THE TRUMPENING OF AMERICA.
For generations, American conservatives have inveighed against the “coarsening of our culture,” arguing that the media are complicit in a steady assault against Christian values. In books like Robert Bork’s “Slouching Toward Gomorrah” and William Bennett’s “The De-Valuing of America,” they lamented the pervasiveness of pornography and drugs, the rise of gangster rap and death metal music and the vulgarization of the entertainment industry in pursuit of the almighty buck.
I don’t know about you, but I sure miss those guys.
For one thing, they had a point. Porn and drugs aren’t great for kids. Liberalization is a Pandora’s Box. The same seismic shifts that released Lady Chatterley and Phillip Roth also brought us The Bachelor, Bro Culture, Ted Nugent and the Trolls of Reddit. Oh, and did I mention Donald Trump?
Trump is the apotheosis of a coarsening culture — he takes low taste to new heights. His buildings are an affront to vulgarity. His hive of hair appears spun from Rumpelstiltskin’s loom and charged with static ions from a coal-fired power plant in Hell. His wives are cyborgs molded in a mannequin factory and modeled on the masturbatory fantasies of a developmentally damaged preteen gynophobe. He belches black clouds of hate speech in preverbal English and adds insult to injury every time he parts his glutinous lips. He follows no perceptible moral code beyond his own self-interest. He is a fart with feet.
So where’s the outrage on the right? Bennett has said he will vote for Trump, but without enthusiasm. James Dobson defends him passionately as an advocate for Christian rights. Jerry Falwell, Jr. tweets out buddy pix from Trump Tower. And Michelle Bachmann is his personal angel on evangelical issues. True, Ted Cruz took a stand by sitting out a Trump endorsement and Glenn Beck appears to have advocated for an assassination attempt. But their objections are more political than ethical — Trump isn’t conservative enough for their taste.
So now it falls on us liberals to point out the proverbial turd in the cultural punchbowl, and maybe there’s some kind of karmic justice in that. After all, we filed the suits that pushed the limits. We fought and won the sexual revolution. We opened the bedroom and bathroom doors for better and for worse. So if it’s up to us to do the dirty work, then so be it. Hand me that toilet brush. I’ve got to get fumigating.