Friday, November 14, 2014

#008: Bill Titles

What’s with the most notorious bills having the most innocent-sounding titles? That answer seems quite obvious: if their titles honestly-expressed their intentions, then no thinking, rational human being would support them.

Take the PATRIOT ACT, for instance. That sounds like something every red-blooded America-loving American would support. After all, it has the word “patriot” in it. What “patriot” wouldn’t support it? Sure, it pretty much butt rapes our fourth amendment rights by permitting warrantless wiretaps, but we have to give up a little bit of our freedom to protect our freedom from those freedom-hating terrorists who hate our freedom—and no true “patriot” would dare question that logic. Because freedom!

Or how about educational initiatives such as “No Child Left Behind” or “Race To The Top”? Who would possibly want children to be left behind in education? Who wouldn’t want them to race to the top in academic excellence? Only anti-education ignorance-worshipping mouth breathers who want their children to be raised as ignorant as them, that’s who! Never mind that both initiatives have not improved education, and have only created a race to the bottom where more children are left behind. How can you expect these initiatives to teach children critical thinking skills when you criticize them? Asking questions is anti-intellectual, you know!

Or how about the Defense of Marriage Act? What supporter of “family values” doesn’t want to defend marriage? (From what exactly? Who cares! Family values!) And, of course, by “marriage”, we mean the narrow-interpretation of the institution by Bible-thumping evangelicals, which is one heterosexual couple with the expressed purpose of procreation. So if you’re a homosexual couple or someone from a religion that permits polygamy (Mormonism or Islam), well, you can’t get married because that would make Republican Jesus sad.

You can probably think of many more examples, but they all clearly show that bad legislation can be supported when they have nice-sounding names. Freakanomics said it best: “An adult discussion about serious issues is hard to have when the public is treated like infants.”