Modern-day slavery…Fiscal cliff…Marriage equality…Obamacare…Gun control…Adoption equality
When the rhetoric surrounding an issue becomes the issue itself.
Last week’s conversation around “symbols” really got me thinking about how words or phrases can be used to evoke an emotional response in people in order to get them to support certain policies or points of view. How many times have we heard politicians use language that stirs us up on the inside (whether in a good or bad way) and makes us want to do something? Sometimes the catch phrases they use are arbitrary but like sheep we follow behind them because… they sound good. And let’s be honest, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News don’t do anything but replay these same messages over and over and over again, further bombarding us with political rhetoric. So what are we to do with these messages?
Sometimes I feel like political rhetoric is often used in a way that doesn’t really give people an option of making an informed decision or pretty much forces people to choose one side of the argument. I mean who would really argue against a policy to end modern-day slavery? And certainly no one would argue against marriage equality right? I mean don’t get me wrong. I get the point. But I think we can agree that in some cases, the rhetoric does not accurately reflect the issue.
I think part of the issue is that we try to oversimplify huge social problems by reducing them to rhetoric that has absolutely nothing to do with the real issues. Maybe it’s best if we just stop the wordplay and do the work that needs to be done, instead of having meaningless conversations generated by petty words.