September 4, 2012 by Julia
Whenever some crazy new invention or idea comes out of Japan, I say, “Oh, Japan,” with a sense of loving bemusement. It’s all you CAN say, because it’s just Japan being Japan, in all its Western-culture-through-the-looking-glass glory. I love it.
Unfortunately, when craziness comes out of the DNC, it does not inspire in me the same sentimentality–instead, I want to bang my head against the wall until after the election.
Listen, I’m not watching the Democratic convention. I just can’t. I thought about live-blogging it, but I don’t think I could handle it without getting an aneurysm unless I drink heavily, and I’m not sure I’d be a good drunk-blogger. But, I’ve been scanning headlines all day, and I have to conclude that Barry Rubin was right–the Dems are committing suicide by radicalism. Removing “God,” omitting Jerusalem, adding unlimited taxpayer-funded abortions . . . and this is just the first day.
Oh, wait? What’s that? They actually played a video with the line, “The government is the only thing we all belong to?” Genius.
Listen, I know what they meant in that video. “Belong to” is used in the sense of “be a member of,” not “ownership.” Obviously, I won’t dispute that was the intent. BUT! First, even in context, WTF? We are not members of the government, we are its employers; the government WORKS FOR the taxpayers. Second, staying in context, America is not limited to its government. What we are all “members” of is America, in that we have a shared experience as Americans with freedoms and opportunities many other people don’t have. America is much more than its government, so to say that “[t]he government is the only thing we all belong to” is to strip the strong, free, pioneering American spirit down to a bureaucratic monolith. A more accurate statement would be, “The American experience is the only thing we all belong to.” Third, to zoom out to meta-context, the video conveys the idea that government owns us. That’s not what the video-makers meant, but what they really meant doesn’t matter in the face of what the public heard. Besides, it’s just as bad in context, so, “You’ve taken it out of context!” won’t really help them here. Oh, there’s a fourth: learn some grammar. “The government is the only thing to which we all belong.” Oh, DNC.