How should we understand the moral outrage (or pretension thereto) with which the publication of Donald Trump’s aptly self-described “locker room talk” was met? It is hypocritical, of course, as countless others have already pointed out. Especially ridiculous to me were the first lady’s tearful “heartfelt” remarks on the matter: for sufficient proof of the defectiveness of her own moral compass, recollect her declaration that distinguished White House guest Beyonce makes a fine role model for her daughters. Yes, this is the same Beyonce who literally bends over backwards on stages across the country to expose her money-making derriere to crowds of thousands. What, then, does this Beyonce model for girls like Mrs. Obama’s daughters, besides how to behave like a slut, or how to reduce oneself into a sex object? A recent video featuring the elder Obama daughter “dancing” in a self-degrading manner at a college party suggests that she has, alas, taken the example of her “role model” to heart.
The question remains: how should we account for the outrage, not only of our incredible (that is, not to be believed) first lady, but of all those among us who, thanks to a single tree carved with Trump’s lewd remarks, fail to see or else pretend to fail to see the forest of moral corruption in which we all live? I, for one, wonder if the celebration of Beyonce and her lowly likes by the Obamas and by fans across the country can, after all, be reconciled with the indignation we are being told by the Obamas and the Clintons and their servants in the media to direct toward Trump for his “locker room talk”: everyone can see that these modern-day mandarins of ours are by no means offended by obscenity. They have in fact presided over and encouraged its progress, its normalization. And why shouldn’t they continue to do so? The agenda of the Left is indeed one of “progress,” to be sure—progress toward what Tocqueville called “soft despotism”: they conceive of government as “an immense [and] tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure [the people’s] gratifications and to watch over their fate.” This power “would be like the authority of a parent if…its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks…to keep them in perpetual childhood…it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry…what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?” And what better way to keep us in such a perpetual childhood than by providing us an inexhaustible supply of “gratifications,” no matter how obscene?
Obscenity in general serves the Left’s agenda. Trump’s obscenity was made the object of a manufactured uproar because the prospect of his presidency threatens that agenda.