Decode this!
Posted by aogTuesday, 14 October 2003 at 22:48 TrackBack Ping URL

I decided that I really don’t like the “codewords” concept in modern political discourse. It’s frequently used to either wilfully misinterpret or to put an opponent in a no-win situation. If the opponent doesn’t discuss the issue, he loses and if he does, just claim that he’s using “code words” to mean something entirely different.

It’s also indicative of the actual versus putative goals. If your opponent says something that sounds basically correct, why claim that it’s really something different via deconstruction? Words have power and if your opponent says things that support your goals then despite any short term advantage this cover may give him, in the long term you’re winning. Conversely ripping him on the issue is a short term benefit with a long term cost. One need merely look at Clinton who did so well for himself by triangulating and leaving the rest of the Democratic Party to pay for shifting conservative. This was ultimately to the benefit of conservatism. But clearly the Left has learned nothing from the Clinton experience.