That’s my visceral response to what I think just might be one of the most well-written and -constructed, punchy, and just plain fun to read paragraphs I ever did see, by our good friend and colleague Fran Porretto. Dig, if you will:
Gentle Reader, if you’ve never reflected on the penchant political columnists possess for bending, folding, stapling, and mutilating our sacred language into shapes unimagined by the greatest origamists in human history, now would not be a bad time to start. And for a bonus dollop of illumination: that phrase “would not be a bad time to start” is called a periphrasis. It’s a technique for using negatives to convey a positive suggestion. Paradoxically, this underscores the positive notion. It has the side benefit of making the user sound like W. Somerset Maugham.
See what he did there? A judiciously light dusting of alliteration early on; a reference to “our sacred language,” which I do NOT consider at all hyperbolic or over the top, as I do that “sacred democracy” twipe being thrown around WAY too often nowadays; a direct slap at “journalistic” manipulation via a metaphor so colorful and bright it dazzles; the paradoxically entertaining and educational “bonus dollop of illumination”; lastly, a sly Somerset Maugham reference, which I hope to God I will never come to think of as a bad thing.
That’s the penultimate (well, give or take) ‘graph of a brief post on Doublespeak which is richly deserving of your time and attention, from whence I gleaned a truly rollicking Spencer piece I had til now overlooked. To wit:
Imagine this scenario: a wildly unpopular and manifestly incapable president is running, however haltingly, for reelection. Initially he seemed like a lock, but then he encountered an unexpected challenge from a scion of an old American political family, a man who defies all the conventional categorization of political candidates and has set the establishment on its ear by challenging not only the superannuated corruptocrat in the White House but many of that establishment’s most cherished assumptions.
It would make a great novel, but it’s real life, and it’s an exhilarating reminder that America is still a republic, still a place where the elites can be challenged at all, however entrenched they may appear to be. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has not only challenged the elites, he has frightened them to the core, and that’s wonderful to see. The latest indication of how much of a threat they consider him to be comes from the Los Angeles Times, always a reliable organ for far-Left propaganda. The Left Coast Times is so scared of RFK Jr. that on Monday, it proclaimed, “Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is a threat to your health — and our democracy.”
Now, this is absurd on its face and an insult to the intelligence of the handful of remaining Los Angeles Times readers. The Left has now become so divorced from reality that Times writer Michael Hiltzik would have us believe that a contested Democrat party primary is bad for “our democracy.” But a full-out coronation of Old Joe to serve another four years as the figurehead for the shadowy individuals who are really running things? Why, that would be “our democracy” personified. One candidate, inevitable outcome? Good democracy! Two candidates, unclear outcome? Bad democracy!
For the millionth time, we don’t have a “democracy,” we have a republic. But the key point here is that, once again, Leftists have confirmed the fact that when they talk about “our democracy,” they don’t actually mean anything democratic at all. They are referring not to any kind of democracy, but to their own hegemony. The only “democracy” that involves one candidate receiving the forced adulation of the masses and reelection by acclimation from all those who don’t want to end up in the gulag is the type that is practiced in states such as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, also known as North Korea.
The North Koreans will happily explain to you how the personality cult of Kim Jong Un is the very embodiment of the popular will and thus the quintessential expression of “democracy,” and that’s what Michael Hiltzik and the Los Angeles Times have in mind for the folks at home. “Democracy” means we all learn to love Old Joe, or whomever the elites decide ultimately to replace him with. It doesn’t mean that we actually have a choice between different candidates, unless those candidates all have elite approval, and RFK Jr. decidedly does not.
Nobody out there ought to be holding their breath waiting for me to endorse RFKjr, lest they end up purple-faced, suffocating, and deeply disappointed. That said, I do enjoy the fact that—as one Donald John Trump also did not so long ago—he gives the creeping fantods to a whole bunch of people I despise from the very depths of my gizzard.