‘Numb nuts’ not appropriate in political discourse, says poll

Chris Christie by DonkeyHotey

It seems insults have gone downhill of late — probably to match the sinking level of intelligence in modern day politics. A new poll of New Jersey voters indicates clearly that Gov. Chris Christie’s use of “numb nuts” was, according to 84% of takers, “never acceptable” in political discourse.

The phrase, which I assume means just what it says, topped “jerk” (83%), “ignoramus” (78%), “fascist” (67%), “unpatriotic” (50%), “radical” (25%), “corrupt” (24%), and “dishonest” (23%).

The poll, conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s “PublicMind,” said that 87% of voters though politicians should just lay off the name calling altogether. It also indicated that Christie supporters were generally more favorable of his name calling, as were Republicans and men, all things that should be decently obvious given how political polling usually goes.

But what I want to know is this: When did it become OK to call anyone “numb nuts” outside of the 4th grade in the year 1957? Just kidding. Actually, I want to know why political insults are now relying on silly names and not the stinging precise language of the past.

Like this, where did stuff like this go?:

  • “He has all the characteristics of a dog except loyalty.” – Sam Houston speaking about Thomas Jefferson Green, both American politicians.
  • “He slept more than any other president, whether by day or night. Nero fiddled, but Coolidge only snored.” – H.L. Mencken on Calvin Coolidge
  • “Reader, suppose you were an idiot; and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.”- Mark Twain, on Congress

Perhaps the words in those insults are too big for modern-day politicians, but they seem more effective and less crass than, say, “numb nuts.”

The “numb nuts” utterance of which I speak came from an Jan. 30 comment Christie gave about a pro-gay marriage assemblyman in New Jersey:

“You have numb nuts like Reed Gusciora who put out a statement comparing me to George Wallace and Lester Maddox. Now, come on guys, at some point, you’ve got to able to call BS on those kind of press releases.”

The quote, says the poll, will now forever live in infamy as Christie’s worst Christie-ism (though he did later apologize for it).

While the poll probably won’t lead to any major revelation in political science, at least the pollers had some fun doing it:

“Any job where you can call someone numb-nuts or write about someone calling someone numbnuts is a good job,” said Peter Woolley, a political scientist and director of the poll. “I’m thankful to the voters of the state of New Jersey and to my university, who made all this possible. I hadn’t heard that gem since I was a student at Wildwood High School.”

Posted by on March 28, 2012. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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