OPINION: Trump Rejects Request From Christian Leader to Use Less Profanity, and He's Probably Right

AP Photo/Chris Szagola

Former President Donald Trump rejected a suggestion from evangelist Franklin Graham that he stop using profanity during his speeches. During recent remarks, the former president explained that while he is trying to cut down on his use of bad words, he also knows his base appreciates it.


He’s probably right.

While addressing a crowd at a Philadelphia rally, Trump brought up a letter Graham had sent to him suggesting that his speeches would be better if he did not curse. “He said, ‘President, I love your speaking. Your ability to speak is incredible. Your storytelling is great, but it could be so much better if you didn’t use foul language,’” Trump recounted before giving his response: “He’s wrong.”

The former president characterized Graham as “a man I like” and someone he admires “so much.”

Trump said he has “been working so hard” not to use profanity at his rallies. However, he asked for a bit of grace, given the length of his speeches. “I’m only talking about one or two times during an entire speech. You know, these speeches go on for two hours, one or two,” he said.

Trump argued that “you don’t get the emphasis” if he doesn’t sometimes swear when making a point. He then patted himself on the back for managing to resist using foul language earlier in the day at a Christian conference. “I was really good. I didn’t interject. Could have been better if I used a couple of bad words,” he said.

The former president indicated he might make more of an effort if more people expressed criticisms of his language. “When I see people start to walk out, then we’ll stop,” he declared.


Whether it’s right or wrong, people like the fact that Trump is willing to drop some profanity here and there. It makes him more relatable to regular folks, specifically the people whose votes he’s after. One of the reasons why Trump was able to make such a big splash in 2016 and beyond is his brash, unapologetically pugilistic style of communicating.

The bottom line is that he simply didn’t talk like the type of stuffy, ordinary, whitewashed politicians that people have come to despise. The former president didn’t even bother to put forth even a thin veneer of civility and propriety in his approach to politicking – and people still love him for it.

Even further, he has inspired a somewhat new breed of politician – especially on the right – with leaders leaning into the more confrontational everyman rhetorical approach. They, like Trump, recognize that the American people want someone who at least appears to be relatable. Despite being an ultra-wealthy businessman, Trump has shown a remarkable ability to connect with regular folks.

Reasonable people can disagree on the morality of Trump’s language. But what can’t be denied is the fact that it is quite effective at appealing to voters.


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