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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Meaning of Words

by Sam Huntington

Not long after the conclusion of French national elections, an American journalist asked a random citizen, “What do you think of the election of a socialist?” The older man replied, “I do not care; I refused to vote.”

The journalist persisted, “Why didn’t you vote?” The man replied, “Because both candidates are imbeciles.”

Now, thanks to campaign rhetoric by François Hollandé, we have new insight into the mental acuity of those who favor socialism. Responding to a journalist’s question how Monsieur Hollande’s so-called growth agenda will strengthen the French economy, he responded, “By increasing taxes, of course.”

Of course.

What politicians mean to say depends on the manner in which they craft their words. It isn’t so much what you think the words mean, but rather what politicians think they mean, and the context used providing “deniability” at some later point. Or, perhaps, a later claim the politician was simply misunderstood. Apparently, this is an international phenomenon.

A few days ago, Chicago thug and Obama campaign chair David Axelrod responded to a Romney campaign ad by asserting, “… we must not return to failed economic policies; America cannot afford more tax cuts.”

Our first guess is that Mr. Axelrod is smoking funny cigarettes again, but our more sophisticated analysis is that he is merely playing the lawyer’s game. Lawyers are wordsmiths. It is part of their vocation to use words in various ways to communicate different meanings. In this sense, lawyers are “tricksters.” They use words to trick people into believing one thing, when in fact the lawyers mean something entirely different. They often seek to circulate disinformation and obfuscate issues. And by the way, this is intentional, supporting two agendas. In the first scenario, if they can trick citizens into voting for them without using outright lies, they stand to win elections. In the longer-term, they seek to frustrate citizens so that they will eventually lose faith and choose not to vote. Rather than displaying any interest in what the liars in Congress are saying, citizens will flip over to another channel and watch something really stimulating, such as American idol.

But here is a good example of political obfuscation: “America cannot afford more tax cuts.”

Axelrod offers the proposition that all Americans must pay more in taxes so that government can continue ruinous spending. He too pursues a "growth agenda."  In this sense, Axelrod is correct. We cannot afford more tax cuts if most Americans think we should continue spending money that no one has, driving future generations into despair and increased dependency upon government. Undeterred by American values, Axelrod and Obama propose that once government spends every penny we have —when the national treasury is defunct— government will continue to bribe voters with even more entitlements by borrowing from foreign governments.

More than two-hundred years ago, French historian Alexis de Tocqueville warned us: “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.”

Is this the sort of government Americans want?

We have a different proposition. America can afford more tax cuts. What America cannot afford is more deficit spending. This bears repeating: a free-market loving country CANNOT sustain shortfall spending.

While the law assesses penalties whenever individuals write bad checks, there is no prohibition for the federal or state governments. They just continue writing bad checks because they realize that eventually, the American people will have to make good on those bad checks. Do politicians feel bad about this? Not at all; after all, we voted for them. Lyndon Johnson served as president between 1963 and 1969; we are still paying the debt accumulated from his presidency.

Making good on debt in the near term means that all of us may have to do with less “free stuff” until we can reduce the national debt. We should, and must reduce spending on programs not authorized by the United States Constitution. We can begin with Health and Human Services, matters that belong to the states, and other wasteful bureaucracies, such as the General Services Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Making good on debt in the long term will force our citizens to pay exorbitant sums of money in interest to nations who hold our debt. Some of these nations are dangerous to our future, China being one of these.

Again, why should we do that?

People such as David Axelrod and Barack Obama should worry us. They have no hesitance pandering to people who aren’t very bright —who don’t know what words mean, to achieve their socialist agenda. Most high school graduates today don’t even know what socialism is, so here’s the short version. The effect of socialism is more government, less personal liberty. More government bureaucracy making decisions, less individuals making decisions on matters that affect them, and their families. American socialism means trusting government to do the right thing when every thinking American knows government isn’t trustworthy.

Our November elections are critical to America’s future. More than determining who our president is, or our senator, or our representative in Congress, the November elections will tell us whether the American people deserve to be free.

34 comments:

  1. Rather than displaying any interest in what the liars in Congress are saying, citizens will flip over to another channel and watch something really stimulating, such as American idol.

    I can relate to that statement -- except that I don't watch "American Idol" or similar shows. Instead, I opt for reruns of any version of Law and Order or House.

