Perhaps we could call broccoli 'ice cream'

Jim Redwine

Motherhood and apple pie: I am for both of these institutions and I bet so are most voters. So consider the slight of hand our politicians must pull off is to make us think we are getting Mom’s apple pie for our tax monies when, in fact, we may be getting Jezebel’s cow pie.

Take the Patriot Act for instance. The full name that the naming gnomes came up with for this abomination is: “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA Patriot) Act of 2001.” An example of the Act’s true purpose is the secret FISA courts it created. FISA courts are Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts, where the term “court” is turned on its head. Secret proceedings are the stuff of Franz Kafka’s "The Trial," not places where due process and the protection of rights and liberty occur. Nothing could be less patriotic than The Patriot Act.

Much as we have ignored and subverted our core principles of innocent until and unless proven guilty in the Guantanamo Bay “Detention” Camp, our legal and political system has incrementally used words to obfuscate and mislead. A detention center is where bad-behaving children are disciplined. Guantanamo is America’s shameful gulag, where we give the lie to our core values every day it remains open.

George Orwell was an English writer, but his prescient works, "Animal Farm" and "1984," could be sounding the alarm for our government’s attempts to have us believe politicians' pet projects are infrastructure, and that military incursions are peace missions. It is difficult to get voters to re-elect a politician if they know the person they are paying about $200,000 per year is spending trillions of dollars of taxpayer funds on pet projects and claiming they are infrastructure. Maybe what the politician wants to fund is a good idea, but lying to the American public to get it funded is not.

Perhaps if we would start calling broccoli, "ice cream," we could save broccoli farmers from bankruptcy. Or maybe we could champion those wonderful Brussels sprouts as COVID-19 cures. I am confident there would be some late-night charlatan somewhere on the Internet or cable television who would promote such an idea as a Biblical alternative to vaccines.

As Congress castigates Mark Zuckerberg and wrings its hands at his subliminal manipulation of our youth, perhaps it could turn its spotlight on itself and start policing its own Newspeak. The politicians’ callous indifference to the citizenry’s confusion over science and religion, or peace and war, or progress over stagnation is in need of a good analysis by a contemporary Will Rogers or Mark Twain or George Orwell or Joseph (Catch 22) Heller.

Anyway, I cannot devote any more time now to such considerations, as it is the middle of football season. So, for the moment, I must concentrate upon what is truly important, at least to me, and I will blithely rely upon the goodwill of the politicians to address the rest in terms that lull me back to indifference.