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Words Words Words, Rhetoric Rhetoric Rhetoric
Tuesday, 2007 September 11 - 8:34 pm
The more I hear politicians talk, the less I believe in them.

There sure are a lot of meaningless words coming out of Washington these days.

Whenever some politician talks about immigration, the catch phrase is "securing our nation's borders". Oh sure, it's all about fighting those dang terrorists. But the main proposed instrument of border security is always a wall on the Mexican border. How come there's no talk about a wall on the Canadian border? The answer is this: the immigration reform debate isn't about terrorism. It's about keeping those dang Mexicans out (because, you know, there are sooo many good old English-speaking U.S. Americans dying to pick crops and clean toilets for a living). Politicians couch their words so they don't alienate the Hispanic electorate, but there are at least a few of us who can see through their talk.

When politicians talk about terrorists, they talk about "the enemy", as if terrorists were a homogenous and easily identifiable group of people that we could fight on conventional military terms. Here's a quote from Republican representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: "Radical Islam sees Iraq as a central front in their war on freedom. The enemies of the emerging Iraqi representative government are the enemies of democracies everywhere. They are our enemies, as well." (My emphasis.) But how come "the enemy" is always a Middle Eastern Islamic militant... instead of, say, a white supremacist in the United States? I don't hear anyone calling the KKK "the enemy".

The abortion debate is littered with over-used phrases. "A woman's right to choose". "The sanctity of life". "Stare decisis." "Strict constructionist". Every phrase is designed to separate OUR side from YOUR side, because yeah, of course, there's no middle ground to be found in this country.

What I would like is for politicians to talk reasonably about a topic, without resorting to their arrogant catch phrases. But I guess that's too much to task.
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Posted by Ken in: politics


Comment #1 from John C (Guest)
2007 Sep 13 - 6:39 am : #
" Politicians couch their words"

I would actually say this is a far great sin than speaking carefully. What they are actually doing is generating fear in one group (middle class white people), and alienating another group (people who look arabic), to pass legislation that impacts a third group who really has nothing to do with the first two groups.

I find the whole thing beyond exasperating.

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