American Elephants


If You Can’t Change the Facts, You Change the Words You Use to Describe the Facts! by The Elephant's Child

Four years ago a coalition of leftist advocacy groups, union leaders and health care advocates teamed up to attempt to change the language of the health-care debate. They used polling and focus groups to find the precise language that would win over voters.

The AARP ,which falsely claims to speak for senior citizens; the Service Employees International Union (SEIU); the American Cancer Society and the liberal health-policy group Families USA, among others called themselves the Herndon Alliance after the Virginia suburb where they first met.

When President Obama told grass-roots organizers last week that the mandatory purchase of insurance would “be affordable, based on a sliding scale,” the language had been poll-tested and put before focus groups over several years.  But it doesn’t seem to be working.  Language that was meant to be soft, soothing and healthy isn’t working with an angry public.  It is the old euphemism approach, and a roused public is better informed than the people who put the ObamaCare plan together.

Instead of Government, say Public. Instead of Competition, say Choice and control, Instead of Universal coverage, say Quality, affordable health care.  Don’t say Free, but Sliding scale.  Instead of Wellness, say Prevention. Say Rules, which is softer than Regulations.  Don’t say Medicare for all but A choice of private and public plans. See how the game is played?

Democrats have always resented what they call “the Republican  playbook.”  They had become adept, said Robert Crittenden, a physician and founder of the Herndon Alliance, at using words to seize issues, turning the estate tax into “the death tax.”  Funny, I thought it was a leftist attempt to fool the voters that called it “an estate tax,” instead of acknowledging that it was a hefty tax on money already taxed, just because the owner died.  That’s a policy Republicans have been fighting for years.

“We always had the facts on our side,” Dr. Crittenden said.  “But our language hasn’t connected with what the general public actually cared about.” Um, possibly because your facts are full of holes?  Like comparing U.S. Health Care to other developed countries?  Turns out the best gauge of outcomes is life-expectancy, at which the U.S. excels.  The U.S. is more successful on comparative costs, efficiency of resource use, and outcome as well.

How about the idea that Reform will yield major savings? The primary drivers of costs are new technologies, public demand for broader coverage and access, and defensive medicine.  ObamaCare specifically does not make any attempt to restrict lawsuits or reign in tort lawyers, who are a major constituency.  Customer demands for quick access to the latest and best is not contraindicated except in inevitable rationing that will be required to hold down cost.  There are no real cost-savings in ObamaCare except for the rationing that is sure to come.

Neither ‘comparative-effectiveness nor health-information technology have been shown to reduce costs.  Claims of health-care costs being so high they result in personal bankruptcy were found to be simply unsupportable by the ABC News Director of Polling.  And claims of covering the uninsured were exploded by the CBO which noted that 22 million would remain uninsured.

What they are trying to do has nothing to do with the health of the American people, but everything to do with putting an enormous and important part of the economy under permanent Democrat control.

If you have to prettify your language to make your policies palatable, you are assuming that the American public is too stupid to understand what you are doing.  It is a flawed assumption.  They are not out there clinging to their guns and their religion, but heading for protests with signs they’ve made on the kitchen table.  Never underestimate the American people.



You Are Being Misled With Euphemisms! by The Elephant's Child
August 18, 2010, 7:00 am
Filed under: Islam, National Security, Politics, Terrorism | Tags: , ,

Most of us have made jokes about political correctness, or been annoyed by it.  The rise of public relations firms and the use of focus groups provide politicians with ways to put their efforts into more pleasing language.  We shrug such things off, but it is a very serious problem.

We have sneered at Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano’s effort to refer to terrorist attacks as “man-caused disasters,”without appreciating the extent to which we are being misled. When we learn that terms such as “Islamic radicalism” have been officially removed from American security documents and replaced with “new euphemisms to emphasize that the United States does not view Muslim nations through the lens of terrorism, we are being misled.” 9/11 was NOT a “Man-caused disaster. it was an act of war that killed nearly 3,000 people in a vicious attack by Islamic radicals.

Facing the facts directly means that we look at the actions and events that followed in a clear light.  Euphemisms destroy our understanding, and change our votes — which is what was intended.

That should clarify the dispute over the mosque at Ground Zero.  President Obama called 9/11 a “traumatic” incident. The Islamic radicals, the terrorists who perpetrated the attack become “extremists” or “militants.”  In the fear of offending, we are lied to.  And the lies have consequences.  Using soft, gentle, namby-pamby words we are told that it isn’t really important, never-mind, just move along, nothing to see here — don’t blame us!  Liberals call people who carry signs in Tea Party protests — extremists.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner had a “re-branding program” designed to keep us from understanding clearly just what was happening to our financial sector and our economy.  The Bank Bailout Plan became “the Financial Stability Plan” and then morphed into “the Public-Private Investment Program.

American Thinker had an article headlined “Geithner Plan for Banks Leaked — A Trillion More Down the Toilet.” Now that’s clarity.  Secretary Geithner preferred to refer to all those toxic mortgages as “The Challenge of Legacy Assets.” Who is going to get irate about “legacy assets?”

Major Nidal Hassan was known to his military associates and superiors as a somewhat troubled personality.  They probably knew more than that, but ideas about “political correctness” and the value of “diversity” put everyone in a tolerant doze.  Consider the synonyms for “tolerance:” lenient, forbearant, permissive, indulgent, complaisant, liberal, indulgent.  Weak words for weak posturing — take no action, be kind, don’t offend,  So, quite deliberately, no one noticed that he was a little, um, extreme in his adherence to Islam, and so a lot of people died unnecessarily.

Don’t let them get away with it.  Demand truth and accuracy.  Laugh and poke fun at examples of political correctness, diversity, and multiculturalism.

All cultures are not equal.  We don’t execute people who commit adultery (or who are claimed to have) by stoning them to death. We do not throw acid in the faces of girls who commit the sin of going to school. We do not cut off noses and ears as punishment.  And in not understanding, we become pawns, and soft, and lazy — and unprepared.




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