    That said, I do read the news on the web and various other media outlets. But I have indeed developed an animosity toward the present so-called public servants. All they are interested in serving is their own Leftist agenda and their own interests -- and the consequent downfall of America.

    I WILL, of course, vote. In my view, voting is a sacred trust that all educated citizens should take seriously and participate in.

    I believe that Obama is indeed hoping [cough] that enough voters will stay home on Election Day 2012 so as to get himself re-elected. Furthermore, he is counting on people to vote for him to prove to themselves that they are not racists -- and not to vote against him to prove to themselves that they are not racists.

    It is obviously true that many high school graduates today don't have a clue as to what socialism really is. Instead of promoting American principles of individual liberty and federalism, many high school grads have bought into the idea of white guilt, which has been hammered home over and over again in classrooms from K through graduate schools.

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  2. A press that was not part and parcel of the DC political class would be asking real questions, such as, "When has increased taxes and government expansion ever created economic growth?"

    It's a simple question with a simple answer: Never.

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  3. A government cannot spend its way out of debt. You only have to look at the trouble in Greece to see how socialism hurts economies. Yes, I will definitely vote. I am voting for the non-Communist, non-dog eating candidate.

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  4. Obama’s government is corrupt. Obama should be in jail. And his Attorney General. Obama’s 2008 campaign promised to get to the bottom of the banking system collapse. He said that the fat cats would pay, but not a single case went to court in the past 3 years. Not one.

    Obama said that we don’t have the resources to safeguard American borders, but ended up spending tens of millions of dollars suing Arizona to keep them from protecting their own borders.

    Obama said he was going to have a transparent administration, but the Justice Department is covering up what happened to federal agent Brian Terry and the scheme to sell firearms to drug cartels in Mexico.

    But the Obama administration can spend money outlawing bake sales at middle schools, spend more millions of our money campaigning for reelection, and making America weaker today than at any other time in history. Who knew the American people could be so dumb?

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  5. Silverfiddle, quit being a dipstick.

    Remember WW II? The Keynesian stimulus to end them all?

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  6. "...the November elections will tell us whether the American people deserve to be free."

    I couldn't agree with you more, Sam. We will find out if America is still a republic or has it become a democrracy. It doen't matter if the Republicans keep control of the House and win cpntrol of the Senate: If we don't win the White House, Obama will govern with his regulatory agencies and he will pay no attention to Congress. Chicago Way politics will be here to stay.

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  7. Outstanding analysis! I am not familiar with Sam Huffington, but I am already a fan. His analysis of how slick lawyers twist the truth is spot on. They are trained to do that, to supplant truth with falsity, to fool people with half-truths if not outright lies.

    The Democrat Party has become that -- an argument by a slick attorney, with no pretense at truth. I wonder what these slicksters think when all alone in their rooms at night...do they know the damage they are doing? Do they even care?

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  8. I think DHS has an important function, but not one that has anything to do with the security of the homeland. I think the primary function of DHS is to keep Napolitano out of bars that cater to the LGBT (aka queer) community.

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  9. The count down begins, wi
    L we remain a free society?

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  10. "...a free-market loving country CANNOT sustain shortfall spending."

    What also bears repeating is that leftwingers are indoctrinating our kids into believing a free market shouldn't be loved.

    "Axelrod and Obama should WORRY US?" Ya THINK? :-) They have no hesitance pandering to people who aren't bright because that's the only people who understand them.

    Prager has a new saying...

    BIG GOVERNMENT MEANS SMALL PEOPLE.

    when will lefties wake up? (when FREE GOODIES aren't so easily attained because there IS NO MONEY LEFT, that's when)

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  11. “Because both candidates are imbeciles.”

    The reason we have Obama as President.

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  12. It's a good thing I don't believe that anything is sacred, as I no longer vote. No guilt.

    In 1968, there were 3 candidates for President, Richard Nixon, Hubert Humphrey, and George Wallace who I think ran as an Independent. In any case, all 3 candidates were so many light years away from anyone I would ever want as my president that I decided not to vote. Not one candidate since has changed my mind, either. They all sucked and they all still do. I don't trust Romney any more than I do Obama, I think he's an evil son of a bitch, and he may prove to be a worse Socialist than Obama.

    After all, look at all the liberal, left-wing crap that George Bush father and son pulled off. George W. sold us out completely, I don't give a crap that he was supposedly a Republican conservative, what he did was Democrap liberal. I don't trust one single politician, and by not voting for any of them, I DON'T HAVE TO SHARE THE GUILT AFTERWARD.

