Sunday, July 10, 2011

Language Evolves

We all know that language evolves.  New words are added every year, and old words have new meanings attached to them by common usage.  Some words go out of favor, replaced by others for one reason or another.  In less than 250 years, British English and American English have become much different, even though they obviously share a common source.

However, despite this normal evolution, some words have been made obsolete simply because we chose to ignore their meaning.  Here are a few sad-but-true examples.

Election Year

The term election year used to refer to years ending in even numbers, when members of the House of Representatives, some Senators, and perhaps the office of President would be on the ballot.  On a local level these years would typically include state legislators and maybe the Governor.

Now, however, every year, and every day within every year, is an election year.  Candidates who were elected yesterday begin campaigning for the next election immediately, raising money for that fabled War Chest required to win.  Not a single decision is made, not a single vote cast without consideration for that date with destiny that looms sometime in the future.  Re-election and Party are everything!

During 2010, an analyst made the following statement regarding a vote in the Senate:

...even some Republicans who will support the bill later on, voted No now, because they couldn't be seen as giving the Democrats a victory just before the mid-term elections.

Winning elections has become paramount, and the people be hanged!  In fact, it's no secret.  Republican leaders have repeatedly said the most important thing for them to do is to ensure that the current President is a one-term President.  What about the people you were hired (elected) to represent?  Don't they matter any more?

Sadly, the answer is no.  Damn the people, full speed the next election day.  After all, people can only donate set amounts while corporations can spend unlimited funds.  Deep Throat was right: Follow the Money!


Since I'm on that subject, here's another term that has fallen into the abyss.  These people are no longer representatives; they have become...well, I don't think I'm supposed to use the accurate term.  Regardless of their gender, they have become what we used to call Women of the Night.  They sell the highest bidder.

Almost without exception, they follow the party line, because the party decides who gets the money.  They spout the words that the Tea Party wants to hear, because that's the group making the most noise, and once they've done that, they can't possibly vote for the people, or do the right thing, because they'd be breaking their vow.

There's a great example right now.  A group called The Family Leader has created a pledge that they want candidates to sign.  Much of it is pretty standard stuff, at least from the perspective of those folks.  However, they have added some interesting thoughts.  As background, they include this statement...taken verbatim from the webpage:

Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA's first African-American President.

So, while their pledge includes supporting the definition of marriage as being a man and woman, they cite the period of slavery as being better.  Yup, that makes sense.  Let's see.  During that period, African-American women were often raped by their masters, forced to marry or mate with males selected by their owners, and families were often broken up, with individual members, including young children, being sold away.  Oh...and for the record, slaves weren't actually allowed to marry.  I'm sure there's a bunch of folks who would like to go back to that time.  Things were great back then!

So, sign the pledge and you get some money from this group.

Representatives don't represent anybody, except those who make large payments and then pull the strings!  We can't even consider raising taxes...because that would upset the people who pay me!  Corporate rates are too high, even though last year GE paid No Taxes whatsoever and $5 billion of their profit was made in this country.

Job Creator

This is one my favorites.  To me, a job creator would be somebody who creates jobs.  Simple, really.  However, it's become just another buzzword that actually means Rich.  We are told again and again that the tax cuts for the rich are necessary because those are the job creators.  It's two lies for the price of one.

The first lie is that these folks won't create jobs if they don't get the tax cut.  However, a quick look at history shows that they were most effective, assuming it was them doing the creating, when the tax rates were much higher.  In the last ten years, since the Bush tax cuts went into effect, how many jobs have they created?  Where are these mysterious jobs?  It's odd that in that time, taken as a whole, the unemployment rate has gone up and up and up.  It's also interesting, and deplorable, that more jobs have been shipped overseas than in any other ten year period.  Those are facts, and the myth of the Job Creators is a lie!

The second lie, which comes with the party line is that jobs aren't being created because of excessive regulation.  Okay, let's look at that.  I have no doubt that there probably are places where governments at various levels over-regulate, but how does that relate directly to jobs?  Instead let's look at the opposite.

Government failed to regulate the financial industry.  It was a combination of lax enforcement and probably some outdated rules, coupled with no rules for certain activities.  The result was a massive collapse of the financial systems, a huge government bailout involving nearly $1 trillion, and the complete failure of the housing market.  We all know that all of that created the recession we're now suffering from and probably led to most of the unemployment around the country.

So...a lack of regulation allowed dishonest and shady folks, who happen to be pretty rich (by the way), to completely destroy the housing market and cause untold people to become unemployed.  The government had no option but to bail them out since things would only get worse if they didn't.  Those are the facts!

Now, however, we're being told there are these mythical Job Creators who somehow suffer because of excessive regulation.  I don't know how a more transparent lie can be told.  Not only is it untrue, it's bloody obvious it's not anybody who's been watching the last few years.

Words used to have meaning.  A man's word was his bond...and meant something.  You could trust his word.  Now, some really good words have become meaningless, because too many of our Leaders only use words to lie.  However, they're pretty good at getting re-elected.

No comments: