Sunday, August 05, 2007

Rhetoric

As the LA Times points out there have been more than 245,000 deaths due to traffic accidents in the United States alone since 9/11, yet there are no alarms, no wars...no response of any kind.

"A few days ago, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that 42,642 Americans died in traffic in 2006. Did you hear this reported anywhere?"
"Road Kill" is a not just problem we face in this country but a global one as well. This is the first time in history that statistics show death by traffic accident surpasses death by mortal combat. It's nice to know that our world is becoming more "civilized" but the opposite appears to be true because of the attention the media gives "mortal combat" and the "rhetoric" our politicians continue to use such as "war on terror".

Three simple words, "war on terror" have caused more terror, globally, than they have prevented since 9/11. People focus in on these simple words because it feels much better to combat a force that we feel we are not responsible than rhetoric that may be less black and white, more complex; words that focuses our attention on ourselves; words that force us to take some responsibility for the problem at hand such as the way we choose to transport ourselves.

Politicians carefully choose their words making sure they divert our attention away from issues such as the automobile industry's relationship with their advertisers which may, in turn, cause the media to avoid reporting on how lethal our highways have become and toward focusing on an issue that may or may not exist, but does not have the impact of the one they're directing our attention away.

"This political language has created a frame that is not accurate and that Bush and his gang have used to justify anything they want to do," Edwards said in a phone interview from Everett, Wash. "It's been used to justify a whole series of things that are not justifiable, ranging from the war in Iraq, to torture, to violation of the civil liberties of Americans, to illegal spying on Americans. Anyone who speaks out against these things is treated as unpatriotic. I also think it suggests that there's a fixed enemy that we can defeat with just a military campaign. I just don't think that's true."-- John Edwards

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