    Our vote is worthless anyway. The popular vote only elects presidents if it happens to coincide with the Electoral College vote, which ACTUALLY elects the presidents.

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  13. How in the world did Lyndon Johnson ever get to be our president? He was a backroom deal with Dad Kennedy and the Democratic National Convention. How in the world did Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, McCain, Obama, or Romney ever get into the national spotlight? None of these men is particularly intelligent. None of them paragons of integrity. All of them would sell their daughters to gain more political power and influence.

    I agree with B. Sheep. If this is the best we can do, Costa Rica begins to look good as an alternate landing site.

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  14. Mustang,
    How in the world did Lyndon Johnson ever get to be our president? He was a backroom deal with Dad Kennedy and the Democratic National Convention.

    Definitely a fact!

    Did I ever tell you that my mother actually knew LBJ when she first came to Washington back in the 1930s? I can't say that they were friends, but when he didn't have the proverbial pot, she loaned him the few bucks he needed for a rooming house.

    When LBJ agreed to be JFK's vice presidential candidate, Mom phoned up LBJ and told him off. Big time. She told him how crooked he was to buddy up with the Kennedys, specifically, "Old Man Joe." I was a child at the time; unbeknownst to Mom, I was was sitting at the top of the stairs and listening to her end of the conversation. At some point, he must have said, "Don't be that way," to which Mom responded strongly by repeating his words and telling him off some more.

    Mom both admired and despised "Lyndon" (as she referred to him).

    LBJ was the kind of backroom deals -- no doubt about that. He could also be crude and crass -- almost a Jekyll and Hyde.

    A few people whom I know actually met Bill Clinton although not while he was President. Every one of these people -- none of them Dems, BTW -- remarked about what strong charisma he had. Clinton had a way of making individuals feel sooooo important while he was talking with them and gave off such an air of empathy.

    The Cult of Political Personality has been a huge factor in the history of mankind, particularly since the arrival of the visual media. Sometimes I feel as if all we have is performers and not elected public servants in the political sphere. **sigh**

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  15. Black Sheep,
    I don't trust one single politician, and by not voting for any of them, I DON'T HAVE TO SHARE THE GUILT AFTERWARD.

    I have another way of looking at voting: if you don't vote, you shouldn't bitch.

    The popular vote only elects presidents if it happens to coincide with the Electoral College vote, which ACTUALLY elects the presidents.

    The Electoral College was one of our Founders' safeguards against pure democracy. Our Founders clearly feared mob rule; hence, the Electoral College and the original method of electing U.S. senators via appointment by the state legislatures.

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  16. Stogie,
    Sam will be writing for this blog on a regular basis -- perhaps more frequently for a while as I'm on the diet from hell. The reduction in caffeine and sugar has made me lethargic and fuzzy-headed. Ugh. Plus, I'm spending so much time in the kitchen as I prepare separate meals for Mr. AOW and myself.

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  17. Transforming politicians into “friends” is a grave mistake. Mr. Obama is not our friend; he is not our savior; he is our president. We hired him to do an important job, and if we think he isn’t doing what we want, then we have to dismiss him. It is more difficult to “dismiss” a friend than it is someone who is not doing what we hired him to do.

    I agree with AOW that the Electoral College reinforces federalism; if we wish to preserve our Republic, then we need to preserve the Electoral College. The fact that we have allowed federal bureaucracies to trivialize state sovereignty is part of our present problem with runaway programs and concomitant deficit spending.

    I do agree that we must do a much better job culling out potential national leaders. We can debate the merits of one candidate’s qualifications over another all day long —this is part of the vetting process. But we should wonder how it is possible that someone like Obama can receive our nomination when he has not achieved one single thing that would prepare him for executive leadership.

    Black Sheep is correct about the fact that whenever you have two idiots running for president, an idiot is likely to win. Essentially, there are no political differences between John McCain and Barack Obama. This is why people stay home on Election Day.

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  18. Barack Hussein Obama’s PATHETIC ENDORSEMENTS Wow. how UN-Impressive.
    Al Franken
    Chuck Schumer
    Barbara Boxer
    Maxine Waters
    Jesse Jackson
    Jesse Jackson, Jr.
    Al Sharpton
    Nancy Pelosi
    Harry Reid
    Rahm Emanuel
    Former Mayor of NY David Dinkins
    Sean Penn
    Morgan Freeman
    Danny DeVito
    Whoopi Goldberg
    Ludacris
    Samuel L. Jackson
    Spike Lee
    Louis Farrakhan
    Star Jones
    Bill Maher
    Oprah Winfrey, remember it was Oprah who gave us this moron.
    With a list like this, how can he go wrong.

