Politics & Policy

‘War by Euphemism’

My Politico column today:

When she left the White House the other day, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi shared with reporters her conversation with her five-year old grandson.

She recounted how he asked her whether she supported “war” in Syria. Before telling the rest of the story, she paused to note to the assembled journalists the precocious tike’s overly aggressive and politically incorrect language. “Now, he’s five years #old…#and he’s saying ‘war,’” she explained. “I mean, we’re not talking about war, we’re talking about an action here.”

From the mouth of babes. The child has a better grasp of the connection between words and reality than his grandma. But, no doubt, he will grow out of it. By the time he becomes an elected Democratic official supporting some military intervention or other, he will have learned the necessary argot of euphemism and denial.

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