George Carlin wrote a not very funny book, “When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops“, in which he rails against politically correct language. Generally I have to agree with him, we too often, particularly in government, use language to hinder communication.
If you don’t believe me, just think about reading IRS instructions at tax time. But occasionally there comes along a turn of phrase that I really like.
A long time favorite of mine is the CIA term “plausible deniability”.
Today’s Herald Leader has provided another wonderful phase, “independent of reality".
The story talks about White House lies about Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, and the fact that many people, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, still believe the these lies.
Now I always thought that people who insisted on something regarless of the facts were just plain delusional wing-nuts. But I can now see they are really independent thinkers that are not bound by the constraints of reality.
I once had an exam question in college that came back to me when I saw the term “independent of reality”. The question went something like this:
Do we perceive the world as it is, or is the world as we perceive it?
According to the story Americans are about evenly split on the question and our leaders are among those that believe the world is as they perceive it, independent of reality.