Tuesday, June 14, 2016

As President Obama & Mrs. Clinton ask: What's in a name, you should ask: What isn't in it?

What is in a name?
President Obama and Hillary Clinton, after avoiding a certain name for a number of years, are now turning back and asking 'What's in a name?'

CNN reports that on being pressed on the matter of using "Islamic Terrorism", President Obama 'went on a tirade':
"He hammered Trump over his "dangerous" mindset and "loose talk and sloppiness" about who exactly America was fighting, implying that Trump's remarks were actually driving Muslims who might be prone to radicalization into the arms of ISIS.

And he doubled down to repudiate Republican campaigns that he was abetting terrorism by refusing to use the words "radical Islamic terrorism."

"What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change?" Obama asked during remarks at the Treasury Department. "Would it make ISIL less committed to try and kill Americans?" he continued, using a different acronym for ISIS.

"Would it bring in more allies? Is there a military strategy that is served by this? The answer is none of the above," he said. "Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away.""
The Washington Times notes of Hillary:
"Mrs. Clinton said she preferred the term “radical jihadism.”

“To me, radical jihadism, radical Islamism, I think, means the same thing. I’m happy to say either, but that’s not the point,” she said on NBC’s “Today” show. “All of his talk and demagoguery and rhetoric is not going to solve the problem. I’m not going to demonize and demagogue and declare war on an entire religion.”

The former secretary of state later dropped “radical Islam” when she delivered a speech in Cleveland, where she vowed to defeat terrorism with a sustained air campaign and the help of an international coalition."
And, no, of course "Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away", is quite correct, merely using a name, in and of itself, does and will do, nothing, nothing at all, and "demagoguery and rhetoric is not going to solve the problem" is so very, very true, they are quite right there.

But that hardly makes it unimportant. In fact, the only thing their comments and questions serve to do, is to distract the listener (that'd be you America) from what is worthwhile in that frustration which they are now responding to. Finally.

It might make things a bit clearer, to take a moment to ask another question:
"Why avoid using the correct name?"
That opens up some interesting issues... yes indeedy.

You see, what with few people today being nominalists, the name itself isn't the issue, but what it identifies IS, and not using the correct name, avoiding using the more meaningful name, using other less appropriate names, can succeed only in misidentifying the nature of the problem that is being spoken of - as President 'adjunct professor' Obama, and Mrs. 'the meaning of IS is' Clinton, must surely be aware of. And directing people's concerns and efforts towards a misidentified, or by that means, unknown, purpose, is potentially a very dangerous thing, especially when you're talking about the security of an entire nation.

Why don't they understand this? Or worse, why do they understand this, and persist in the diversion?

Maybe an additional small example would help... maybe, for instance, if someone were to identify President Obama and/or Mrs. Clinton as... say... Traitors - would that be an issue?

Ahhh... I sense that that particular mis-identification might have stirred up a few emotional responses... why is that? Isn't 'traitor' simply a label for a person in leadership who fails to act decisively against an enemy? Wuh? There's more to it than that? Why quibble over details? Hmm? Because they're not traitors? Well what of it? Why demagogue on the issue, it is only a name, after all.


Hmm? Oh, you think it does matter? Really. Why?

Might it be, because a name isn't simply a sound that we mouth, but a term that serves to correctly identify and distinguish one thing, from other like things, as 'throne' and 'stool' do. More, when a name is attached to a complex concept, one that is integrated within a deep and wide ranging set of additional issues and concepts, one that is likely stir a particular response in your listener, then using the correct name can serve to motivate a people with a certain sense of mind, and determination towards a very particular purpose, and with such motivations, even an entire nation's attention and efforts can become galvanized and united towards a definite and particular goal.

So again, it's not 'what's in a name' that is the important question here, but what isn't in the name that is being used, and why are they avoiding that?

No comments: