Poisoning the Language of Wealth
Liberals would like you to view all rich people as Paris Hilton and all poor people as Mother Teresa. This is straightforward class warfare and it is implemented by using prejudicial words. We should be on the lookout for these phrases and think rather than merely react.
One of the most specious phrases used to characterize the wealthy is "the fortunate among us." Take a look at what this means. Wealthy people got their wealth through luck. The successful are not deserving and should rightfully dish out that wealth to the "less fortunate." This latter crowd arrived at their lack of wealth through no fault of their own and possibly because the lucky rich people somehow took what was rightfully the property of others. The object of this disdain is clearly conservative rich people, since liberal rich people are on the correct side of the moral firmament.
Are poor people hiring these days? Has no one earned his or her fortune? Take Mr. Jeffrey Immelt; this lucky fellow has won the profit lottery and his company still didn't have to pay taxes this year. Yet the president has really warmed up to him.
The president himself is pretty darned lucky -- he somewhat atoned for this by stating recently that he "doesn't need" the money from his books. This statement sounded suspiciously like the "from each according to his means; to each according to his needs" credo of Mr. Marx. The president should give his unfair wealth to the government, which is spending a ton of money keeping his life safe and luxurious.
Mr. Obama recently rhetorically asked if the rich should be "allowed to keep" their money. Has he been listening to Michael Moore? Mr. Moore thinks that he has found the missing money we need -- it is inconveniently located in the bank accounts of the rich.
How did these people get so far off base? How did they get so many to go along with them? They started with little conceptual nudges like portraying the wealthy as lucky.
Many wealthy are deserving of their gains. Most of them, in fact, are successful rather than merely lucky. Is the president demonizing success, or trying to redefine it? I'm really not sure what the president thinks a successful person is. Is it ever permissible to have more money than others? What makes it OK for President Obama to have made and kept millions?
Words matter and they are being used to manipulate images. This has always been true, but today we need to watch more closely as the ideological component of current politics has more influence than ever on the future of our country. Now more than ever we must be alert to verbal "nudges" that paint classes of Americans in childishly oversimplified pictures.
Muddy thinking and logical leaps should not be swallowed whole. The president clearly implied that if we can't borrow more money, seniors and military might not get their checks. Does this mean our Social Security payments are made on borrowed money? Seniors made payments, steadily and reliably year after year, and everyone earning an income today continues to pay in. What did the administration do with the money coming in from Social Security taxes?
Our military and their families have paid dearly in many ways as well. Holding them hostage is unacceptable.
There are many other places to cut payments, even if we just limited it to the results of Mr. Obama's profligate spending, which was done with borrowed money. Sadly, many will just hear the words "check" and "no" and begin pummeling their representatives.
Clear thinking and careful listening are the only antidote to poisoned words.