President Trump is not one to mince words. The New York billionaire won hearts and minds in 2016 using candid, coarse, and at times profane language while speaking at rallies and in interviews.
"I’d say swearing is part of his appeal," author Melissa Mohr told the New York Times. Mohr wrote "Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing."
"It helps create the impression that he is saying what he thinks, ‘telling it like it is.’ We tend to believe people when they swear, because we interpret these words as a sign of strong emotions. In his case, the emotion is often powerful anger, which his supporters seem to love."
And while Trump's coarse language has been largely relegated to the words "Bullshit", "Hell" and "Ass," Democrats have cranked it up to 11 over Twitter and elsewhere, dropping F-bombs and all sorts of other colorful language as they attempt to match Trump's bluster, according to The Hill.
In analysis conducted exclusively for ITK, GovPredict, a government relations software company, found that the frequency of lawmakers using words that might make one’s grandmother blush has increased steadily since 2014.
President Trump and several of the candidates seeking to replace him next year — including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) — have used impassioned swear words to make their points recently. Sanders responded to a debate comment about "Medicare for All" last month by saying that he "wrote the damn bill," and Trump used the word “hell” at least half a dozen times at a Thursday night rally.
GovPredict’s data shows that obscene language not including the words "shit" and "f---" has been used at an all-time high by politicians, with 1,225 instances on Twitter so far this year compared to 833 in 2018. -The Hill
Weeks ago, 2020 White House hopeful Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-TX) dropped an F-bomb while discussing the MSM's failure to hold Trump accountable for fanning the flames of racial discord, saying "He's been calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. Members of the press, what the fuck?"
Cory Booker said in a text message shared by his campaign manager over Twitter: "Listening to the president. Such a bullshit soup of ineffective words." In May, Booker said on CNN while discussing gun control "We are not going to give thoughts and prayers, which to me is just bullshit. I’m sorry to say that as a man of faith, but I was taught that faith without works is dead."
In January, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) told a cheering crowd of Trump "We're gonna go in and impeach the motherfucker." Did she learn that kind of language from her grandmother?
Meanwhile, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) wrote on Twitter that voters should "Demand the Members of Congress get rid of ALL assault weapons or kick our ass out of Congress!"
And in a 2017 speech, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said "If we are not helping people, we should go the fuck home."
UCSD professor of cognitive science Ben Bergen opines on the new abnormal.
"For the most part, with a few exceptions, candidates have avoided being recorded swearing," says Bergen, who authored "What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves."
"We’ve seen media become democratized. There are fewer and fewer channels of communication that are censored. And as a result, there’s just more swearing around," added Bergen.
Bergen also says that for veterans of Congress who have "spent decades and decades crafting a public image," talking blue could be a calculated choice: "They believe that there’s work that swearing can do for them, and that although there is risk associated with it, they’re willing to take that risk for the potential reward."
Pitkin says that "as a growing number of elected officials break social norms, we are not likely to see a tempering of open-mindedness and self-expression by way of the usage of foul language." -The Hill
According to Bergen: "It’s hard to tell whether this is a moment that we’re experiencing where political discourse is now, because of heightened emotions and stakes and so on, [such] that people are trying to reach into a quiver of more affectively laden language or whether this is just the new normal."
Will it backfire?
According to Bergen - no fucking way.
"People who are already likely to be supportive of those individuals are more likely to believe that they are honest, they’re telling the truth, are more likely to believe that they’re emotionally involved in the things that they’re saying, and that they are powerful."