Learning The Language . . .

Deborah Venable



. . . Of Politics.  These days there is an absolute requirement that American people who wish to stay fully informed in the business of our self-governing Republic be fluently bi-lingual.  Of course the melting pot theory requires that serious Americans be fluent in our national language of English, but now we must also learn the language of politics.  If you simply count on a media or political translator, you will never know the real truth. 


It has often been said that English is one of the hardest languages in the world to master, probably because of as many reasons as there are opinions on the subject.  Oddly enough, politics fits that same explanation.  There are certainly those that will tell you English is no harder to learn than other languages, (they will most likely be native speakers trying to learn other languages) but politics is a language that should be foreign to everybody because there are no rules and absolutely no consistency. 


One only needed to listen to the proclamations following the recent passing of the debt crisis vote, (here, I have skillfully intermingled both plain English and the language of politics) to see that in the language of politics no one can define a winner in the outcome.  Actually, that is because there is NO winner except for the politicians themselves – ALL of them!  Media translators and the party leaders rushed for microphones to put forth their equally nauseating and WRONG translations of the outcome though.


In plain English, no one should ever consider himself fortunate for being allowed to take on more and more debt.  We are not lucky because of this.  We are certainly not better off because of this.  There is absolutely NOTHING positive in this.  It reflects a refusal to act responsibly.  It reflects a disconnect from real world economics.  The mindset that allows anyone to celebrate the continuing extension of borrowing to run our government shows an unfathomable ignorance of reality.


The language of politics is so convoluted, however, that reality is obscured even to those who use it all the time.  In this language, words mean whatever the speaker or writer of them want them to mean – it’s that simple. 


So, just like all the politicians and translators said, the debt ceiling was raised – but the things they warned would happen if it wasn’t raised happened anyway, and the best they could do was blame the folks who were against raising the debt ceiling in the first place!


The plunge of the stock market wiped out over a trillion dollars of wealth almost at a faster rate than Obama and his goons can spend that much money!  (I said, “almost.”)  The credit rating debacle had everyone riding that rollercoaster all week after the downgrade from triple A for the first time in our history.  Don’t you love it when everybody “watches” the stock market to determine whether we are okay or not? 


Here’s a clue – no, we aren’t okay.


The actions of our esteemed legislators right before they took off for vacation succeeded in not only kicking the can down the road, giving Obama a free pass to spend even more money, but also whittling down the people’s already dubious representation of 535 to just 12 very partisan participants to decide what happens when we approach “the can” again in the very near future.  My favorite word of the political language these days is “trigger.”  Not unlike the meaning of the more famous proper name, “Trigger” (Roy Rogers’ dead, stuffed horse) the political language word, trigger, describes a sort of preservation of a dead, stuffed policy – coercion of the worst kind to achieve the inevitable.


(At least Trigger was a good horse!)


Nothing in politics is at it seems on the surface these days.  No one speaking the language tries to understand anyone else.  Polls constructed in the political language produce useless results because there can be no truth where there is no understanding, but politicians are willing to live and die by the polls anyway.  Looking at just two issues – unemployment and national debt – the figures for both are constantly being “readjusted” after the fact to sometimes paint a very different picture.  So, when a poll asks a stupid question like, “Do you think the nation is going down the right path?” then counters it with another stupid question like, “Whom do you blame most for our national problems?” we end up with political commentary that rivals that coming out of the Tower of Babel. 


In closing, let me just say that it is high time we strip the second language from our political discourse.  Let’s all just learn to speak in plain English and forget trying to reinvent political communication to fit our whims.  I only want to hear truth come out of a politician’s mouth, and follow policy that emanates from reality and not some failed ideology that seeks to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.  There is no utopia that evolves from ignorance.    



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