Thursday, December 1, 2011

Learning to Understand the Language of Politics

Frank Lutz is a major strategist for the Republicans, and he recently met with supporters to discuss the dangers of the occupy wall street movement. To quote Frank "I'm so scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I'm frightened to death." It warms my heart, I have to admit. The point of his statement was that conservatives need to alter the language they use in order to neutralize the effects of OWS, which are, and I quote again, "They're having an impact on what the American people think of capitalism." Apparently it is not that popular anymore.
So in the coming weeks people should pay particular attention to how Republicans are speaking, which words they are avoiding and which they are using instead. Here are some specific ones to watch out for. Such a fun game!
1) Capitalism is out. Economic Freedom is in!
2) The middle class are now hardworking taxpayers.
3) Few people want jobs. Most people want CAREERS.
4) Government spending = waste (though I assume this does not include the military)
5) Real men don't compromise. They cooperate.
6) We no longer have innovators or entrepeneurs. We have small businesses and job creators.
7) Forget taxing the rich, everyone is for that. Government is taking from the rich. Ah, it's a longshot.
8) And if approached by an occupier, say "I get it." That will shut them up.
That ends this lesson on Orwellian Doublespeak. Until next time.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Extremism is Taking Over

No matter where I go it seems I am assaulted by extremism. Just the other day I was at the grocery store, and when I went to get some hamburger buns, the only choices I had were Mega-Burgers or Sliders. I went to get some basic, standard Cheerios, but all I could choose from were Chocolate Cheerios or Apple & Cinnamon Cheerios. I tried to find a standard crust pizza, but all they had to offer were Deep Dish or Thin Crust. There were plenty of different types of thin crust and deep dish, just no regular pizza. No regular Cheerios. No regular hamburger buns.

What has happened to the world? Like it or not we are getting fewer and fewer choices to pick from, though the opposite appears to be true. In the past I could pick from about four or five flavours of pizza, but only in the regular crust option. Today I can pick from over a dozen flavours in either thin crust or deep dish, but the regular crust seems to have vanished. The choice is still binary, though it has been disguised as versions 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc... Moderation is being squeezed out so that we can all feel like we are actually choosing.

The problem is that moderates are moderate, and it is the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. In the United States it is the Tea Party that seems to get the most media attention, even though they only represent a relatively small percentage of the American people. The art of compromise is dead, and we are all being pressured to take a side, side A or side B...and that is it! I think it is time we all saw through the false dichotemy and stopped falling for the two choice fallacy.

I say take the third path. The one you can barely see, but just feels right.