• Hey, Kari Lake! ‘BDE’? Seriously? Please. Just. Stop.

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    Surge Summary: Republican candidate for Arizona Governor Kari Lake used a vulgar, sexually tinged term in a recent speech. Was it really necessary? Isn’t the modern culture garbagy enough without “conservative” politicians making it worse?

    by Steve Pauwels

    What was Kari Lake thinking? Or perhaps that’s the problem: She simply wasn’t?

    Last Sunday, Arizona’s Republican gubernatorial candidate uncorked a weird, awkward and trashy comment during an appearance at Turning Point USA’s “Unite and Win Rally” in Phoenix.

    Addressing the topic of Florida’s attention-grabbing Governor Ron DeSantis, she opined, “I’ll tell you what he’s got. I don’t know if you heard of this, but he’s got BDE. Anybody know what that means? Ask your kids about it later.”

    For those with no “kids to ask”, BDE is sanitizing shorthand for (let me apologize in advance): “Big D*ck Energy”, (i.e., an attitude of quiet confidence, self-assuredness).

    So we have a fifty-two-year-old professional woman — a former TV news anchor-cum-politico, no less — who is currently running for the Grand Canyon State’s highest office, stooping to street-talk juvenilia. All in the name of … what? Impressing a conservative throng hanging on her every word? Out-vulgarizing many of her fellow male candidates who, regrettably, are similarly debasing themselves across the nation in pursuit of electoral victories?

    Can you say: Cringey?

    “BDE” is reportedly a term popularized by, among others, Kim Kardashian. How heartening to know the lady up for Arizona’s Republican standard-bearer is taking her rhetorical cues from the often clothing-phobic star of Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

    Genuinely, I’m embarrassed for Kari Lake.

    Is she trying just a tad too desperately to impress the slob mob among us? To prove she’s a dress-wearing but gutter-talking “tough guy”? Y’know, like too many others downstream from a certain former president over whom she never stops swooning, and who’s also known for his own regular, unsavory outbursts?

    Kari Lake is putatively representing the “pro-family”, “pro-Christian” cohort of the voting populace, correct? The “God-n-country” set? Notice, she was unabashedly sporting a gleaming, gold cross while unleashing her bit of stump-speech foulness. If I’m not mistaken, that piece of religious ornamentation is supposed to represent something meaningful and practical: commitment to a lifestyle in which individuals don’t express themselves like sewer-mouthed louts. Yet here we are subjected to Christian symbolism combined with a tawdry genitalia reference. Nice touch, Kari.

    To her credit, with her recommendation that the clueless among her listeners “ask your kids about [BDE] later”, Lake did take a stab at getting the whole family involved. (So much for not sexualizing our children, though.)

    Madame Candidate apparently is hoping audience-members will rush home and engage the loved ones in a chat about teen-level bawdiness. Maybe even Grandma and Grandpa can get involved! That’ll be productive, meal-time repartee for the traditionalist camp, which used to gripe about the degenerative coarsening of society — that is, until they were encouraged by their champions to exacerbate it with conversations about a lewd acronym.

    Watching Kari Lake’s performance a week back, it’s difficult believing it was an unfortunate slip of the tongue by the seasoned public speaker. I mean, check it out: She cutesily feigns not wanting to utter one popular scatological expression (“My staff always says whatever you do, do not say ‘b*lls’, so I’m not gonna say it.”) At one instant, and with staged coyness, she even lifts a hand to her lips as if waving away a naughty thought. Then, after all that theater, the GOP nominee calculatedly launches the less well-known — and even cruder — “BDE” blast anyway.

    Gross. And dumb.

    And, by the way, oh-so-unnecessary.

    Lake herself demonstrates that last point when she initially announces, “He [DeSantis] is gutsy. The guy has bigger…wait, let me think about how I want to word this. …That guy has a backbone made of steel.”

    Catch that? She more than effectively conveyed her supremely legitimate acknowledgment of the Florida governor’s courage; his doggedness; his willingness to fight. And all without talking like an eighth-grade punk in the locker room. Alas, she opted not to leave it at that. She just had to elaborate with the smutty flourish.

    Has American society — and even more egregiously, conservative American society, including the “Christian Right” — outright abandoned any notion of high-profile figures’ and public officials’ setting an honorable example in their conduct. Time was, individuals in the spotlight encountered, and generally yielded to, some widespread pressure to “behave themselves” — exercising basic discretion over how they speak, act, the image they project; modelling a dash of emotional maturity before a watching world.

    Ever expandingly it seems … no more.

    That said, how many parents, honestly, hope their daughters grow up to become beautiful, successful women … who then demean themselves, à la Kari Lake, in front of thousands (and later, courtesy of social media, millions)? Not exactly every mom and dad’s dream.

    Still, from what I can discern, Ms. Lake’s side of the political aisle has responded to her feculent faux pas with noticeable indifference. Barely a peep, if any.

    One refreshing exception is former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis who took to Twitter to object: “Am I the only young conservative who thinks this kind of rhetoric at a TPUSA event is grossly inappropriate?”

    She amplified her gripe to Newsweek: “I endorsed and still fully support Kari Lake. What I don’t support is the notion that strong conservative women have to make comments with clear sexual innuendo to connect with a young audience or be popular. I’ve definitely said and tweeted things I’ve thought better of later, and I hope Kari does the same here.”

    We can, of course, expect the hypocritical Democrats and political/cultural Left to agree with Ellis’s disapproval of Lake’s quip; and jack up the outrage quotient along the way. But where are Arizona’s pastors seconding the thirty-seven-year-old attorney’s sentiments?  The state’s Christian leaders and conservative influencers piping up? How about just plain-old-responsible adults on the political Right saying something? Anything?

    May I remind? “Let it not even be named among you … neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting” (Ephesians 5:3, 4 NKJV); “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth” (Eph. 4:29); “[P]ut off all … filthy language out of your mouth” (Colossians 3:8).

    Everyday life in 2022 is plenty scabby enough without those who allegedly represent a change, a turnaround, echoing the nasty parts. Potty-tongued conservatives, how about a break!

    For her part, Kari Lake is unrepentant over her presently gone-viral boorishness, snarking on Twitter: “Uh-oh! Twitter is on fire because I said President Trump & Gov @RonDeSantisFL both have ‘BDE’ I stand by what I said.”

    Well, then … Shame on the possible next governor of Arizona.

    The views here are those of the author and not necessarily Daily Surge

    Image: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/; Adapted from:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/51296980567


    Steve Pauwels

    Steve Pauwels is pastor of Church of the King, Londonderry, NH, Managing Editor over at dailysurge.com and host of Striker Radio with Steve Pauwels on the Red State Talk Radio Network. He's also husband to the lovely Maureen and proud father of three fine sons: Mike, Sam and Jake.

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