Time to stop pretending.

The Chinese philosopher Confucius (c. 551 – c. 479 BC) observed a while ago that the beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. 

Known as the doctrine of the rectification of names, it held that if people can’t agree on the meaning of words it’s unlikely that relations between people can be harmonious or that sound government policy can be made.  Think of the words “wife,” “husband,” “man,” “woman,” “marriage,” “climate change,” “racism,” “affirmative action,” “education,” “elections,” “constitution,” “Russian expansionism,” and “democracy” as they are used now and you can’t help noticing that their meanings are, shall we say, a bit rubbery. 

“Marriage” seems to mean something not much different from “shacking up” in some quarters and good luck figuring out what “natural born citizen” means.  (Someone should ask that constitutional law professor, Barack Obongo, about that latter term.)  “Enumerated powers” now means “unenumerated powers” and “international border” now means “superhighway.”  “Department of Homeland Security” is pregnant with meaning.  It’s just that I don’t know what that meaning is.  Nothing to do with “security” apparently.

I hate to think what “love” entails and seeing as how this is a family site I won’t go into detail on that.

The good news is that “clown,” “vicious, corrupt political class,” “congressional whore,” “sedition,” and “treason” are terms that I find to be yet crystal clear, but maybe that’s just me.

It’s a puzzle it is, Ollie. 

Here’s a modern take on dealing with, um, lack of precision in “our” thinking:

For the past two years I can only encapsulate the entire social, political and socioeconomic dynamic that surrounds us by saying we are living in an era of great pretending.  Why?  Because nothing else adequately explains it.

A recession is no longer two negative quarters of economic growth.  Elections are no longer defined by votes cast, but by ballots counted.  Meanwhile, women are claimed to have penises and people will argue -strenuously and with commitment- that men can give birth to babies.

Simultaneously, vaccines are no longer about medicines to avoid viruses, and Americans have some moral obligation to fund the administrative salaries, pensions and expense accounts for a nation of European politicians, in a country that few taxpayers could find on a map.

We must pretend the occupant of the oval office is not a dementia patient, at the same time we must pretend the Dept of Homeland Security and FBI is not telling online speech platforms that identifying the dementia patient, as a dementia patient, means you are a domestic violent extremist.  The absurdity of the pretenses are off-the-charts.

* * * *

When it becomes so easy to deconstruct the madness simply by pointing out the reality, eventually anyone can do it.  In an era of great pretending, when you speak factual and [plain] truth, people thirsting will come for the sanity.  Yes, there’s only so much hypocritical nuttery that can possibly fit into the social fabric of a nation, and we’re full.[1]

[1]2022, Perhaps the Apex Year for an Era of Pretending.”  By Sundance, The Conservative Treehouse, 12/31/22 (emphasis added).