Words as Weapons, II

Editor’s Note: This is the second entry in a series of blog posts by guest blogger, Al Griffiths.

Have you ever noticed when Congressmen and Senators from the Right are interviewed or speak on recent political events or hot topic policy matters, they use the same key words and talking points to make their case? 

Interestingly, the right leaning cable news/commentary, radio talk show hosts and bloggers contemporaneously use the same key words or phrases.  It happens at an obvious speed and coordination after recent political events or hot political news.  It’s like they are wired into a rapid response network.  Or am I being paranoid? 

I think not. 

It happens too often and with such synchronicity it’s like reading off sheet music.  Albeit out of tune with logic and reason and just plain sounding bad.  I do have to hand it to them though, they use the key words and phrases with surgical precision.  They have also mastered the art of repeating their message over and over, again and again. 

Some of the messaging is so off point one would think they are intentionally attempting to deflect, misdirect, mislead, obfuscate or an outright lie. 

Are they playing to an audience of people with a predisposition toward wedge issues such as single-issue voters?  Or, to a constituency of those who are easily manipulated through fear and intimidation? Is this a planned manipulation of the facts? 

Or, to a group who lack the ability to think objectively.  Folks who would rather be ruled than represented?   Could that be true?  Is twisting the facts in a misleading way, wait for it, fake news? 

While I’ll leave you to ponder all that lets look at a few of their favorites.

  • Pro-life is the right’s term for pro-birth and against abortion.  They seem incapable of discussing woman’s rights, which by the way, are constitutional rights. I say this because they ignore a woman’s right to make decisions concerning her own body and health.  Also, they ignore their lack of caring for the well-being of children who are not their own after they are born voting against programs that would benefit families.  I would expect the majority, if not all, women would tell you they would not choose to have an abortion unless they were confronted with dire circumstances in their lives.   When laws and the public act to protect a woman’s right to choose, they are not advocating for abortion, but rather a woman’s constitutional right to choose.
  • Entitlements is a word the right has made into a dirty word.  Social Security retirement benefits and other Social Security benefits, Medicare, and Medicaid are not entitlements.  They are earned benefits that Americans pay for through their payroll withholdings.  It’s the same process as purchasing an insurance policy with an insurance company.  The plan of what is paid in, what is covered, and how benefits are paid out are all listed in the contract.  With private insurance, the individual can choose whether to enter into the arrangement or not.  With Social Security, we are mandated to pay into the program by law. 

    Employers and employees are required by law to contribute equally a percentage of the employee’s wages up to an annual cap.  Like an insurance policy, based on an actuarial plan, the rates to be paid and benefits to be received are set forth in the policy or contract, as established, regulated and controlled by Congress and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States of America. However, this same Congress who oversees our benefits has borrowed from and owes to the Social Security Trust Fund approximately 2.9 trillion dollars.  

    So, are these horrible things, these entitlements, going to run out of money or going to bankrupt our country?  Not if the Social Security Trust Fund is paid back, with interest, what has been borrowed from it.  Not if Congress takes the necessary steps to raise the annual funding caps or more favorably removes caps completely.  Not if Congress stops syphoning money from the Trust Fund to finance our unfunded, unconstitutional spending.