When Words Have No Meaning. . .
Vol: 20 Issue: 3 Friday, February 3, 2017
“Amnesty” – Noun: “the act of an authority (as a government) by which pardon is granted to a large group of individuals.”
“Pardon” – Noun: “a release from the legal penalties of an offense.”
“Nuanced” – (from the French “nuer”) – noun: “a subtle distinction or variation; delicate shading”
“illegal” – adjective – “not according to or authorized by law; unlawful”
“alien” – noun – “relating, belonging, or owing allegiance to another country or government”
“Propaganda” – noun – “ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause; also : a public action having such an effect.”
I want to make sure that we are all using the same definitions of these words, since they have taken on so many ‘nuanced’ definitions that they no longer have any meaning on their own. So we’ll assume the classic definitions, as applied by Merriam-Webster, as our default understanding.
We’ve discussed the existence of ‘newspeak’ previously. Orwell’s thesis that when words have no meaning, they can mean anything is proved by the fact it is necessary to have an agreed-upon definition for certain words before one can have any meaningful discussion about America’s illegal immigration crisis.
Along with the redefinition of ordinary words comes the reshaping of thought, torturing logic until a border fence between the US and Mexico becomes the moral equivalent of a ‘Berlin Wall’. All one needs to assume for that to make sense is that the Berlin Wall was built to keep the West Germans OUT of Communist East Berlin.
But I heard somebody call the proposed fence exactly that on TV, and nobody corrected him. The Berlin Wall was erected by the Communists to keep the East Berliners from ESCAPING. The US border wall proposal is intended to prevent illegal aliens from INVADING. Hmmm
“Escape” – verb – “to get away (as by flight)”
“Invade” – transitive verb – “to spread over or into”
But when words have no meaning, enforcing existing laws against illegal aliens can be characterized as the equivalent of ‘criminalizing a whole class of people’ — despite the fact that the entry requirement for membership in that ‘whole class of ‘criminalized’ people’ is that they all broke the same criminal law.
(It is the semantic equivalent to arguing that anti-theft laws ‘criminalize’ a whole class of thieves . . . but that’s what is known as a ‘nuanced’ viewpoint.)
There are members of both the House and Senate that have actually advanced that argument with a straight face. Worst of all, nobody laughed.
When words have no meaning, the laws they enunciate are equally meaningless. In President Bush’s address to the nation, he announced: “Some in this country argue that the solution is to deport every illegal immigrant and that any proposal short of this amounts to amnesty. I disagree. It is neither wise nor realistic to round up millions of people, many with deep roots in the United States, and send them across the border.”
Back to the word-check for ‘amnesty’ — it means “granting a pardon for breaking the law to a large group of individuals.”
Now we look up the page to the definition of ‘propaganda’. President Bush has been pushing amnesty for Mexican illegal aliens almost since he took office. That’s part of his agenda
“. . . to secure our border, we must create a temporary worker program.”
Leaving aside the idea that a temporary worker program will somehow play a role in border security for the moment, how does granting ‘temporary worker status’ to illegal aliens now in the country differ from granting them amnesty?
I tend to agree that mass deportations are not the answer. But neither is blanket — or even conditional amnesty for millions of foreign scofflaws.
The President tried to make the case that; “the reality is that there are many people on the other side of our border who will do anything to come to America to work and build a better life.”
Time for another word-meaning check. Wouldn’t the definition of ‘anything’ include entering the country legally? What the President meant is that they will do ALMOST anything, except obey the law.
Therefore, since illegal aliens will do ‘anything’ to live here — except obey the law and wait in line like everybody else – the President reasoned; “This creates enormous pressure on our border that walls and patrols alone will not stop.”
Bush is arguing that “walls and patrols alone” can’t stop, based on. . . what? With only 6000 Border Patrolmen working 3200 miles of unfenced border, how in the world can he know THAT?
Noted one critic; “This is kind of like saying the rain coming down creates tremendous pressure on the roof of my house that repairing it won’t stop. . . ”
But one portion of the President’s proposal DID catch my eye. “. . . we need to hold employers to account for the workers they hire. It is against the law to hire someone who is in this country illegally.”
BINGO! If we are going to grant a blanket amnesty anyway, why not grant amnesty to AMERICANS? Instead of the illegal aliens? Grant US employers blanket amnesty for breaking the law by hiring illegals in the first place — and then give them ninety days to replace them with American workers, when the amnesty expires.
After that, increase the penalty for breaking the law from a fine and a slap on the wrist to hard time in a federal prison. If you hire an alien, you go to jail.
If there are no jobs, the illegals will have no choice but to go home to Mexico and apply for a green card like everybody else. (Or, alternatively, participate in developing their own economy instead of focusing on illegally reaping the benefits of somebody else’s.)
Employers already have a way to verify the legal status of a potential employee. It’s nicknamed Insta Check and administered by the Department of Homeland Security. Any employer with a phone OR an Internet connection can verify the identity of any employee through this web site or the Social Security Administration.
But the administration’s goal isn’t to put an end to the influx of cheap Mexican labor. The goal is to legalize it and prevent any interruption of the economy. Why not just say so?
Once again, we return to the dictionary definition of ‘propaganda’.
Allow me to say the same thing when I criticize the administration as I do when I seem to praise it. It isn’t about Bush. It is about truth, and our national willingness to accept differing versions of it without comment.
(If that were not true, then Americans wouldn’t have to choose between a ‘liberal media’ and a ‘conservative media’ to get their facts. In reality, the choice is between two competing agenda-driven propaganda outlets disguised as neutral fact-reporting organizations.)
During the Tribulation, the Bible says the world will come under the sway of a master propagandist, spiritually energized by Satan, whose powers of deception will be so seductive that “all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8)
“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:” (2nd Thessalonians 2:9-11)
I always wondered just how strong a delusion it would take. Until I witnessed Orwell’s thesis proved before my very eyes; “When words have no meaning, they can mean anything at all.”
Featured Commentary: So You Want To Be Left Behind ~Alf Cengia