Real Wealth Society

Friday, September 29, 2006

I’ve been thinking about November by Fred Cederholm

Column for on/after Sept. 24th, 2006

I’ve been thinking about November. Actually I’ve been thinking about changes, choices, campaign rhetoric, spin, doublespeak, oxymorons, and rational evaluation. The midterm elections are now some six weeks away and the real campaigning is only just beginning. While all national elections are important, this coming one is shaping up to be a referendum on where we are as a nation, where we are headed as nation, and who will set the course for our future. From my watching, listening, and reading; I’m approaching this coming election with trepidation at best - I am deeply concerned.

You see I believe a major change of course is essential. This is essential fiscally, economically, militarily, diplomatically, morally, and ethically. I want a choice and not an echo. At this point in the campaigns of 2006, I am (shall we say) under-whelmed by the positions being presented, and yet I find myself in shock and awe by what is unfolding in the negativity, the self-contradictory semantics of the rhetoric, and the down-right absurdity of the premises of why we should choose one candidate (or one party) over the other. I mean lets face it, we are stuck with either the Democans or the Republicrats: a choice between Tweedle-tax-and-spend and Tweedle-borrow-and-spend – two Siamese twins joined at the “and-spend.” I am definitely not alone in this observation, or my present level of discontent.

Traditionally the mid-term elections (non presidential ones) show some dissatisfaction with the controlling party, and the voting pendulum tends to swing in the other direction. There was usually an inherent contradiction in the polls with surveys showing an overall animosity for the Washington DC beltway politicos in general. Yet, the vast surveyed majority was also very happy with their incumbent elected officials. In 2006 there is a difference - because while some 70% to 80% now indicate their overall unhappiness with Congressional performance, only about a third indicates they are happy with the recent track record of their own incumbents! Election night 2006 could prove to be a real eye opener.

I pride myself on my vocabulary, my word choice, and my ability to place one word after another. In listening/evaluating what is being said/written by the candidates (and their parties), I am amazed by the blatant verbal manipulations being fed to the electorate. Negativity and mud slinging is surfacing again as the supreme strategy for winning. Can you name one candidate who is running on “these are what I perceive as the problems/challenges facing US/us, and this is what I propose and will follow up with doing to address those issues?” “Vote for me because I’m not…” doesn’t cut it with me.

If you listen to what is said, you will experience the inherent contradictions and gobbledy gook logic of the rhetoric and justifications. Spin morphs a negative into a positive. Doublespeak tells us one thing knowing full well the opposite is the plan. Oxymorons pair contradictory words/concepts in the name of political expediency while sugar coating the vile dragons of what we fear most - verbally morphing them into some warm cuddly puppy. For example, what is patriotic about a Patriot Act which challenges the very core of our rights, personal liberties, and checks and balances “guaranteed” by the Constitution and Bill of Rights? If you oppose it, does that – by default – make you unpatriotic?

Spinning war/terrorism/fear has become an art form and is central to Election 2006. “War” is a total misnomer because “wars” are declared by an Act of Congress - not executive edict. This holds true whether you are talking about Korea, Vietnam, poverty, drugs, Grenada, terrorism, Afghanistan, or Iraq. Show me where any of those “wars in/on” were legally baptized as such by an Act of Congress!

Both sides cloak the current bellicose actions in religion. We hear of a holy war, war of religions, or a religious jihad. Where are God, Jehovah, Jesus, Allah, or Mohammad ever clerically depicted with grenade in hand and the mushroom cloud of a nuclear device rising in the background - graphically or verbally? “The Lord’s our shepherd says the Psalm, but just in case we gotta get a bomb” comes from a Tom Lehrer musical parody - not the Bible OR the Koran. Just what is “civil” about a civil war? We are not talking about two feisty British matrons dishing verbal barbs over a pot of Earl Grey and a plate of scones as in an Oscar Wilde play. Yet, “civil” war in the Middle East is used as justification for policy.

Sectarian killing has been going on in the region since (or before) the time of Moses. “Coalition” occupation in Afghanistan/Iraq and any imposed crash course in Western Democracy 101 won’t change that one bit. Meanwhile… does it really make any difference to the families and loved ones of our killed/maimed service men and women, if their loss/suffering came from hostile or “friendly” fire? I’m Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.

Copyright Questions, Inc. 2006 all right reserved


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