The upcoming 2016 election is very important. There are issues like spending, prison reform, immigration, and, perhaps most important of all — women in New York City swearing at work!
At least that’s what Governor Mike Huckabee seems to think. On Friday morning, the former governor of Arkansas said during an Iowa radio appearance that, “In the South, or in the Midwest, there in Iowa, you would not have people who would just throw the F-bomb and use gratuitous profanity in a professional setting.”
“In New York, not only do the men do it, but the women do it,” Huckabee said.
“My gosh, this is worse than locker-room talk,” he continued. “As we would say in the South, that’s just trashy.”
Now Mike Huckabee has not been the voice of the GOP for awhile, but this kind of commentary is a huge embarrassment to his party, especially considering how often Republicans are criticized for being prudish and anti-women.
But rather than criticize Huckabee, conservative columnists are defending him. They’re saying, “He didn’t say it was trashy for women, he just said it was trashy for everyone!” Actually, it should be clear to anyone who speaks English that Huckabee’s comment was much more inflammatory than that.
If Huckabee wanted to say it was trashy for everyone, and not different for different genders, he would not have brought up the different genders! But he did. Our country has gone so down the drain that not only are men swearing at work, but women are, too! He made it very clear that he believes there is a distinction by making one.
Oh, and by the way: Even if he had simply called out swearing as “trashy” in general, that would still be a problem. Because not only is the GOP slammed as The Sexist Party, it’s also slammed as the Party of Judgies — the mean old party that doesn’t accept you for you. A great way to make that worse would be to call something like swearing — which I’m pretty sure everyone has done at least once — “trashy.” Great way to alienate people. And for what?
After all — do we really want Mother Manners as the president? Keep in mind, Huckabee’s not doing these interviews as a news pundit anymore. He’s giving them as a potential presidential candidate. But do we need presumed Republican presidential candidates to sound like some kind of weird hybrid between Dear Abby and the Fashion Police?
To be fair, if you don’t want to offend anyone, it’s probably best to just not swear at work. It will offend some people, that’s true. But I thought conservatives were the small-government, free-expression party? I thought that conservatives were the ones saying: “Come on, guys, there are a lot bigger problems out there than the Redskins team name to be discussing!” There are, but what people are and are not saying in their private workplaces is not one of them.
The viewpoint that conservatives are sexist and judgmental is what will keep conservatives from getting elected in 2016. Maybe not saying things that blatantly perpetuate that point of view would be a good idea if you’re someone who cares about the real issues. These statements from Huckabee prove that he either does not care, or he does care and thinks that dropping an “f-bomb” is a serious issue. One so serious that it’s worth losing an election to discuss.
— Katherine Timpf is a reporter at National Review Online.