"The indecipherable language of government has actually become dangerous to the well-being of the nation," says Peggy Noonan in her latest article from The Wall Street Journal. She makes an excellent point. When was the last time we heard any straightforward talk out of Washington? Last fall, how many of you actually got any valuable information out of the presidential debates? I know I didn't. We rarely, if ever, get actual details of policy initiatives. "Health care reform," "environmental protection," "improving the education system" and (the most genius one of them all) "change" sound great, but they can come in MANY different forms. I agree with Noonan on this one when I say Washington absolutely does this on purpose, because if "people fully understood they would say, 'Oh that's not a good idea,' or, 'The cost of that will kill us.'" It's all rhetoric. It's the details that actually matter, and the suits in Washington hope we just won't ask.
The problem is that most people are either too lazy or simply don't take the time to dig up the details. I can understand why, though. Government usually simplifies it so much that their top-level rhetoric sounds good to everyone, or they make it sound so complicated that people don't even bother. I agree 100% with the idea that our health care system needs to be reformed. I think most people would agree. However, when I hear a politician speak of "overhauling the system," I'm one of the few that immediately ask "Okay, how?" If you're sitting there saying "I ask that too and so do a lot of people I know!" then you must realize that you all are also one of the few, the very few. You are where you are today, because you have chosen to surround yourself with successful and intelligent people. The unsuccessful and unintelligent do the same thing. Success loves company just as misery does. Alas, our elected representatives know that most people won't ask "how?" In fact, they'll probably say "Yes! The health care system definitely needs an overhaul. I like this guy, and I'm going to vote for him." And that's the end of it for them.
If you're a politician, that's exactly what you want. The peril (or beauty, if you're the politician) lies in the ambiguity of the statements, because people can interpret them however they wish. "Health care reform," to me, means something very different than it does to the welfare recipient. Too often, when people hear "reform," they immediately assume that the system will be reformed in the way that they want it to be reformed. People tell themselves what they want to hear all the time. Washington knows this and exploits it!
Peggy Noonan says it perfectly when she says "maybe we're supposed to give up," trying to decipher what the heck they're talking about during the speeches and press conferences. It's intentionally vague! Folks, we have to start asking questions. Meaningful questions!
I also highly recommend that you read Peggy Noonan's article in full.