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home : opinions : letters to the editor
June 17, 2019

10/12/2017 7:29:00 AM
Decoding 'double-speak'

To the Editor: "Double-speak" is using words as if they mean the opposite of their true meaning. Your Sept. 28 issue was so filled with it that I feel compelled to comment.

It starts on the top of the front page: the governor describes his new appointee to head the DNR as having a "passion for conservation." Then the editorial inside reveals that his real passion is for destroying several generations' worth of protections for our natural resources and the environment. The editorial then goes on to portray the whole agenda of DNR employees as some kind of leftist plot - totally ignoring the fact that the laws they administer were passed by Republicans as well as Democrats. Remember, there was a time, not too long ago, when "conservative" and "conservation" were not seen as opposites!

The "Political Digest" contains references to the "Property Rights" movement, another variety of double-speak. Of course, there are property rights guaranteed by our constitutions, but they are not intended to supersede all our other rights. Here is a movement aimed at getting rid of whatever protections are in place to support the property values and way of life of ordinary people - that is, it believes that whoever has the most property should have the most rights!

Then we hear the governor applauding a court's ruling on the new "right-to-work" law, saying "it protects freedom, not special interests." Of course, the very name of the law is double-speak: it provides no jobs, and it inhibits the rights of workers to act together regarding workplace concerns. It's about the "freedom" to be exploited by employers. That wasn't a good deal for workers in the 1890s and it isn't now! Why go back to the bad old days?

In this newspaper, "special interests" is almost always double-speak. It really means those who are trying to work the system for their private gain at the expense of the rest of us and should never be applied to those who are working for the public interest or the general good. Doing so is intended merely to muddy up the discussion.

Seeing how easy it is for "freedom" and "rights" and so many other words to be twisted against us, let's be constantly alert for all instances of double-speak.

Gerald Anderson


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