Monday, June 19, 2000

Week of 06/19/2000

The Missing Word
- by David Matthews 2

"Political designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." - George Orwell

Listen to all of that blather and banter by the politicians this year! Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk!

You know, if political talk were gasoline, we would never have to worry about a gas crisis again. This year alone, gas prices would be at a penny a gallon.

And oh, to listen to Texas Governor George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore talk, you would hear just about every subject imaginable! They’ll talk about any subject as long as it gets them an extra minute or two on the news over their opponents.

But, you know, there is one word that is conspicuously absent from all of that talk. A word that has been systematically ignored by all these politicians. A word that politicians are almost afraid to utter.

Can anyone guess what that missing word is?

It starts with an "F"… and no, it is NOT the reference to human reproduction.

Did you say "fair"? Sorry, but today’s politicians LOVE to talk about what is or is not "fair." They can talk on and on about what is "fair" for taxpayers when they talk about making the tax code ever more complicated. They talk about what is "fair" for special interest groups, and what is "fair" for senior citizens, and even what is "fair" for major league baseball.

How about "faith"? After all, we are supposedly "religiously-challenged" now, right? That’s what the bible-thumpers claim is happening to America. Is "faith" the verboten word?

Nope. The politicians also LOVE to talk about "faith". They love to proclaim how "faith" would save the American family.. but only if it is the "right" kind of "faith". Just ask George W. about his little visit to Bob Jones University for a good example of the "wrong" kind of "faith".

It is not just religion that the politicians have "faith" in, though. Gore, for instance, has a tremendous amount of "faith" in the economy. He believes that the positive economy of the past eight years was the exclusive creation of the Clinton Regime, and that it would last forever. Never mind, though, that the economy has been showing signs of breaking down these past few months, especially with the gas prices breaking the $2 a gallon mark in most cities. You know that with gas prices going up, consumer costs will soon follow. The cost of living after that. But, supposedly, that doesn’t matter as long as Gore has his "faith" and he is allowed to be president.

And, of course, both Gore and Bush have tremendous "faith" in having government solve all of the world’s problems. They can’t seem to have enough talk about government being able to fix this problems and that problem, and just about any other problem that might come up.

So obviously "faith" is not the missing word in today’s political dialogues.

How about the "flag"?

Well, obviously not since just about ever politicians in America would rally around that flag. Some have even attempted to deify that flag so that its meaning as a symbol would be less important. But even when they can’t deify that flag, they certainly want to force people to pledge allegiance to it, even if such a pledge is against their religious beliefs.

So the "flag" is certainly not the missing word. What is?

How about "fun"?

Well, certainly that could be the missing word in politics, especially since the moralists get their jollies out of depriving people of their fun. Truth be told, however, the word "fun" is still a part of that political lingo, especially when they refer to their mythical utopian society of young people playing and having "fun." It does come close, though.

So what is the word that starts with "F" that the politicians are afraid to utter?

It’s "freedom".

Now of course, today’s politicians will mention freedom when they’re talking about some foreign nation, or perhaps in some reference to a historic event. But freedom in the here and the now? In America?

Let’s get brutally honest here. When it comes to today’s political issues, the word "freedom" is far from the current vocabulary.

The reason behind that, of course, is purely in the self-interest of the politicians. Real freedom, the freedom of the individual to choose his or her life, means that individual is not dependant on government to make those decisions on their behalf. That runs contrary to the desire of many politicians to be able to have some sort of power over others. After all, if people can live their lives as they see fit, what good are those politicians? That’s why many politicians do their best to keep the public addicted to government.

Oh, sure, guys like Gore will talk about "reducing the size of government." But that does not mean the same thing as reducing the need for government, or its scope. The private sector has been doing the very same thing for decades. It’s called downsizing.. otherwise known as job layoffs. Gore and his ilk have not reduced the need for bean counters, they simply reduced the number of bean counters.

Let’s think about that infamous Census 2000 "long form" with all of those intrusive personal questions in them. In all of the talks by Gore about "reducing the size of government", did he at all talk about cutting any of those questions in the long form? No, he hasn’t.

How about the plethora of new laws and regulations that Congress keeps on foisting on the American public? Has anyone politician - Democratic or Republican - made the repeal of those laws or regulations part of their platform of late? No, of course not. It’s not in their best interest to do that.

So the next time your local career politician talk about "reducing the size of government", challenge them to be more specific. Ask him or her exactly which laws or which regulatory body would they be in favor of eliminating. Simply reducing the number of government workers at any given department does not reduce the scope of government, which is where the real problem lies.

While we’re at it, let’s make freedom part of the political vocabulary again. Don’t just expect our elected officials to include it as part of their regular dialogue, because to them, talking about freedom is akin to talking about anarchy. The only way they will include it is if we the people MAKE it an issue. And that means to stop turning to government to solve all of our problems.

It’s a simple case of supply and demand.. when we stop demanding it, our big government dealers will have a hard time supplying it.

More freedom means less government. That’s something no politician wants to have happen.

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