WORDS AS WEAPONS
Editor’s Note: This is the first entry in a series of blog posts entitled “Words as Weapons” written 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.
Gun control sure sounds like someone is going to take away someone else’s right by controlling their right to bear arms. Gun safety is a much more constitutionally correct term. The Heller decision allows government to place reasonable restrictions on guns. Gun safety also recognizes there is a gun culture in our country. It also recognizes that those who are not part of the gun culture have rights, as well.
Regulation — the right spits that word out as if it were poison. We live in a country where the “rule of law” is a major pillar of our founding principles, government and society. Laws are regulations. So, it appears, the issue is on which laws or regulations we like and which we don’t like. Or, to the degree of regulation we will tolerate.
Regulation is disparaged by the right when talking about guns, but it really becomes a whipping boy when discussing business, corporations, and free enterprise. That is when regulations are depicted as the end of our freedoms and the demise of capitalism triggering a failed economy. More subtly implied is the destruction of the mythical “trickle down” economy.
This country is a democratic republic that operates within a capitalistic free market economy. Always was and more than likely always will be. History has shown us that the magic to those incongruent entities to function together is the need to regulate the free enterprise system. That system operates under the overarching rule of survival of the fittest.
A democratic republic exists not only to provide liberty and justice for all for its citizens but also, and equally important, to provide health, safety and well-being. Allowing the free enterprise system to go unregulated or minimally regulated will crush the “bones” of the democratic republic and will grind those bones into dust.