Tuesday, May 23, 2017

“Your Healthcare”

     As one who is serious about the meanings of words and sensitive to their misuse, I got a particular jolt of adrenaline out of the title of this piece...and not just from the neologism “healthcare.”

     Do you own any “healthcare?” Myself, I’m not sure. What does it look like? Is it something I’d keep in the kitchen, or a desk drawer, or perhaps in a bedroom closet? All I’ve found anywhere I’ve looked to date has been recognizable stuff that belongs where I keep it.

     Maybe the C.S.O. has it. If it’s large, it might explain why she’s been encroaching on my closet space again.

     I’m sure my Gentle Readers get the point. “Healthcare” – properly, medical care — is a service provided by others, usually for a fee. It’s not something to which one can lay a property claim. Medical goods such as pills, vaccines, bandages, crutches, and wheelchairs can be property, but of themselves they don’t constitute medical care. They’re merely aids to recovery from disease or injury, which can be used or misused...and if misused, they can set back your actual health as effectively as a shotgun blast.

     None of the above has any effect on such as Congressional Minority “Leader” Nancy Pelosi:

     Pelosi accused the Republicans of trying to jam a repeal-and-replace bill through Congress not for health-related reasons, but to set the stage for a tax reform proposal providing hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts for the rich.

     “They’re in a hurry … because they need this money to give a tax break to the wealthiest people in our country. This bill will have the biggest transfer of wealth in the history of our country — Robin Hood in reverse,” she said.

     “That is the goal of their tax bill, but they need this money from your healthcare in order to do that.” [Emphasis added by FWP.]

     I’m equally sure my Gentle Readers will get what this...person is attempting to do through her phrasing.

     It sometimes seems that the entire Leftist project relies upon verbal obfuscation. Leftist mouthpieces certainly do a lot of it. This business about “your healthcare” is currently the most important battlefield, but it’s not the only one. Note how they transform the World Bank’s Women Entrepreneurs Fund into a personal project of Ivanka Trump’s:

     This weekend, the Wall Street Journal‘s Carole Lee wrote a perfectly accurate story about Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates pledging to donate $100 million to a World Bank fund for women entrepreneurs. The article noted that the fund was Ivanka Trump’s idea and that she was at the event where the pledge was announced.

     When Wall Street Journal reporter Rebecca Ballhaus tweeted out a link to her colleague’s story, she spun it in such a way as to add inaccuracies. First she reclassified a World Bank fund as a fund belonging to Ivanka Trump.

     Then she claimed that the donation from the two countries were therefore akin to what Trump pilloried Hillary Clinton for.

     Please read the whole thing...and feel your blood pressure rise. Through verbal sleight of hand, a World Bank initiative of which merely approves Ivanka Trump has become her personal fund – even though she has no control over the money, neither where it comes from nor how it will be used. And the Left leaps upon it with a tiger’s ferocity, eager for a new flail with which to flog a popular member of the First Family! This is just one of the more recent examples of Leftist deceit through verbal misdirection.

     Was this donation an attempt by the Saudi royal family to curry favor with President Trump? Probably. Neither the Saudis nor Muslims generally look favorably upon independence among women. But neither Trump, nor his daughter Ivanka, nor anyone else in the First Family will benefit materially. It’s merely a donation to an undertaking Ivanka Trump has mentioned favorably.

     Yet virtually the whole of the Punditocracy, including quite a few Establishment-aligned pseudo-conservatives, constantly deride President Trump for his locutions. It is to laugh.

     I can’t resist reposting the following slice of the Analects of Confucius:

     Zi-lu said, "The ruler of Wei has been waiting for you, in order with you to administer the government. What will you consider the first thing to be done?"

     The Master replied, "What is necessary to rectify names."

     "So! indeed!" said Zi-lu. "You are wide of the mark! Why must there be such rectification?"

     The Master said, "How uncultivated you are, Yu! A superior man, in regard to what he does not know, shows a cautious reserve.

     If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things.

     If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success.

     When affairs cannot be carried on to success, proprieties and music do not flourish.

     When proprieties and music do not flourish, punishments will not be properly awarded.

     When punishments are not properly awarded, the people do not know how to move hand or foot.

     Therefore a superior man considers it necessary that the names he uses may be spoken appropriately, and also that what he speaks may be carried out appropriately.

     What the superior man requires is just that in his words there may be nothing incorrect."

     Confucius’s remonstrance to Zi-lu is of contemporary relevance and staggering importance. Alternately, we have this critically important essay by George Orwell:

     In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible....Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenceless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them. Consider for instance some comfortable English professor defending Russian totalitarianism. He cannot say outright, ‘I believe in killing off your opponents when you can get good results by doing so’. Probably, therefore, he will say something like this:
     ‘While freely conceding that the Soviet regime exhibits certain features which the humanitarian may be inclined to deplore, we must, I think, agree that a certain curtailment of the right to political opposition is an unavoidable concomitant of transitional periods, and that the rigors which the Russian people have been called upon to undergo have been amply justified in the sphere of concrete achievement.’

     As horrifying as is such verbal legerdemain when it’s used to conceal or defend atrocities, it’s even more threatening when it goes on the attack, as our political elite has lately done. And it’s high time that the American people should rebuff it brutally...if they’re still capable of recognizing it when they read or hear it.

1 comment:

Dystopic said...

Their wordsmithing and obfuscation has become intolerable to me. I began see it everywhere. And this is due in no small part to your writings, which have trained me to recognize such arguments more closely (you'll recall a run-in I had with one such a few months back).

But now the media and political elite have become obvious in this, such that even the untrained eye can detect the deception. Either they are secure enough in their eventual victory, or they have grown impatient and overconfident.

I suppose we'll find out one way or the other soon enough. Trump has accelerated the inevitable conflict.