Video

Is Profanity in Politics a Good Idea?

Swear Jar shot against defocused background, overflowing with money collected.

Warning: this video contains adult language.

This Atlantic video explores whether it’s a good idea for politicians and public figures to use swear words. They argue that there is an actual reason for the crudeness — that it ingratiates pols with their audiences. It creates a sort of clique that the newsmaker gets to share with his or her crowd. They say it’s similar to the reason politicians often become a little more folksy in the South or the Midwest. But are Americans getting tired of it?

Comedian George Carlin famously outlined the “bad words”: “Sh*t, p*ss, f**k, c*nt, c**ksucker, motherf**ker, and t*ts.” Do you want to continue to see these words pop up in our civil society? Or should we start washing politicians’ mouths out with soap?

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