In the midst of all the political shenanigans going on, I thought about the words being used, and the different connotations they are viewed with. Being a child during the 60’s, the word revolution doesn’t scare me at all. My father, however, would view it with great distaste if he were alive. Broad minded he was not.
That led me to think about the different ways revolutions have been accomplished in recent human history. When you think of Russia’s change from a czar to communism, one can’t help but think of it as a bloody awful time, great upheaval, and eventually, a failed experiment, etc. etc. etc. Then move on to the Brits. They actually accomplished the same thing, meaning their monarch is no longer in charge, but being Brits, they did it in their typically stoic manner, chins held high, her Majesty still held in the highest regard.
That brings me around to the present use of words, far, far from their dictionary definition. Take the word liberal. Today’s conservatives try to paint a negative connotation of liberal. A dictionary from 1965 defines liberal as being open-minded and a champion of individual rights. Read that again. It wasn’t a champion of government’s rights – but individuals. In the UK, liberals were characterized with ideals of individual economic freedom, not what we think of today
Ah, so, we change and grow, or at least we change. Our vocabulary is nothing if not fluid and evolving. There’s that revolutionary root word again. No one, I say no one, owns words. One cannot define another’s character by slinging words at them and hoping they stick, though politicians try. I believe the best litmus test for a candidate is looking at the words they themselves actually write (reading speeches might be boring – but you learn a lot) and looking at their heart. Listening to what others say about a person, whether in a campaign ad or a debate, will not, and cannot give you a clear picture of the person you want to know.
Finally, ask yourself what or who has your candidate been working for their entire lives. I don’t believe public service is necessarily, or automatically, a bad thing. The American public, however, is very anti-establishment right now – RIGHT OUT OF THE 60’S! We’re only missing the long hair and tie-dye t-shirts. Ahh…revolution.