I’ve noticed word twisting this election season in ways that steal meaning from communication between two people. To a person who values words that have meaning and content rather than emotional effervescence, this trend is offensive. I wonder if the speakers understand how offensive statements like this are.
“The Federal government should not spend more money by giving a tax break to the wealthy.”
IMHO, “not spend” is not a suitable replacement for “take less”. Can you imagine the insanity of the burglar saying, “I’m not going to spend more by stealing less.” If we heard a thief say this, we would cock our head sideways, cringe with confusion, shake our head, “You’re an idiot!” and walk away. When communication is poisoned by non-words and words that are used the opposite of what they mean, reasonable people don’t even know how to engage in conversation. Do you see the similarity with the contemporary political debate that has become so polarized?
Reducing all the double speak, what does the above quote really mean? How about “The Federal government should not collect less taxes from the wealthy.” Okay – if that’s what you mean, say it! If someone said that to me, I might disagree with them, but at least I would respect them. I could dialogue with them. I could work to understand their position.
“I create jobs because without me, we would have 400,000 less jobs.”
This is like a housing construction company saying, “I have built you a new house by tearing down less than the other company might have done.” A claim to know what the situation would be if something happened that did not happen is foolishness. Sadly, such statements are resilient because they can’t be proved or disproved. They’re analytically and logically useless. Folks, following the analogy of the construction company claiming they built a new house, LOOK around you and see that there is no new house.
Why do we allow our politicians to say things that are not true? It is destroying communication, and polarizing our political process to the point of futility.