In case logic gets a little lost this week during part two of the major political parties’ conventions (assuming it was ever there), it might be useful to provide a little primer for those less familiar with political rhetoric. This may help sort through the nonsense (which was always there).

First, notice the use of the word “access.” It’s one of the most used political catchphrases these days. When Party 2 says that Party 1 wants to deny Person X “access” to B, what that means in actuality is that Party 1 has no problem with Person X buying their own B, but it does not want to make a law forcing Persons Y and Z to pay for Person X’s  B.

Second, if a politician says they favor “investing” in this or that government program, they really mean they want to spend more money (money the government really doesn’t have these days). When they do not favor the program, they’ll actually call it spending – but maybe add the adjective “wasteful” in front of it for the effect.

Third, watch out when Party 2 says all of our problems are the results of Party 1’s policies, or vice-versa. That is seldom ever really the case. There is plenty of blame to go around to indict both parties.

Fourth, someone in Party 2 hearing so-called “racist code words” in everything persons in Party 1 say is likely a clue that Party 2 has run out of actual arguments and has resorted to name-calling. If they ignore the actual arguments made by the other party, it is a sign they are not ready for an actual adult conversation about an issue.

Fifth, if instead of detailing their policies, you hear a politician tout a one or two-word “bumper sticker” slogan, ignore it. There is a reason the Constitution was and actual laws are written in full sentences.  One such example: “Forward.” The more has-been politicians you see speaking, the less substance that slogan really keeps. At this point, most political ideas aren’t new, they’re just different from the previous idea that was tried and failed. Give the ‘new’ idea enough time, and it will likely fail as it did years ago when it was tried before the last idea.

And lastly, but most importantly, try not to take anything said by a politician of either party at their convention too seriously. After all, their actions in subsequent months and years will likely completely contradict their words.

* This post was subsequently posted on the Young Americans for Liberty blog as well.

One Response to Convention-speak

  1. […] speeches (both the State of the Union and the Republican response), it might be useful to once again provide another little primer for those less familiar with political rhetoric. This may help sort […]

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