Curtis Dahlgren
SPIN: a 4-letter word for "sophistical contrivances" (you lie, you lose)
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By Curtis Dahlgren
November 21, 2010

"It cannot in the opinion of His Majesty's Government be classified as slavery in the extreme acceptance of the word without some risk of terminological inexactitude." — Winston Churchill (1908)

[The political class is busy these days "spinning" the outcome of the recent election contests. Both parties are experiencing "divisions," though the Democrats are better at keeping their arguments behind closed doors of the (smoke-filled) back rooms. Just for the record, sometimes it's fun to go back a year's time to reread one's words. The following is from www.renewamerica.com/columns/dahlgren/091106and I wouldn't change a thing!]

IN THE LEXICON OF TODAY'S LIBERALS, WE'RE NOT SLAVES TO THE TAX COLLECTOR, WE'RE "STAKEHOLDERS" NOW. But words mean things, even to us overly "simplistic" taxpayers.

Laura Ingraham was talking to a "Republican" who told her that the tea party protesters aren't very "sophisticated" on government. This nameless politician (I forget the name) probably has no clue what the word "sophisticated" means!

ORIGINALLY, the adjective sophisticated meant 'adulterated, corrupted'! The "evolution" of the word went through an intermediate stage, 'lacking primitive naturalness' to, finally, "refined" — although it was derived from the noun sophistes ("expert"). And: -

And in the 5th century BC that word was used to describe Greek philosophers (the Sophists) who came to be despised for their specious and intellectually dishonest reasoning — "sophistry" (in other words, politicians — in the worst sense). It is related to the word "sophomoric."

The great unwashed ones in the Upper Midwest and flyover country look upon the word "sophisticated" as
still dominated by the negative connotations. Sorry.

Tocqueville said, "A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it" [for a little while anyway]. But Plato (429-347 BC) said:

"Democracy passes into despotism." And as Alexis de Tocqueville said some 175 years ago:

"Our contemporaries are constantly excited by two conflicting passions; they want to be led, and they wish to remain free . . [so] They devise a sole, tutelary, and all-powerful form of government, but elected by the people.

"They combine the principle of centralization and that of popular sovereignty; this gives them respite: they console themselves for being in tutelage by the reflection that they have chosen their own guardians. Every man allows himself to be put in leading-strings, because he sees that it is not a person or class of persons, but the people at large that hold the end of his chain."

Tocqueville always had higher hopes for America than his native France, but when "democracy passes into despotism," then it becomes in the end a "class of persons" who hold the end of our chains — the "pedigreed" and "multi-degreed" ones who refuse to come down from the Mountaintop to listen to the "unsophisticated" ones.

WELL, many of the latter are visiting Capitol Hill today [11/06/09] to look them in the whites of their
eyes, and they don't CARE if both parties up there look upon us as "simplistic" or "stuck in the fifties."

John Adams said, "The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God; and there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence."

President Grover Cleveland said, "Once the public coffers of the federal government are opened to the public, there will be no shutting them again." In his first Inaugural he said:

"In the discharge of my official duty, I shall endeavor to be guided by a just and unstained construction of the Constitution, a careful observance of the distinction between the powers granted to the Federal Government and those reserved to the States or the people." [1885] How "quaint"?

When officials vow today to "defend and uphold the Constitution," they're guilty of what Churchill called "terminological inexactitude." In other words, "Are you serious?" — as Speaker Nancy Pelosi replied to someone who asked her where the Constitution gives Congress the authority to "mandate" the purchase of health insurance.

Thomas Jefferson said, "Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others?"

President Obama told a young man, "We're not having other people carrying your burdens for you [by being uninsured]." Jefferson would say in reply to that one:

"Have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern us now?"

EVIDENTLY NOT, judging by the voters in Virginia and New Jersey, who seem inclined to believe that taxpayers are becoming "slaves" — not "stakeholders."

Government of the People, BY the People
is becoming an anachronism (how QUAINT). But this week I want to congratulate some of the Women of America who are speaking up against galloping socialism: Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Laura Ingraham, and many others!

Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma was recently called "the last of the Flat-earthers" because he refuses to hold to "THE LINE" on so-called global warming. "SPIN" is just another word for basic dishonesty, so congrats to Sen. Inhofe for earning his Scarlet Letter.

CONCLUSION: The basic underlying problem -

Abraham Lincoln's most important speech continues to go unread and not understood by too many of our "pedigreed" leaders on the Mountaintop, or the Hill. On his first visit to New Yawk, on February 27, 1860, Lincoln told the assembled crowd:

"A few words now to Republicans . . . Let us be diverted by none of those sophistical contrivances wherewith we are so industriously plied and belabored — contrivances such as groping for some middle ground between the right and the wrong, vain as the search for a man who should be neither a living man nor a dead man — such as a policy of 'don't care' on a question about which all true men do care — such as Union appeals beseeching true Union men to yield to Disunionists, reversing the divine rule, and calling, not the sinners, but the righteous to repentance . . .

"LET US HAVE FAITH THAT RIGHT MAKES MIGHT, AND IN THAT FAITH LET US, TO THE END, DARE TO DO OUR DUTY AS WE UNDERSTAND IT."

There are many traditional conservative women today who are putting to shame those "moderates" in both parties who urge us to "grope for some middle ground between the right and the wrong" — about which all TRUE MEN DO CARE.

Enough said?

© Curtis Dahlgren

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)

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