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  19. The meaning of words... To a politician, there is none. They are quite adept at telling whatever crowd they are speaking to whatever they want to hear.

    AOW, I agree with your saying that if you don't vote you can shaddup. Good luck with your diet.

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  20. As much as it pained me, I voted for Romney. And believe I felt the pinch. But better him, than having another four years of Obama.

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  21. Bitching here. Look out, bitching here. Hey, if I don't vote I can still bitch because America comes way before presidents with me. I will vote for a presidential candidate just as soon as we get one and not before and in the meantime I will continue to bitch like hell AT NOT HAVING ONE! It's my right and I profoundly believe in it.

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  22. --- GOOD AND DECENT presidential candidate, that is...........

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  23. Further: If your choices are Poison #1, Poison #2 or No poison at all, thank you, would you rather take one of the poisons?

    If there is no one who deserves your vote, but you think one of these monsters might be a slightly lesser monster, do you give that monster your seal of approval? Do you REALLY prefer to pick one monster over another? Are you that sure, that certain of your mere opinion that you will take a chance on saddling yourself and your country with a horrible mistake?

    Good for you if you are. I will cast my vote for leader of my nation on the day that I feel that person is deserving of my vote. Why on Earth would I vote for an undeserving person just to impede another undeserving person who I like less?

    Our vote is precious. Damn right it is, it's a pearl that I will not cast before any of these swine. Others can give away their vote lightly. I won't. I take mine seriously.

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  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  25. Leticia said...

    "As much as it pained me, I voted for Romney. And believe I felt the pinch. But better him, than having another four years of Obama."

    Really? Explain this to me in as much detail and facts as you can cause I'm seeing Obama as looking out for the middle class and Romney making drastic cuts to help support even more tax cuts for the wealthy the Ryan plan is proposing. I'm seeing him in the pockets of extremists and will bend to anything they want becasue he has no spine.

    So, tell me...why? Go ahead you can tell me if it's becasue he's black or you think he's a Muslim. I'll understand it if that's your viewpoint.

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  26. Obama is looking out for Middle Class America. Let’s count the ways …

    1. Solyndra (bankrupt)
    2. First Solar (laid off thousands of workers)
    3. Solar Trust for America (bankrupt)
    4. Evergreen Solar (bankrupt)
    5. Spectra Watt (bankrupt)
    6. $2.3 billion in tax credits went to create jobs in foreign countries
    7. $1.2 billion went to a solar energy company to help finance a new plant in Mexico
    8. $500 million to an electric car company in Finland
    9. Millions of dollars to build new traffic lights—in China.

    Yep … Obama is helping out America’s Middle Class; I don’t know how much more of his help we can stand.

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  27. Black Sheep,
    I didn't say that you don't have the RIGHT to bitch. So, go ahead and do so. As you know, I run an open forum and allow disagreement.

    Why on Earth would I vote for an undeserving person just to impede another undeserving person who I like less?

    To slow down the pace of the decline of our nation?

    We can count on the following: the Left WILL vote -- even if the Left doesn't fully support one of the candidates running for election. The Left ALWAYS casts their ballots for the candidate that they despise the least -- even if the candidate voted for isn't really a Leftist or far enough to the Left. The Left works via increments. In other words, the Left will not stand together on principle but WILL stand together to further the creeping of their agenda.

    In many ways, the Left is much more patient than the Right. And, over the decades, that patience has paid off, too.

    You mentioned another undeserving person. When was the last time that a candidate ran who WAS deserving?

    It is my view that staying home on Election Day accomplishes nothing. When conservatives stay home and the liberal (or more liberal) candidate wins, the next time around, the so-called conservative candidate often leans left with the strategy, mistaken or not, that a conservative doesn't stand a chance to unseat the liberal incumbent. After liberals have won several times in a row, no true conservative candidate is even possible, for either nomination or getting elected.

