Euphemisms

By Dr. Jim Ferguson

Make no mistake about it, we are engaged in a civil war – even though we’re not shooting at each other. The word civil is defined as being courteous or polite. The state of our country is now anything but civil. The acrimony is at a fever pitch not present since the American Civil War. As Congressional hearings wear on, I am struck by the courteous, but obviously disingenuous, verbiage of US Senators who engage in euphemisms to define their alternative reality.

According to Mr. Webster a euphemism is a mild word or phrase that is used instead of one that is unpleasant or offensive. The word derives from Greek eu- (good) and pheme (speech). Words are the tools we use to express our thoughts. I can’t read someone’s mind. I can intuit their feelings through body language, but I get closer to understanding them if I combine their body language with their spoken words. But what if words are chosen to misdirect or deceive others?

Let’s look at several obvious euphemisms which circulate in the body politic and our modern lexicon and are used to deceive. The term conversation is a frequently used euphemism which I believe is actually dismissive, derisive and confrontational. The left says we should civilly engage in a conversation where thoughts are shared as between friends who have mutual respect for each other. Nothing could be farther from the truth because “conversation” is really a veiled polemic whose purpose is to score points and dismiss opposing views. Obvious examples are seen on any talk show.

Another magic word used by the left is the term mainstream. It is proffered as a centrist vision and reasonable position to promote understanding and comity in the body politic. Actually, the left’s use of this term is to denigrate any opposition to their world view. Lastly, Planned Parenthood may once have been where you received educational planning for parenthood. Now, Planned Parenthood is where you go to prevent parenthood or end it with an abortion.

At one time the notion of reaching across the aisle may have been a valid concept in Washington. The recent refusal of Senate Democrats to participate in various committee investigations of Trump’s Cabinet appointments is a prime example of the lack of comity and civility which now exists in our Government. In 2013, while leader of the Senate, Harry Reid changed the deliberative rules of the Senate invoking the so-called “nuclear option.” This removed the designed sixty vote “advise and consent” function of the Senate for Presidential appointments. Now, all that is necessary is a simple majority vote in the Senate, and as a result, Trump’s appointments will happen despite the ridiculous Democrat whining and posturing. Furthermore, in October 2016, in the run-up to the expected Clinton victory, Harry Reid predicted that his successor, Chuck Schumer, would use the nuclear option to appoint Supreme Court Justices. Schumer’s recent “tears” weren’t about immigration vetting, but actually his impossible position where the Democrats control nothing and whine about everything.

The term reaching across the aisle refers to the Congressional aisle ways which exist between the Republicans and Democrats. Perhaps physical separation between adversaries is advisable, and exists in the British House of Commons as well. A member of Congress once beat up another member with a cane. Perhaps it might be simpler to just turn Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer loose on each other and accept the victor’s position.

Philosophical and political differences have always existed, but the divide increased after Thomas Jefferson and James Madison created the party system, largely in opposition to those who advocated a larger role for the Federal government. John Adams was a Federalist and so was Alexander Hamilton. (I wonder if the cast of Hamilton has any clue where the party system originated?) In times past, political differences have been overlooked for the good of the country. This seems impossible in the current state of war which now exists. The idealistic notion that we are all Americans is gone and has been replaced by Party ideology with posturing, vitriol and a “scorched earth” policy of opposition.  Democrats oppose all of Trumps appointments and policies as Democrats pander to their wacko base.

I believe movies are helpful in demonstrating a point because this medium offers valuable shared perceptions. The movie Arrival is a must see for anyone who is interested in language and communication. The story revolves around a linguist who develops a way to communicate with an advanced star faring culture. These beings are so different from humans that initially no planes of reference exist. My father-in-law had red-green color blindness and was often asked what “red” looked like to him. He would pointedly reply, “What’s red look like to you?” demonstrating that red is a shared perception and has no rational definition other than its resonating wavelength of electromagnetic radiation (light).

I have to admit that I am no longer tolerant of the intolerance which spews from radical Islam, Holly-weird and the unhinged left. Though I understand that the verbiage of Democrat leaders and their operatives is driven by fundraising for the next election cycle, I’ve quit listening. And the alphabet media, especially CNN, have made themselves totally irreverent by becoming apostates of virtue and purveyors of fake news. One commentator purportedly counted thirty examples of fake news just last week. One example was the report that Trump was bringing both of the two finalists for his Supreme Court nomination to Washington for the announcement. It wasn’t true, but the drive-by media, after creating “mayhem,” just drove on by, bringing to mind the Allstate TV commercial character Mayhem.

It should be obvious to everyone that there will be no reaching across the aisle or compromise, unless done by the wanna-be-Democrat, John McCain. Actually, I don’t want to compromise with people like Ashley Judd or Nancy Pelosi. Interestingly, Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, who have have Rs beside their names, are opposed to Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. Both receive large campaign contributions from teacher’s unions.

Remember the wisdom of the ages and follow the money. The Master explained it best, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matt. 6:22).

 

Food for thought…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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