Because words have meaning and meaning plays a role in shaping our subconscious.
1. “President of the United States is the leader of the free world.”
I get it. America is great. We started a freedom movement unlike anything the world has ever known, and other nations look to us for leadership.
But what about when our leader isn’t actually all that concerned with freedom but is more concerned with control?
It’s more than that, though.
We’re sovereign and they’re sovereign. The UK, Israel, Australia, Japan, Canada, and other nations didn’t elect our president.
Besides threatening the sovereignty of other nations, this phrase cheapens the sovereignty of our own. In a world of increasing global entanglement, when they’re not sovereign because of our influence, then neither will we be.
2. “In our democracy.”
This phrase is either misleading, incomplete, or both. I’m going put this in all caps, italicized, and with exclamation points for emphasis…and because I actually really want to shout it as loudly as possible:
WE’RE NOT A DEMOCRACY!!!
Words and their definitions matter. Each time I hear someone who should know better say or write, “in our democracy,” I feel gut-punched and manipulated. Even though there are democratic elements to our system, we’re a constitutional federal republic, and I believe saying it that way is important.
3. “The two-party system.”
We don’t have a two-party system. We have a many-party system and a no-party system, and your state’s system may not be like my state’s system.
The two-party part is an imagination so widespread and so intensely believed that it’s become a mental prison of our own making. It doesn’t actually exist in an enforceable way, except in our minds, which is why we keep electing democrats and republicans despite their corruption.
4. “I pledge allegiance to the flag.”
Not to be unpatriotic, but think about those words. Do you really pledge your allegiance to an inanimate object? Of course not. And I believe that none of us should.
Any number of symbols that are generally thought of as good and wholesome can be used for nefarious purposes, including the flag. Our allegiance isn’t to the flag, or to a cross of wood, or to a team. Our allegiance is to the principles of freedom discussed in our founding documents and to our God.
I’m not opposed to having a pledge of allegiance, it’s just that I want to pledge my allegiance to something worthy of my pledge without having to decode a hidden message in the process.
Here’s a proposed pledge of allegiance that actually makes sense to me. It’s long, but every word is worth it.
5. “It’s my body.” (referring to abortion)
No. It’s not. A baby is not a female body part.
It’s another person’s body, and that other person is depending on you to not have them killed.
6. “The other side of the aisle.”
Or, “left vs. right.”
These stem from “the two-party system.” With any luck, these phrases should vanish as more Americans wake up from their two-party nightmare.
7. “The most powerful person on Earth.”
America fought a revolutionary war to gain independence from tyranny. The last thing we need, especially now, is to stroke the ego of the person in the president’s office.
8. “A vote for y is a vote for z.”
This, again, stems from the two-party paradigm.
Some people sincerely believe that whenever you eat a slice of cheese pizza, what you’re actually eating is a bucket of bitter brussel sprouts.
Trying to have a productive conversation with this person is like trying to come up with an adequate analogy for it—it’s nearly impossible.
9. “Peaceful transfer of power.”
In the context of a president, this word (power) doesn’t mean the same thing to people as it did in the past.
The president used to be a humble public servant. Tragically, today America holds the president up as a king-like figure.
Understand that whether or not there is any agreeable power there depends entirely on the president.
The transfer of “power” is really a transfer of constitutionally enumerated responsibilities with a constitutionally limited scope.