Skimming the political spam in my email this morning, I prepared to delete the latest from Stephanie Cutter (subject line “The last four years”), but part of it caught my eye:
“When he accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination for president four years ago, then-Senator Obama promised change — on issues ranging from health care, to strengthening the middle class, to fighting for greater equality for all Americans — and he has delivered on that promise.”
You may be saying to yourself, that there is a sentence chock-full of newspeaky goodness, but what exactly is so eye-catching about it?
Greater equality. Now, clearly this phrase refers to those Democrat dog and pony shows which pander to women, minorities, homosexuals, and any other various and sundry groups and classes I’m missing.
Nevermind what was meant by that phrase, though, and think about what those words actually mean. “Greater” is more, bigger, or better, right? “Equality” is the state of being the same in quantity or value.
It’s a great oxymoron. As I chewed on the mathematical impossibility of this phrase, my thoughts went something like this:
If demonstrably large swathes of Americans were treated unequally today, then she would just say “Obama is fighting for equality.” But she put the “greater” in there. Now how does that work? If something is already equal in status, then one can’t possibly make it even more equal, or an even better equal because there’s no such thing as more or better equal, lady!
And then I realized why the phrase caught my eye. It’s from Animal Farm. You probably noticed quicker than me. Anyway, I had great laugh when I thought about Stephanie Cutter managing to quote the pig in Animal Farm whilst trying to sell us on four more years of Obama.
On second thought, maybe it’s not so funny. Suddenly, I’m remembering all the people who won’t get the joke.