Words and Wisdom

More amendment coverage from The Washington Post, including this:

The defeated amendments were among at least 26 measures up for consideration. Some are designed to stiffen the bill in response to criticism from conservatives, while others are aimed at weakening provisions that immigrants' rights advocates or employers consider too burdensome.

Look at the language used here, the clean, aggressive, powerful terms applied to the conservatives -- "designed", "stiffen the bill", the alliterative crispness of "criticism from conservatives". Compare with the flaccid images of "weakening provisions" and "consider too burdensome", which, of course, make the pro-reform camp sound like a bunch of insidious, wishy-washy whiners.

Again, we run up against how important a role language and the nuance of ideas play in our politics and our lives -- how carelessly we wield them and how oblivious so many of us remain to their influence and their power. Again we see that we cannot simply cry out, beat our heads against the wall, pushing for action. We must open our awareness, cast off the blinders that block out the world around us, and cease to remain slaves to our small-minded wills.

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