Semantic Contradictions

They think we’re dumb, and they’re right.

Like nine-year-olds at a birthday party, the gullible American populace stares into the mouths of our elected officials –mesmerized as if they just pulled a coin from behind our ear– while both Democratic and Republican legislators conspire with those contributing to their campaigns to create an illusion of democracy. In a bi-partisan effort to mislead an intellectually and emotionally abated proletariat, our legislators have devised a simple way of getting “We, The People” to undermine our own best interests,  while doing the bidding of the political lobbies they answer to.  Using purposely misleading language,  our elected officials prey upon our disinterest, knowing that –as we do with everything else in our lives– we want things explained to us as simply as possible, and in 10 seconds or less. So they’ll use code words to falsely describe what legislation they are actually proposing.

 For instance, the “Patriot” act sounds lyrical, but it might be the least patriotic piece of legislation ever imposed on the American public.  Although it’s official title is ” Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act of 2001″  That’s mainly because those who wrote the bill wisely decided that aptly describing it “The bill to violate the constitution and spy on you whenever the hell we damn well feel like ” Act of 2001 might be a more difficult sell on cable news. So they tossed in a dash of patriotism, a pinch of safety, and a sprinkle of this-is-for-your-own-good… and Viola! … Americans passively allowed ourselves to be kicked in our constitutional gonads.

It is in this very spirit that we are also nationally debating over the merits of President Obama’s “health care plan” , as if that’s what it actually is. We really don’t have health care in America. We have sick care. That is what the national debate is actually about. We have a “for profit” industry formulated around treating sick people, selling medicine, and creating retail billing for products and service rendered. There is little in either party’s legislative propositions to change that dynamic. Are there pieces of this legislation which are admirable? Of course there are. There are so many pages in Obamacare that standing on its side it can also be used as an end table.

So we take sides in a debate that’s not even real.

But that’s how Americans have been conditioned to respond. Like Pavlov’s dog hearing its bell rung, we react reflexively at psycho-semantic  key words. For instance, all we have to do is add the word “freedom” to a congressional bill, and no matter how adversely it affects our liberties, it will probably garner enough votes to pass legislation, because let’s face it… no politician wants to create a perception that they are against freedom.  Right to Work? No Child left behind? It’s New and Improved! With 20% More!, And if you act now, we’ll throw in lower taxes!

This might lead rational people to come to the realization that eventually, it will soon become so easy to pull the wool over the eyes of disinterested, disheartened, and intellectually disenfranchised voters, that our politicians –at the behest of their lobbyist employers– will circumvent the constitution however, and whenever they want. And with the way things are going,  how long will it be before we see such a cavalier disregard for the American citizenry that our two party duopoly whimsically titles legislation ” The Jesus Loves America Bill”, or “The Charter to Protect Our Children from Foreigners”, or even “The Don’t Bother to Read What’s in it, But Take Our Word For it, You’re Gonna Love it” Act of 2012?. We’ll probably be so distracted to even bother to find out what any legislation actually proposes  , that we’ll simply take the word of whatever cable news/public relations pontiff we like the best. Then we can go back to doing we what we do best… psychologically shielding ourselves from the horrors of our socio/political truth  by watching mind numbing, reality television, and cramming carbohydrates into our glutinous bodies.

As P.T. Barnum once allegedly proclaimed, “There’s a Sucker born every minute” and as such, the American public will buy anything, provided its packaged correctly, and presented as something that it’s not… so long as it’s something that we want to believe.


About Rich Woods

Rich Woods is the author of the critically acclaimed books, UnLearn Vanilla Marriage, and Yahweh to Hell. He is also a columnist, sociologist, and satirist who has performed seminars around the country. He's also made several TV and radio appearances. Transitioning from a blue-collar background has given Mr. Woods a unique perspective --and an even more unique elocution--among his peers. Raised Catholic, Mr. Woods is now a very public atheist who champions the separation of church and state. He's an advocate for non-traditional relationships, including --but not limited to-- negotiating non-monogamy, as well as being a vocal opponent of political correctness. Throughout his career, Woods has had colorful metaphors hurled in his direction from both liberals, and conservatives. To be honest, most of the vitriol comes from the Tea Party. However, he considers one of his greatest accomplishments having been called "Harry Reid's Lapdog" , and referred to as being "just like Rush Limbaugh" from two different sources within minutes of one another. Originally from Queens, New York, and presently residing in central New Jersey, Rich Woods is madly, and hopelessly in love with his wife Jane since before they were wed in 2002, and is the proud father of two successful, brilliantly creative, young adult children. Try as he might, he can't juggle.

Posted on April 27, 2012, in Recent Posts. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Awesome blog, Rich! You’ve written a kick-ass, yet also profound piece once again. I love you, baby! 🙂

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