Meaningless Words and Phrases

In the politics of 2012, it's amazing just how many words and phrases get thrown around without any thought.  Here is just a short list of some of the more popular lingo and the actual definitions.

Social Justice

One of the first philosophical debates ever recorded was an argument between Plato and Aristotle.  The subject of their argument: the definition of the word "justice."  The argument was unresolved, and two thousand years later, people still argue over what "justice" means.

American liberals in the modern day have done something rather clever with the word "justice": they tacked the word "social" in front of it.  Now most people don't ask what it is (because they think they already know).  Those brave souls who do ask for a definition of "social justice" are declared to be against it and shouted down.   

There is no definition for "social justice."  It is whatever the speaker/writer says it is, and this makes it the perfect political talking point.  "Social injustice" is whatever one says it is as well.

"Social justice" seems to be shorthand for "whatever is politically correct."  Why is there affirmative action?  "Social justice."  Why give home loans to minorities who can't afford them?  "Social justice."  Why should Obama be re-elected?  "Social justice."

Social Safety Net

What exactly is the "social safety net"?  From its usage, it seems to be a euphemism for "government spending."

Of course, the spending programs that fall under the "social safety net" (Social Security, unemployment, Medicaid, Medicare) are broke when times are good.  And during an economic downturn, when people really need said programs?  They're just not there.  That's going to make a lot of people who have been paying into those systems pretty mad when they figure it out.


"Racism" is defined as the inherent belief that one particular race (usually one's own) is superior to others.

"Racism" in modern politics means "anything minorities don't like."  The term is applied even to non-racial controversies.  The people who are opposed to the Ground Zero mosque?  They are "racist."

The people who want our border secure?  They are "racist."  It doesn't matter that people from all races/ethnicities are entering our borders illegally every day.  Border laws will "disproportionately affect Hispanics."  Of course, so will laws granting illegal aliens in-state tuition at colleges, but that's never called "racist" (see definition above).

This is giving way to all kinds of strange ironies in 2012.  People who have great-grandparents of a minority race get turned away under current affirmative action laws.  Such people are "too white."  Yet one hundred years ago, Homer Plessy was forced to sit at the back of the bus because he was one-eighth Native American (i.e., "too black").  His loss at the Supreme Court in 1896 (Plessy v. Ferguson) allowed Jim Crow to become the law of the land.  How little things have changed.

Or take groups like La Raza or the NAACP.  How many whites have been in charge of these organizations?  To even suggest such a thing would bring the charge of "racism" -- never mind the fact that such groups argue that race/ethnicity shouldn't matter in our society or politics.  And never mind that the NAACP was founded by white people.

Hope the irony isn't lost on them.


The word "right" in the political/legal sense is something that the government cannot take away.

Note that the government has no rights.  There is no faster way to demonstrate ignorance on the issues than to assert that "The government has a right to..."

In a twist of irony, such people often insist that "corporations are not people" (and therefore deserve no rights).  Legally, corporations are considered people -- this is to streamline the collection of taxes and allow corporations to be sued, since it's hard to sue non-entities.

Rights are limited when they collide with the rights of other people.  One has a right to free speech but isn't allowed to threaten his neighbors.  One has a right to religion but can't sacrifice other people to bloody gods.

Or that's the theory.  The practice is a little different -- one need only visit Twitter to see threats being made or read the president's executive orders to see the right to religion being trashed.  The only "rights" being protected anymore are gay marriage and abortion -- neither of which appears in our Constitution.


A "pacifist" is someone who doesn't fight -- ever.  True pacifists won't even argue with other people.

A "pacifist" in modern politics is someone who won't fight in the military.  Outside that, you can find "pacifists" fighting everywhere in our society, from courtrooms and peace marches to Occupy Wall Street.  Often they get in the faces of cops and challenge them to get physical.

If one asks these "pacifists" what they're doing, they'll even admit: "We're fighting racism," "We're fighting for civil rights," "We're fighting for social justice," and so on.


A visit to any schoolyard can teach anyone about the very subjective definition of "fairness."  At its most simple, "fairness" is just another word for "balance."

A system set up so that those who have the most are required to put in the most but get the least out doesn't seem all that "fair" to the people who are putting it in, nor does giving the most to those who put in the least.

The Occupiers are marching because they want their college bills paid.  They want taxpayers to pick up the tab.  But a lot of taxpayers would never qualify for Ivy League schools.  It really doesn't seem "fair" to make little people pick up the snob tab.

Or consider Social Security, welfare, Medicaid, and other bankrupt programs.  People on such "assistance" often put in little to nothing and take out a lot.  True, it doesn't seem much to the people getting the checks, but in terms of national scale, it's digging quite a debt hole.  But since that bill will be paid by someone else, there is no call to slow it.  Is it "fair" to make future generations pay for our irresponsibility?


"Greed" would seem to be defined as "a sense of entitlement to things one did nothing to earn."

Again, this is not the definition used in modern American politics.  Today, "greed" means "we want their stuff."  We're being told by a bunch of people who demand that their food, housing, medicine, and education all be free that "greed" prevents them from getting it.

It seems that they would know something about "greed."

Robin Hood

According to the fairy tale, Robin Hood was a Christian knight who went to the Holy land of Israel to kick the Muslims out.  When he returned to England, he found that the guys who stayed home had taken over the state and raised taxes to enrich themselves and their friends.  Outraged by the oppressive taxes and regulation of the state, Robin Hood started a private war against tax collectors, giving the money back to the people who earned it.

Does Robin Hood sound like Barack Obama or any other Democrat in modern politics?  Naming their big-tax/big-spend agenda after Robin Hood is like naming a synagogue after Adolph Hitler.

Scary to think that these people and their followers, who can't even get their children's fairy tales correct, are running our nation.

Maybe we all just need new dictionaries.

Jeremy Meister has a degrees in history and media.  He can be contacted at