Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The word "shithole" is not the issue here, dude.

I always thought that by my advanced age of 37—I'd be long dead if I was an ancient Roman—that I would sort of understand the world that I live in. But, nope. Every single day I find myself slapping myself on the forehead in complete astonishment at the idiocy all around me. Many times, not surprisingly, it is my nation's politics that force this frustration. It truly is a miracle that Donald Trump's presidency hasn't caused me to develop a Wesley Willis-esque head callus from all the head slaps. It's one thing after another with him, the latest circus is based off of his use of a certain vulgarity.


Now, I could go off about what a disgrace it is to have a sitting president make such a clearly racist comment about an enormous chunk of the planet. I could get on my pedestal and lecture you about how this is a nation made up of immigrants and that I believe we should welcome them with open arms. But that's not where I'm going with this, at least not today. A lot of other people have already made these points far more eloquently than I would.

What I want to talk about is how pathetic it is that so many people in the political sphere, particularly in the GOP, are clutching their pearls about the specific word that was said. Some are saying that Trump didn't say it at all. Others are saying that they heard him say "shithouse," as if that is some type of improvement. And others, like DHS secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, simply say that they heard "rough language." All of a sudden we are having a fight over whether or not Trump swore. And if he did swear, we're arguing about how he swore and if others joined him in the profanity parade. Who gives a flying fuck?

I understand that words have meaning, like you, I've heard the cliché at least 10,000 times, but it is idiotic to go back to our Puritan roots and tremble over the specific word used. The point of the statement made by the president was that he believes immigrants from Africa and Haiti are undesirable for our nation. That they are worth less than immigrants from Norway are. Whether he did this by calling Africa a "shithole" or by saying that "African countries are economically disadvantaged and immigrants from those nations negatively impact the American economy," the meaning is exactly the same.

There has always been a lofty standard about what it means to be "presidential," and I've heard the argument that using such coarse language violates this standard. And here I find myself defending Cheeto Jesus, which makes me horrifically uncomfortable. I do not care if the president swears. This didn't happen during the State of the Union, it was during a closed door meeting, and in that context I don't really care what language the president uses. I care about what he means, but I don't particularly care how he makes the point.

For example, I strongly believe in universal health care. Imagine if Bernie Sanders had an outburst during a senate meeting where he said, "Listen here, bitches. We're going to pass the best goddamn health care bill in the fucking world for all those uninsured motherfuckers scared shitless about going to the doctor."  Would this do anything to change my belief in universal health care or the faith I have in Sanders to fight to make it a reality? Absolutely not. I might sigh that he opened himself up for attacks by calling his fellow legislators bitches, but the language wouldn't be the point, just like it's not the point here.

Any thinking person can see that this whole kerfuffle is just to distract us from the reality that Donald Trump is a racist that semi-secretly wants to deport all of the Dreamers. And if he had his druthers we all know he would cut off all immigration from any country that isn't as lily-white as Norway. We all know this and have known this for quite some time. So, can we please move on from the shithole nonsense and secure a future for the Dreamers, renew CHIP and make sure that we don't build that idiotic wall? Thanks.

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