Already, in Arkansas, there are political candidates in this new political year, 2018, cavorting around the state spewing "buzzwords."
It is not just these new politicians, those new faces to the political fray, but we are also hearing some of the older, more seasoned politicians, using those easy-to-use, and hard-to-politically-understand phrases out on the stump in their speeches.
Now, political buzzwords often sound, well, big, important, and oddly familiar to our ears. These buzzwords often leave us thinking, "Well, OK, I get the message."
But, in actuality, do we really get what they are saying? And what do these buzzwords words actually mean?
More times than not, these buzzwords or buzzword phrases mean almost the exact opposite of how they sound spewing from the mouths of politicians. Most do not want to go into great detail for an explanation so that the average voters might stop them and say, "Now wait a minute...."
The political candidate might say he or she "supports open carry."
Now, what exactly does that mean?
It does not mean -- unless additional questions are asked and explanation is given -- they actually support carrying a firearm into public spaces or down public streets.
It does mean, in fact, that they do not support the concealed carry laws on the books in Arkansas. The phrase "open carry" is just about the opposite of the concealed-carry laws in Arkansas.
Nor does, supporting "open carry" mean they support carrying guns on college campuses, public buildings, hospitals, bars or other establishments.
But saying I support "open carry" with no additional explanation requires an explanation every time.
Another buzzword or buzzword phrase is: "I support the rule of law."
That is code for saying many things, but oftentimes it is to escape the questions about DACA or Dreamers or immigration policies.
Support the rule of law does not allow for DACA, Dreamers or a change in the immigration policies of the nation other than deportation of those who have entered illegally, whether a minor child born here without documentation or their parents who are here illegally without proper paperwork, or have stayed in the United States beyond their visa time limits.
When one hears this "rule of law" buzzword, there are more questions that must be asked to flesh out exactly where this candidate stands on the issues.
Perhaps the best and most ridiculous buzzword of someone running for state office is: "I am for limited government."
This phrase is easy, so very easy, to say out on the campaign trail and on the stump but so very hard to enact or do anything about.
Do you really want less government so that your constituents back in your state House or Senate districts have longer waits, fewer services and longer delays in all types of services from the state of Arkansas?
Do you, as a candidate or potential political candidate, not see how self-serving and hypocritical this phrase is?
I have seen veteran politicians who rail against "big government" come to every legislative budget meeting seeking new and more jobs (for others in their districts back home), more rural offices in their geographic district, more and closer parking spaces to their offices at the State Capitol. There have even been those who rail against the state payroll but demand more and more secretarial, computer and management services on the state's dime, to help them do their job. The very last thing any elected official should want is for there to be fewer people in place in agencies to take care of the business of the state.
The voters deserve better than these often-mentioned buzzwords from the stump and from the lips of politicians in our state on the trail in 2018.
When you hear these buzzwords -- challenge the speaker each and every time -- you might be surprised what you hear as a follow-up.
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Maylon Rice is a former journalist who worked for several northwest Arkansas publications. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.Editorial on 01/10/2018
Print Headline: 'Buzzwords' to be wary of in 2018 -- ask for more details