word on a mike or in front of anyone who would be in a position to “report” it.

    I do think that our leaders should know better. The excuse “I didn’t know the mike was on” is recycled, and it was lame enough the first time. He knew that what he was saying was in public. He just didn’t care.

    I’m getting a bit sick of this “that’s Joe” crap. This guy is the Vice President. He had a decent shot at being President of the USA. He’s been in politics all his life and he’s been up for reelection more times than G.W. Bush (I think). He can’t control himself, he can’t communicate, he’s a racist, militant buffoon, and that’s somehow OK because “it’s him.”

    Let me just ask: if it were Sarah Palin saying “F-” on the mike, would all the libs be blowing it off, and saying she’s still a terrific VP?

    Using crude language in public is disrespectful. If that’s what Joe Biden thinks of Americans, his party ought to call him on the carpet for it. But there doesn’t seem to be much accountability on that side of the aisle, if you’ve noticed.

  3. SKL says:

    My long comment went into the abyss . . . .

  4. Wehn the f*** are people going to stop making “leaders” and athletes and celebrities “role models” for their children?

    Shouldn’t parents be f****ng role models for their own children?

    I confess that I love the versatility of the F-bomb!

    But seriously . . . I’m sick to death of hearing people say crap like “people look up to them.” Role models should start at home, as a general rule. I’d say this kid probably has solid parents at home. While I think trying to curb cussing is a virtuous idea, I’m no certain how badly reality will shred his goals.

  5. Ellen says:

    Of course it is very stupid of Joe Biden to say this word in public, but I agree with J.W. Nicklaus. Role models starts at home, the parents. Because, if it wasn’t Joe Biden, it would had been another president, who suppose to be a role model, but said foul language also in public, or who lied big times (and I do not mean only President Clinton)!

  6. Laura says:

    On one hand, I agree with J.W… that role models start at home, with parents. But then I think about it for a second, and realize that if we didn’t accept any outside role models, we wouldn’t be looking to Jesus for guidance, we wouldn’t be awed by Ghandi or Mother Theresa, or read books by the Dalai Lama. We wouldn’t be inspired by Buzz Aldrin (and not for his dancing) or Neil Armstrong. We wouldn’t be discussing Shakespeare’s plays or Mozart’s concerti. We wouldn’t study Einstein’s theories. Sports figures – Michael Jordan, Walter Payton (sorry, Chicago girl); even politicians… Washington, Jefferson, maybe even some modern ones, like Reagan. There are movie stars in that bunch, too, to whom we can refer as ‘role models’. Harrison Ford comes to mind.

    So “outside” role models, in my book, are just fine, and should be a part of our children’s lives. But in this day and age, we tend to look to an office, rather than a person, to be a role model. President of the United States? Instant Role model – is he a good person? Doesn’t matter, he sits in the chair. We’re too quick to forgive those who glitter and shine – celebrities, sports figures, politicians – because of WHAT they are, not because of WHO they are.

    So, yeah, Biden needs to not only apologize, but make a BIG investment in that “Swear Jar”. So does Obama, Rahm Emanuel, the whole lot of them. Because they HAVE set themselves up to be role models – especially Obama, being the “First Black President” and all that. And all of those people, in positions of influence need to knock off the “I’m not a role model” crap, because they are. Somewhere, some kid is looking at them, saying, “Yeah, I wanna be just like him when I grow up,” regardless of his parental influence.

  7. SKL says:

    I absolutely don’t consider politicians to be role models for my kids. However, to some extent, they do “set the standard” in society. Especially the highest democratic leaders, whose every step (virtuous and crude) is regaled by the adoring press. I don’t recall the press being so forgiving when it was reported that Cheney used the F word in a private conversation. (I’m sure he and 90+% of the politicians do this regularly, but it’s different from doing it in a public meeting / press conference.)

    The idea of a politician being a role model makes me shudder. I worry more about how I can teach my kids to NOT accept some of the stuff politicians get away with. Once in a while they do something “good” character-wise – like telling the truth or doing exactly what they promised to the nation before their election – but overall, they are a very scary bunch.

  8. Joy says:

    Something about the whole role model thing is sticking in me and I’m not sure how to put it down in type.

    While I agree it’s up to us as parents to set the tone for our kids, I do think some of these people slip into our lives depending on our interests.

    To say, Adrian Peterson, Kevin Garnett of Justin Morneau (Minnesota girl here) aren’t role models would be weird to us. Sports play such a big part of our lives and I’m not sure there’s anything bad about that. Movie stars are different though I believe. Because they are playing a role and it’s not who they are. Does that make sense? We watch these athletes playing a sport and aren’t just acting out a role and we watch these baseball, basketball or football games the whole season. To any sport fan, these athletes are a role model and I’m not sure how you’d get away with that.

