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The Flag of the World

-G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

This here blog is a glimpse or two or three at the condition of the 'fortress of our family' through the eyes Timothy Goddard, a Christian writer with an unhealthy interest in politics living in the Puget Sound area.

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Thursday, July 22, 2004

Behold, the power of words
Words are fascinating little buggers.  They're very powerful, yet also very small and ethereal.  Sometimes, their smallness belies their power, and other times, their power belies their smallness.  In his interview with Dan Rather, Kerry demonstrated that he underestimates their power.  Consider this little exchange:

Rather: “But at the core of a attack against you is that you are, quote, 'Senator Flip Flop.’ Does or does not the record indicate that you have indeed been on several sides of most issues, or at least a lot of issues, over the years?”

Kerry: “Not a one. Ask me.”

Rather: “Voted for the war but didn't vote for the money--”

Kerry: “That's not a flip flop....I voted to hold Saddam Hussein accountable in order to make sure he disarmed, and I voted to do it with the stipulations of the President who said he would build an international coalition, go to war as a last resort after exhausting the remedies of the UN. He did none of the above...”

Rather: “You don't think it's a flip flop?”

Kerry: “It is not in the least. I think we have to be in Iraq. What have I flipped on? I just think we ought to do it right.”

Aside from the absurd notion that Kerry's never been on more than one side of an issue, did you notice the fatal mistake he made?  He used the word his opponents have been using to define him, "flip-flop."  He should never have done that.  You don't ever say the words your opponents use to define you.  For example, if you are accused of incompetence, you don't say "I'm not incompetent," you say something like "I am highly skilled," or something.  The classic political example of this mistake was Nixon's "I am not a crook" line. 

This isn't the only example of Kerry's disrespect of language.  The most obvious symptom of it is his inability to say anything simply.  An eregious example I highlighted a few months back was his butchering of the term "Orwellian," substituting "names that would make George Orwell rise up and cheer," which is the exact opposite of what he meant to say.  Unless he's distinctly confused about who George Orwell was...

At any rate, if my choice is between a man who cares less about the pronunciation of words and a man who cares less about the power and meaning of words, then I'll take the mispronounciator every day of the week.

Agree, disagree, have more information on the topic? Please, feel free to leave a comment. No profanity!

I am not sure I like the choice you present. Given the language thing, I would have a hard time saying Kerry's problem is the worse one. Not knowing how to pronounce words, in my experience, is often correlated with not knowing what words mean. The exception is one who reads a ton and never hears the correct pronunciation. But Bush does not make those sorts of mistakes. Still, I go Bush on the issues.
But you're adding a seperate problem. I've never seen Bush make any mistake that would lead me to believe he doesn't know what words mean. Kerry has made mistakes that lead me to believe that he doesn't care what they mean, and that's far worse.
Bush said, "They misunderestimated me." That's not a mispronounciation and it's not a misunderstanding of meaning--it's a ridiculous, non-existent word. That is one example of at least dozens, probably hundreds. I can't believe someone would say that George Bush has a firm grasp of meanings of words.
Heh. Misunderestimated. Are you sure Bush wasn't just messing with you and people like you? You do recognize the irony of that statement, right?
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