Political Clout – The Power of Words


by Marion Marks

Round Two of the Presidential Debates to political junkies is a “Must Watch” event. It’s the grease for frying tomorrow’s eggs; it’s the fertilizer that allows their fields of hate to grow. And, it’s the makings of many political fortunes. I chose to watch depending on the mood I’m in as the appointed hour approaches. The cast of Obama and Romney have fairly well defined their positions, although it’s obvious that minor course corrections by either will be in order based upon polling data that arrives moments before they go on stage.

My personal problem with the candidates is that both continue to modify their words to address constituent concerns in ways that allow me to feel I don’t know what each really stands “for.” I certainly know some of the issues they are “against,” but this seems to be a negative manner of electing a President.

One of my greatest personal concerns regarding spokesmen and supporters is the manner in which they paint the “Opposition.” We used to call the opposition as “the Loyal Opposition” because after the election we all came together as Americans to work things out. Unfortunately that reconciliation hasn’t been part of the framework for a number of elections. We talk about the good old days when they could sit down in the same room and work things out, but constituents have made that almost impossible. Because of pledges to causes and expectations of PACs any sign of reconciliation is considered a sign of weakness.

It’s become like Alice in Wonderland’s Queen, “Off with their head!”

Our words have become our enemy. Our own commitment to a cause has become our undoing. We don’t have enough kind words or uplifting rhetoric for the general population. We find greater strength in damning the opposition.

Words designed to harm or denigrate are powerful. We should use them sparingly. Powerful words lose their strength and emotion when overused and our senses become callous to trite political phrases. Repeated bashing equates to losing a speaker’s voice. We must save our rage for occasions that demand the power of the storm. The wind that always blows from the same directions builds resistance equal to it’s strength. Only a wind that sleeps some nights is capable of a morning gale.

We must use more words intended to uplift, encourage, influence, motivate, and inspire. We must be aware that what we say, both positive as well as negative, can endure for many years. Benefits derived from words can help individuals, families and cultures for many generations. Words are powerful; use them wisely.