In a 1946 essay, George Orwell wrote that “But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” Political parties, campaigns, and demagogues shape and manipulate public opinion by utilizing emotional language with “true believer” zeal that makes us want to believe them. They tell us what we want and then promise to give it to us. Sound familiar?
For now, let’s put aside our political inclinations. If we hear single-issue messages or vague appealing principles, then we are being asked to join their side and don’t worry about the details. If candidates demonize liberalism or conservatism, they are telling us that we don’t need to think about it. Their side is the right side.
Voters must insist on hearing how candidates and parties will support the many issues that matter to everyone. Economy and jobs, opportunity, infrastructure, healthcare, affordable education, public safety et al. Most important is what we do for our children, our future. Early childhood education, elimination of housing and food insecurity, great schools, great teachers, whatever it takes. If candidates say that we can have it all and with lower taxes, it is time to listen to someone else.