    Now if you’re talking about a teacher or a principal or police officer and yes, the leaders of this country, our children look up to them. Isn’t that what we teach them? To follow the laws and play nice and be fair and the President is there for us. I don’t think they should be dropping these kind of bombs when there is a microphone RIGHT THERE at a PRESS CONFERENCE. What a stupid thing to do.

    • Laura says:

      I think what bothers me the most about all these “f-bombs” and whatever being dropped is the usual excuse… “oh, I didn’t know the mike was on”. BS, you didn’t know it was on. Even a flyover country, farm-girl, jeans-wearing, hick like me knows that you ALWAYS regard a microphone as being “live”.

      And if any one of us, in a professional setting where the public is involved, used the same language, we’d be dressed down at the very least. Very likely, in most situations, we’d be fired for reflecting poorly on the company.

      So why is it ok for our leaders – who are watched on a daily basis by the entire world – allowed a pass, regularly? Oh, we’ve constantly asked this question, and we keep getting the same answer.

      Because all people are equal. It’s just that some are more equal than others…

      • Joy says:

        I think that’s the main reason I wrote this post Laura was because the anchors of WCCO said that if one of them said that word “on air” they would be fired. That got me to thinking that that’s just not right. The amount of people who hear them virus the amount of people who hear the President and Vice President are millions times more. At least to me that’s a very big difference.

  9. Ellen says:

    I think everybody agrees with you, Laura. Joe Biden was plain stupid to do this. Mike on or not. He should not use that word, period! And, what I have read on the internet, it is not being swept under the carpet. A lot of publicity is going on that he did the wrong thing. And his excuse did not look very sincere to me either. But, I am not sure why you are so upset with this so much. President George W. Bush has been drunk in public several times, Dick Cheney was drunk during an interview on TV and said the F-word on TV too. And everybody was upset with them then also. These two men were then “role models” too…. I think…..

    • SKL says:

      Ellen, I am not sure how you can say George W. Bush was drunk in public several times. He quit drinking decades ago. Three decades ago he had a DUI, and the media pretended it was recent during his first election, because they wanted to make him lose votes. And it apparently worked. Be careful what you believe.

      I don’t know about Cheney being drunk in public, but if your source for that is the same, I’d be very skeptical. Not to say many politicians haven’t and won’t be seen in public while imbibing alcohol. Making merry isn’t a scandal as far as I am concerned. (And I am not a drinker.)

      I am not saying that Biden is the first or only politician who has done something stupid and disrespectful. What bugs me is that when he does it, most of the media rally behind him. “You know old Joe.” It is just as bad as when they declared, after Clinton was forced to admit the Monica Lewinski thing due to DNA evidence, “Americans don’t care about morality any more.” As well as, “Of course he had to lie, how else would he get re-elected – the ends justify the means.” People need to be more skeptical of the media, but until that happens, I will continue to be frustrated by the double standard the media exhibits.

      • Joy says:

        One of the main reasons I wrote this post SKL was because of the way Joy Behar laughed about this on the view. She takes every single pot shot she can against any republican in the country and yet she laughed at this and said “it’s just Joe, it’s how he is” and that rubbed me the wrong way. If he, a well educated man who’s the second in command of this country can’t find another word of “celebration” to use other than “this is fucking big,” I’m wondering what the heck? Can you even imagine if Sarah Palin said that into a mike and said “I didn’t know it was on?” Can you see the stuff flying???

        • SKL says:

          I know, and remember how she acted like Rush was truly hateful toward the handicapped because he did a parody on the “F-ing Retarded” comment by Obama’s other right hand man? She couldn’t find her sense of humor regarding Rush’s use of the word “Retard,” but “Old Joe” is one of the good guys at the moment, so he can say anything, heh heh heh. People are unfortunately influenced by what they see on these shows. So to some extent, it does matter.

      • Ellen says:

        SKL, I agree totally with you in this. No person, who is performing in public should say foul language. And the irritating reaction : Oh, you know old Joe, is really ridiculous. I was absolutely shocked that a man, in his position could say something like that at that moment. The same with Clinton, incredible he got away with it, at the end and got re-elected.

        Regarding formal president Bush being drunk. I have seen him on TV during the Olympic games in 2008, he looked pretty wasted and during a speech he was not sober also.
        On this video he is drinking beer, so he that is not really giving up alcohol to me:

        Here I found a summary of suspicious drinking of President G.W. Bush:
        http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_4093.shtml

        I have to apologize about me saying formal VP Dick Cheney was drunk in public. I looked it up more thoroughly, and saw that the information on the video I saw on line about him being drunk in public was not real. Again, I am sorry I was saying that.

