Change the Name to Change the Game
Democrat Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas gave a five-minute floor speech on Wednesday calling for the extension of unemployment. Fair enough. She was elected, she is a sworn member of the House, and she has an absolute right to say what she believes. I applaud her for the strength of her convictions, whatever they may be and regardless of how idiotic I personally find them.
On the other hand, she is (when all is said and done) not merely a Democrat, she is a Progressive Democrat. And Progressives don't always limit themselves to the works of Saul Alinsky as their guiding star. Oddly they are also guided by George Orwell's novel 1984.
While most see 1984 as a condemnation of massive state control, Progressive Democrats apparently look at it as sort of a user's manual. Well, at least as far as the nomenclature used to describe government actions is concerned. Think of Orwell's newspeak.
For instance, we don't have wars any more. No, no. We have "overseas contingency operations." There is no longer any terrorism in the world. That has been replaced by "man-caused disasters." Even our last secretary of state, a lifelong devotee of Saul Alinsky and hardcore liberalism (remember Hillarycare?), told us during the primary season leading up to the 2008 elections that she no longer calls herself a liberal, but instead prefers the term used during the Wilson administration -- progressive.
Sheila Jackson Lee must have brushed up on her Orwell just before the speech because she recommended a change in the term "welfare" to the phrase "a transitional living fund." She also referred to the "emergency" unemployment measure as "a transitional outreach to individuals who are chronically unemployed."
One has to wonder exactly what these individuals are transitioning to? Transitioning back to gainful employment? Transitioning to disability benefits instead of unemployment? Or are they trying to transition to something stable and with which they are able to support their families, like welfare?
One would have to have a heart of stone not to laugh at the efforts of Progressive Democrats to try rebranding their shopworn products to sell them just one more time.
Perhaps some would view my agreement with the congresswoman's idea of change the name to change the game, but agree with it, I do. Of course, like Hillary, I prefer to revert to a label from an earlier era before "welfare" became the left-wing's label du jour. How about we try using the label "Home Relief" that was such a hit during the Great Depression? Or perhaps go back even further in history and use a label used not only in the United States, or even western Europe, but was found all over the world. The word I have in mind is "Charity". In certain Islamic cultures this might also be called "Alms." Of course that would present a whole new set of problems for Lee and her fellow travelers. How would the change the phrase "entitlement"? I mean, "Charity is an entitlement" doesn't exactly flow easily off the tongue, does it?
I'm sure the creative geniuses of the Democratic Party will find a way, though. They have over a century of experience at it. After all, Joseph Goebbels credits the success of his efforts in subverting the German populace to be compliant with der Führer's policies, whims and idiocies to what he learned while studying how the Wilson administration did it here, by employing Edward Bernays.
Bernays was the author of Crystallizing Public Opinion (1923) and Propaganda (1928) -- both of which were heavily utilized by Adolf Hitler's Nazi propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels. Need more be said?
Change the name and change the game.
Jim Yardley is a retired financial controller, a two-tour Vietnam veteran and writes frequently about political idiocy, business and economic idiocy and American cultural idiocy. Jim also blogs at http://jimyardley.wordpress.com/, and can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org