Words can be powerful tools

Sept. 24, 2012 at 4:24 a.m.

Editor, the Advocate:

Democrats are masters of wordsmithing. Like lawyers, they belabor the meaning of "is."

Years ago, a spending cut became, not a reduction in spending, but a spending level below what was proposed. By that reasoning, if you asked for spending on an item to be increased from $1 billion to $2 billion, and it ended up at $1.5 billion, that became a $500 million spending cut, not a $500 million spending increase.

Now, the wordsmiths enter the field of taxation. If a couple earns $100,000 and pays $40,000 in taxes, the $60,000 they are allowed to keep becomes a "tax expenditure."

That said, we can begin to discuss whether the couple is paying their fair share. "Fair" is defined to mean the increased amount of the couple's income needed by Democrats to pay for cellphones for the poor, for extravagant government retreats, or for ads in Pakistan apologizing for some fool exercising free speech.

All right, This line of thought has crept into foreign affairs. A war against terrorism became a politically incorrect phrase; the families of terrorists might feel we do not love them. Besides, it isn't a war. It is two wars, and if you include Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Iran or Pakistan, our belligerent efforts become three, four or more wars.

The meaning of "gay" was changed from happy to homosexual. The task wasn't finished yet, marriage had to be redefined from its Western understanding not to mean a union between a man and a woman. So far, marriage still implies a couple, two people, that is, although there is a serious risk that in some parts of the world people might be offended by that restriction. I guess we can buy more ads to remedy that, however.

Words can be powerful tools. If our definitions are flexible, we can promise change and never have to apologize for breaking our promises. We can spend money for shovel-ready jobs and redefine shovel-ready later. Forget the jobs. For that matter, forget the promises. Promises is just another word.

Jim Stokes, Victoria



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