        • SKL says:

          I am sorry, Ellen, but if those stories about Bush were real, they would have been plastered all over the US news, because in case you haven’t noticed, the US media hated and still hates Bush with a passion. They would jump at the slightest chance to smear him. Again, be careful what you believe.

          And again, if he did drink a beer here and there, I don’t see it as anything to be upset about. But he said he gave up alcohol and I haven’t heard any mainstream news reporting otherwise. Having a beer in front of him doesn’t prove he was drunk. Again, I don’t drink, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t had a drink in front of me and even sipped it in order to not offend those I am with, in certain circumstances.

          There are things Bush did, and didn’t do, that I don’t agree with. But it gets tiresome to hear him accused of being a complete scumbag by the same media that turned a blind eye to everything Clinton did, and now most of what Obama and Biden do. In my opinion, the press was just frustrated that they had to go 8 years without a sex scandal in the white house.

    • Joy says:

      I don’t think it’s okay for anyone to do this. I’m not any more or any less concerned for “who” does it and it kind of makes the same point. This boy wants to curb cussing no matter who the person is. Politician or not. Famous or not. My question is kind of answered. Talking like this is becoming too commonplace. I think we are becoming anesthetized to it and it’s just becoming “that’s the way it is” and I find that sad.

      • SKL says:

        I agree that it’s too commonplace – I definitely do it too much. I think it’s confusing to my kids, who know kids mustn’t say “bad words” though grown-ups can. I need to make an effort to stop that. (Though I must say my mom was 10x worse than me, and I don’t think it made much difference in my life – I even went through long periods as an adult when I wouldn’t swear at all.)

  10. Nikki says:

    As much as one can say, “these people should not be our children’s role models!” They are! They just are. They hold high positions, from world leaders to sports hero’s. They should take in to consideration that kids look up to them. I don’t care what they do on there own time. And I would never ask, or expect them to NEVER say a cuss word. But they are adults, and there is a time and place for everything, and on camera is not the place. I’m all for the no cussing club, although I am not convinced they never do it behind closed doors.

    We should expect from them the same we expect from ourselves. Any more than that is unfair. We are responsible for our children, not them.

    Always use your best judgment, always be aware of who might hear you. If you can’t do that, which is something my 10 year can do then you should not be in that high of power.

    • Laura says:

      You’re right, Nikki… it’s the very definition of “professionalism” – choosing the correct words and demeanor to fit a situation.

      Unfortunately, we have elected a bunch of gutter rats to “lead” our country. And to the gutter we will go.

  11. starlaschat says:

    Navar has been going to school to become a teacher. He will be able to teach Art and Biology soon. He is just finishing up his schooling and will be student teaching in the Fall. I have been watching my language since he decided to become a teacher. I think bad language is a bit of a habit. I do cuss once in a blue moon sometimes using a bad word especially when annoyed or mad seems to fit. But right place right time and defiantly not at school from teachers. I did see it live when Bidden let er rip I think Obama was probably surprised and may have said something to him after the fact.

  12. Laura says:

    Just for the record?

    Joy Behar needs to just sit down and shut the **** up. She’s so far out of it, it’s not even funny anymore.

    • Joy says:

      I agree with you Laura and I said as much to my mom the other day. I used to really like her but the longer time goes on, the more I think all she’s there for is to promoter her other show and get laughs. I’m beginning to not be able to stand her. She doesn’t stick to the subject on hand and goes off on tangents all to often.

  13. See, the thing about cussing is that I just don’t really get what the big deal about it is… I grew up in a home where my parents used curse words without thinking about it. It wasn’t something used violently, it was more like an under-the-breath toe stubbing thing.
    I’ve never felt that cursing was such a big deal. In Israel everyone uses the English curse words as well, and they never think about the meaning, it’s just a sound in a foreign language. Maybe that’s part of why I don’t find it being a big deal.

    I hope you don’t think less of me, Joy… I’m so against violence, it’s just that I really would prefer kids and politicians to use curse words to get out their temper than to hit or press a button to shoot a bomb to some other country.

    • Joy says:

      I would never think less of you. I just don’t think swearing is always the necessary thing to do. It’s just one of those things. I was raised not swearing in certain situations. If it were my friends and I, yes it was fun to swear without the parents around but I’d never swear in front of them. Just as I try very hard not to say “bad words” in front of little kids or in front of almost anyone. Shit or damn is one thing but I have to be really worked up to say the F word in front of almost anyone. I just feel it’s almost uneducated. I can’t really explain it. It doesn’t offend me if a friend is talking to me and says it but if I heard a “professional” say it, I would think less of them. I just feel they are very educated and surely they know more words to use than those.

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