Rigged Political Language

Source: Free Association
by Sheldon Richman

“It’s an old trick: gain advantage over others by hiding one’s meaning behind euphemisms and other forms of linguistic camouflage and misdirection. People do this in all walks of life, but politicians make careers of it. If they engage in straight talk at all, it is by far the exception. The journalist Michael Kinsley defined a gaffe as ‘when a politician tells the truth — some obvious truth he isn’t supposed to say.’ Obfuscation is the currency of politics. Little has changed since Oscar Wilde’s time: ‘Nowadays to be intelligible is to be found out.’ Libertarians have emphasized this scam for years. When they say that taxation is theft, they offer an illustration.” (11/19/21)