I have been collecting sayings that have caught my attention and here is a quote from the past:
“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable and to give an appearance of solidarity to pure wind” – George Orwell
And yet as I came across this quote from the George Orwell (author of 1984) it feels more in touch with 2017 than any other quote I’ve read recently.
It seems to me that politicians have polished the art of sounding truthful while telling a lie! What happened to the idea that a man and his word was his bond, in other words that I could trust what you would say.
If I were to offer to my clients a service based upon a description that was totally false, I would be out of business very quickly. Or at least it would take a while for people to catch up and catch on and then sue me.
As I have been a wordsmith for some time now this trend of alternate facts and truth worries me. I believe it undermines all of us, causing dissension, fear and apprehension. This begs the question: What can we do with politicians?
What Can We Do About Politicians?
I believe that all political systems need to put in place term limits on all politicians. In the British parliamentary system, it is possible for a leader to get re-elected continuously, and the in American system this only applies to congressmen and senators. The US President is limited to two four-year terms.
(Passed by Congress in 1947, and ratified by the states on February 27, 1951, the Twenty-Second Amendment limits an elected president to two terms in office, a total of eight years.)
I believe that after a while every politician falls in love with the very idea of being powerful, losing sight of the privilege and duty of being in service to their fellow man. After many elections, sadly their attention focuses on their own wellbeing first. The US president is limited to two terms of 4 years for a total of eight years; wouldn’t it seem sensible to put similar limits on both Congress and Senate of the US?
I think the same would be very powerful in Canada, limiting each MP (Member of Parliament) to an eight-year term in office. This would ensure fresh ideas, fresh leadership and remove demagogues, or at least limit their impact on society in general.
What We Do About Voters?
The right to vote is a privilege paid for with lives defending our system of democracy. Many people vote for what they believe is best for their country, and some for their own self-interest. How do we motivate people to vote? Do we fine them or punish them in some way or another so that they do?
I believe every citizen has a right to vote, and when they do the result is to support democracy. But if you don’t vote, you don’t get to complain and talk about what should be different, because by not voting you removed yourself from the decision and the results and forfeited the right to complain.
What do you think?
The quote by George Orwell is as valid today as when he wrote it and I believe we need to pay attention. While the grim tale of 1984 is fiction, sadly the world of alternate facts is here.