Monday, July 6, 2009


No matter where you look or what you see or hear, some people are trying to make things seem better or different than what they really are. That is the tactic of putting “symbolism” over “substance”.

We see it used everyday, especially in the area of politics. A good example is the announcement that President Obama is going to cut $18 billion from the budget. On the surface, that seems like a very substantial amount of savings (I’m not against cutting waste, in fact, I favor it), but this amount is but ½ of 1% of the total budget he has proposed, which numbers over a trillion dollars of spending. He has hailed it as a major happening, implying that he is on top of extravagant, wasteful government spending. If you believe that, than I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you! That’s symbolism over substance, pure and simple.

Another example of using symbolism over substance, is in the area of climate change or environmental ecology. Some sanctimonious “ Greens” and “Earth Firsters” etc., proclaim that they are cutting back on emitting carbon dioxide by driving a hybrid car, and then driving it back home to their multi-million dollar mansion that consumes electric at 20 times the rate of the average homeowner. Al Gore, the global warming guru, fits into this category of using symbolism over substance. He seems to be part of the fraternity of those that say, “Do as I say, not as I do”. Some might label that as hypocrisy at its worst. And it is! He should’ve gotten the Nobel Prize for duplicity.

Symbolism is used by both political parties to further their agendas, but the substance of what they propose is vague and sometimes non-existent. The “pandering” politicians will tell the citizens what they think they want to hear, in hopes that the words will move them to vote for him/her on election day. Unfortunately, it must work, otherwise they wouldn’t indulge in the practice

Take the euphemistic acronym EFCA – “Employee Free Choice Act” – which implies that workers at a company will be getting a “free choice” to choose or not to choose their collective bargaining representative. There’s nothing “free” about it. If passed by the Congress and signed by the President, it will deprive the worker of his right to choose his bargaining representative by “secret ballot”, which is one of the foundations of our representative republic. The proponents of this bill, the unions and the legislators who are beholden to the unions, never tell you that. That’s symbolism over substance, and deceitful to boot.

Don’t be fooled by the “snake oil” charlatans who think we are all deaf and dumb fools - let’s reverse it and put substance over symbolism - that’s the American way, or the way it should be. Don’t you agree?

Written by Chuck Lehmann

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Chuck: Another example is the statement by Obama, in the past campaign, that anyone making under $200,000 will not pay one penny more than they are paying now in taxes. The "symbolism" of giving everyone a tax break flies in the face of his proposed "Cap and Trade" proposal that will cost everyone a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per year. The "substance" of the matter is that he lied to all the voters and that he'll raise your taxes by making you pay more for electric, gas, and energy intensive products. The Messiah has no clothes on.

Willard Jenkins, a former Democrat