Thursday, March 31, 2005


Ultraconservatives can probably attribute much of their political success in recent years to manipulation through language. They have become adept at taking words and short phrases that seem to indicate broad things that almost everyone supports, but are actually code words for their narrow agenda. For instance, "freedom" and "liberty" actually stand for invading foreign countries for no just cause to help the ideological and economic interests of a very few. "Family values" stands for the denial of basic rights to gays. And then there's "the culture of life". I mean, who in their right mind doesn't like life?

Of course, "culture of life" is right-wing code for support of governmental and religious limitations placed individuals' freedoms in the most personal areas of life, particularly concerning its beginning and its end. All based on the limited so-called Christian morality of a relative few. It's a shame that the "culture of life" concept is so narrow so as not to include other real life issues, such as seeing that working people can earn a living wage, that everyone has sufficient health care available to them, that poverty around the globe is addressed and that when we make a decision that will result in the taking of lives abroad, we are damn sure that it is either the only way to protect our national security, or that it will save many more lives than will be lost.

But, no. The phrase "culture of life" is meant to do only one thing: Manipulate the majority of people in the country into allowing a shrill irrational minority to run their lives the way that minority sees fit.

Now, who in their right mind would want that?


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