“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” George Orwell


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Doublespeak

I was chatting with some friends the other day, and they were relating how elated they were that President Obama was elected. Being older and African-American they spoke of the discrimination they had experienced growing up in the south. Anyway in the course of the discussion, I related that I too was pleased that an African-American had made his way to the White House, but that I did not agree with his positions on many issues, in particular, I am very disturbed about his position on abortion. One of my friends said she was unaware of his positions on abortion. I related about how he made promises to Planned Parenthood prior to the election, how he would not vote against partial birth abortion as an Illinois congressman and other aspects of his position. She asked what is partial birth abortion? I actually drew her a picture describing the heinous act. Her husband looked on as I described the procedure. She was shocked. He said casually, "He is pro choice." I was then shocked. The murder that is partial birth abortion is dismissed as simply, "He is pro choice."

I am finding such doublespeak rampant in politics at the moment. It is not that it is anything new for a politician to tell you one thing and do another, but the blatant doublespeak, the blatant lies coming from our politicians are very disturbing. We literally live in a culture where politicians can tell you one thing and do exactly the opposite I assume because they think you and I are stupid. I have a quote from George Orwell at the top of this page that related the sentiment of our time. It says, "“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” Nothing could be truer about today in our country. We are living Orwell's Animal Farm (which I would encourage you to read if you haven't). It is chilling how well it describes our current political climate.

So I would encourage you to think about the language used to describe the activities of people in Washington or state politics. I am confident that they are choosing their words very carefully, often in an effort to spin and decieve. I mean how could I be against someone being able to make choices in their life. I work all the time to help friends with disabilities to have increased choices in their lives. But evil can be disguised by language, and you will be fooled if you are not paying attention.

McNair

2 comments:

Mark said...

I don't think politicians believe we are all stupid, so much as they count on the fact, that many of us are ignorant. They give us the "Old Razzel Dazzle," knowing many will miss the way the truth becomes lost in the song and dance of manipulative rhetoric.

In California some "blame" African American voters for the defeat of Proposition 8. Given an issue that was made understandable by all, black voters voted in a way that to the opponents of Prop.8 seemed just a little "off the reservation." Clarity in understanding the issue changed the way people voted.

Your friends, Jeff, had a similar reaction. They were shocked to learn that someone they were so pleased to see become President advocated positions they were foundationaly opposed to. Yout "animal Farm" anology is perfect. Language is manipulated to make it seem that good is evil and evil is good, whose. Thats a sign of the times, maybe end times.

Our problem is finding a way to present and frame issues with clarity, and in so speaking the truth, become truly part of a revoloution.

Anonymous said...

Before you showed the overhead of a partial birth abortion, I had not idea how graphic it is. I was appalled by how inhumane the procedure was. For the husband to say you are “pro-choice”, and write you off and the nature of the heinous act is saddening. I always wondered what was Obama’s stand was on abortion. I have tried to listen to politician speeches and find that they use words that are over my head and/or words that are to vague to be of value. I know and hate the fact that politician think that all of us are so stupid that they can do anything they want if they tell us what we want to hear. I am saddened to say that I think that we are part to blame for this. As the people that continue to vote official in that lie and deceive us, we are helping instill our stupidity.