The brilliant semanticist, author and Iowa speech disorder
specialist, Dr. Wendell Johnson (who cured himself from a severe
case of stuttering) often contrasted the typical afternner
speaker, "who comes to know more and more about less and less
until he finally knows everything about nothing," with the
general semanticist, "who comes to have fewer and fewer
misconceptions about more and more until he ultimately has no
delusions about anything."
It is my earnest desire that this column shall take its
rightful place in the minds of its readers much nearer the latter
extreme than the former.
To that end _ and also because the political season is now
within only a month of closure _ it would appear to be high time
that we sort out the substance and meaning of it all, as
distinguished from the glitter and symbolism. Academicians would
call such an approach an exercise in semantics. So be it. Hence
the theme this month: "Political Antics Versus Electoral
So, let's examine some the the key positions of the two
primary presidential candidates and discern if we can that which
is mere political posturing or, instead, clearly entitled to the
support of the electorate.
Bush Favors: lower tax revenue with spending cuts for
congressional approval later.
Clinton Favors: higher tax rates on large income with enlarged
While neither position would perhaps deserve the label
"political antics," each is seriously flawed. Reducing tax
revenue with no assurance of offsetting cuts in spending is one
of the ways our annual $400 billion deficit got that way.
Similarly, a taxdend approach has also yielded a lot of budgetary
red ink in past years. Why is it so unthinkable politically to
focus, first, on slashing the nation's massive expenses?
Bush Favors: a capital gains tax cut to stimulate job creation.
Clinton Favors: an ultimate break in rates for lower bracket
Is the president merely pandering to potentially large
campaign contributors? Is the governor merely pandering to a
potentially large segment of individual voters? While we may
never learn answers to questions like these, what comes through
quite loudly is a reminder that all taxpayers _ business and
individuals alike _ long for the day that everyone keeps a
greater share of their earning power. All the more reason to
beware "political antics" concerning perennial income tax
posturing by office seekers.
Bush Favors: cuts in military spending, but not drastic at this
Clinton Favors: deep cuts in military spending with funds
earmarked for domestic benefits.
The nation's role as a strong enforcement arm of the United
Nations may be the real issue here. At any rate, the candidates
differ widely on this issue and it happends to be one which
should not be difficult to evaluate. What one may never know is
the extent to which the president is currying the favor of the
industrial community, on the one hand, or, on the other, the
governor's outreach to voters who may become eligible for such
"domestic benefits." Bush Favors: profe.
Clinton Favors: prooice.
The Republican platform remains unchanged from previous
campaigns and, of course, has enormous appeal to archnservatives.
The Democrat platform is a welcome mat for all others, even
including those who would view abortion as an acceptable means of
birth control. It is becoming increasingly clear, however, that
both parties are heavily populated by those who abhor abortion,
but can conceive of circumstances under which it might be the
least objectionable choice. …