    Yes, there are exceptions to the abovve: Reagan may have been one. But there were circumstances under the Carter administration that turned even the liberals into temporary conservatives, in large part because of long lines at the gas stations and the Iranian hostages; I have several friends, lifelong Democrats, who voted for Reagan in 1980 and other friends, lifelong Democrats, who voted for GWB in 2004. The Dems I know who voted for GWB in 2004 did so because of 9/11; in 2008, they voted for Obama.

    Now, has Obama poisoned the well enough to cause such switch voting again? Well, I know of a few people who vote for anybody but Obama in November, but only because of their economic circumstances, which have dramatically worsened since 2008. I suspect that those who have fared well under the Obama regime will vote for him again.

    People DO have the strangest "reasons" for voting the way they do. I know of one person who would have voted for McCain (because of his veteran status), but ended up voting for Obama because of not liking the sound of Sarah Palin's voice. I kid you not! I suspect that there are more people voting the way they do for similar inane reasons. Instead of actually looking at the candidates' platforms, voters cast their ballots according to their pet projects or their pet peeves. There are also "one issue voters"; those issues include abortion vs. right to life, Second Amendment rights, specific social programs (Will the candidate support parks and recreation? My neighbor votes that way!), the candidate's looks, etc., etc.

    I really DO despair about the future of our nation!

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  28. Louis H.,
    Some of what you pointed out is a part of Obama's new-world-order agenda. From this source:

    On May 1st, President Barack Obama signed a new Executive Order which opens the door for the United States to give up economic and environmental sovereignty through the promotion of a single international regulatory system.

    This regulatory system would seek to globally streamline cooperation between nations for trade, environmental, and legislative processes on the international stage.

    Section 1. Policy. Executive Order 13563 of January 18, 2011 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review), states that our regulatory system must protect public health, welfare, safety, and our environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation. In an increasingly global economy, international regulatory cooperation, consistent with domestic law and prerogatives and U.S. trade policy, can be an important means of promoting the goals of Executive Order 13563.


    Note the portion that I put into bold font!

    "Legislative processes"? What on earth does THAT mean? Legislative processes are a critical part of every nation's sovereignty!

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  29. Brooke,
    I've lost nearly 4 pounds since Saturday! Mr. AOW commented yesterday, "I can already see a difference."

    I'm sure that the most dramatic weight loss occurs the first week, so I don't expect the rate of weight loss I'm experiencing now to continue for long. **sigh**

    I probably won't reach the goal I want to achieve before dental surgery in early June, at which point I certainly will not be able to continue chewing "tough" foods for several days.

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  30. Does anyone remember when G. Bush Jr. tried to sell much of our port authority to the Arabs? Congress, impelled by public outrage, stopped the deal.

    I didn't vote for Bush. Or anyone else. Exactly because I knew Bush was a turd before he was ever elected.

    Yes, I would rather my vote not be counted than to fantasize that I'm slowing down the deterioration of
    America by voting for the lesser of two evils when the last 50 years has taught me that there is NO lesser of two evils. What would McCain have done to our country? Global conflict? Total sellout? Who knows? We don't know and no one can truthfully say we do.

    When people stop voting, that sends a whole lot louder message than when we all just throw in the towel.

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  31. I may be wrong on this, but I have a feeling that the new French president will not take the country down socialism. He might not like it, but fiscal conservatism and not socialist stupidity is the only way to keep a nation afloat.

    The other thing is that if he doesn't, France will become bankrupt and will get booted out of the EU, meaning unaccountable bureaucrats won't be able to control people from far away, something leftist trash will not want.

    Perhaps I'm too optimistic, time will tell.

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  32. Black Sheep,
    I well remember the "Dubai Ports World Controversy." It occurred during GWB's second term and really soured me on GWB as President.

    When people stop voting, that sends a whole lot louder message than when we all just throw in the towel.

    I'm not so sure about that.

    It seems to me that politicians do as these please -- without regard for those whom they are SUPPOSED to be serving. Instead, politicians are openly and egregiously serving THEMSELVES!

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  33. Right Wing Theocrat,
    I'm not sure at what point Hollande will back off. During hard economic times, people seem to WANT the Nanny State.

    We shall see what he does and what happens to France.

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  34. Socialism relieves people of their personal responsibility. This works for most of Europeans and the citizens of my home country. People who want to be responsible, who want the freedom to choose their own way in life, come to America. This was true 400 years ago; it is true today. It is sad that now in America, you have so many people who want government handouts. They will ruin America, just like they ruined France.

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