The prolix presidential candidates and their aids and enablers have a supply of misleading phrases. These verbal obesities are meant to throw the American voter off-scent. “Comprehensive immigration reform” is one such term. It sounds innocent enough if you know only that
Yes, John McCain had almost managed to con talker
Speaking of collusion: To listen to the media (don’t), you’d think the American people want nothing more than for their representatives to “reach across the aisle” and “get things done.” This phrase, coupled with “bipartisanship,” falls squarely in the tradition of political bafflegab. Far better that the people’s representatives sleep with prostitutes than slip between the sheets with members of the opposition. The more they collude, the less competition in government voters end-up with. Should Hillary be elected, how long before she “reaches across the aisle” to give her “Republican” pals Joe (Lieberman) and John (McCain) a surgelette in
“The system is broken” is another term politicians and immigration activists and lobbyists use when poised to justify their contempt for—and refusal to abide by—existing laws. A more general euphemism for defying the will of the people is the phrase to “show leadership. “Not governing by polls” is another. When Dubya promised the run of American ports to
Obama recently warned against “attempts to slice and dice this country into red states and blue states; blue-collar and white-collar; white, black, and brown; young, old; rich, poor.”
The appeal to togetherness is another way by which politicians paper over differences in principles. Unity is all well and good, but the State is not the best engineer of togetherness. In fact, most government policies deepen divisions. Roping responsible homeowners into subsidizing reckless borrowers; or conscripting the young into paying for the healthcare needs of the more affluent elderly—this is a recipe for disunity. A politician’s siren call of unity is usually a demand for obedience.
If “unity” is Obama’s objective—the other two mercurial candidates also say that bringing people together is their thing—why not endeavor to treat everyone equally under the law? And in particular, why tax some more than others? How does the “progressive tax” square with equality under the law? People do not pay for goods and services in proportion to their income (or else Bill Gates would be paying a million dollars for a loaf of bread). Rather, the market treats everyone alike.
If the presidential frontrunners cared for “unity,” they’d acquaint themselves with the teachings of the Father of the Constitution. The first object of government, wrote James Madison in the Federalist Papers—also the key to the Constitution—was the protection of the “diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate.”
As an amulet against the lexical lies of our leaders, arm yourself with the Constitution, and listen carefully for those pitch-perfect platitudes.
©By ILANA MERCER
May 23, 2008