Newspeak at the CDC

There is no doubt that the word “Orwellian” has been overused, but the recent list of forbidden words being imposed on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention cannot be called anything else.

But let’s look at the bright side.  The Trump administration’s decision to forbid the use of the word “entitlement” is one that will probably be well received on a bipartisan basis. Republicans hate entitlements, of course.  They have been opposed to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid since their inception, and they have been trying to cut them in one way or another ever since.  But half the Democrats don’t like the word “entitlement” either.  Republicans have been disparaging the entitlements for so long that the word has acquired the connotation of welfare, which may be true of Medicaid, but not of Social Security or Medicare, the result being that a lot of Democrats have succumbed to this tactic.  In vain have the other half of the Democrats tried to argue that calling these latter two programs entitlements simply means that we are entitled to them.  So, by forbidding the word “entitlement,” the Trump administration will make half the Democrats and all the Republicans happy.  Of course, this means that the substitute word for Social Security and Medicare will now be “welfare.” But at least we Democrats won’t have to argue about whether these programs should be called entitlements anymore.

This leads naturally to the reason the word “vulnerable” can no longer be used. Now that the entitlements will be called welfare, they can more easily be cut, especially since those people presently depending on these programs can no longer be said to be vulnerable.  Republicans have always viewed welfare recipients as the undeserving poor.  As Republican Representative Mo Brooks has pointed out, “People who lead good lives don’t have preexisting conditions,” so they can always count on having affordable insurance, and as Orin Hatch pointed out, a lot of children who are presently on CHIP could pay their own way if they wanted to, but they “won’t lift a finger” to help themselves.  These undeserving poor will never amount to anything, even if the government gives them more money, because as Senator Grassley noted, they will just spend every penny on “booze or women or movies.”  Therefore, aside from a handful that are truly needy, all these freeloaders are just mooching on the rest of us, so calling them “vulnerable” is inappropriate. Now, I don’t know about you, but thinking about people who are vulnerable can spoil my good mood, so this is a word we are well rid of.

By eliminating the word fetus, we will now be free of the never-ending debate about abortion.  In place of the word “fetus,” we will now use the term “unborn baby.”  And as there can be no debate as to whether it is permissible to kill a baby, the issue will be settled once and for.  Well, there remains the pesky problem of deciding where an embryo ends and an unborn baby begins, but let’s not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

As the word “transgender” is now forbidden, we will have to fall back on the word “transvestite.”  As the word “transvestite” still carries the connotation of perversion, which it acquired in the good old days, keeping transvestites out of the ladies’ restroom will engender far less debate.  Of course, Republicans are real men who won’t want them in the men’s restroom either, so transvestites had best wear diapers instead of panties.

Now that the word “diversity” is forbidden, it is incumbent on us to make reality conform to the absence of the word.  That is to say, if the word “diversity” shall henceforth not exist, then neither should diversity exist either.  Where there is no diversity, there is no prejudice.  There being no prejudice, there will be no discrimination.  This will eliminate lawsuits based on such, along with programs like affirmative action, designed to solve a problem that is now nonexistent.  More importantly, since everyone will henceforth be white, Christian, male, and heterosexual, everyone will henceforth be a Republican.  And if we are all Republicans, there will be much less discord.

Finally, the terms “science-based” and “evidence-based” will lift a great burden off our backs.  We will no longer have to worry about global warming, and those who still believe in the literal truth of the book of Genesis will no longer have to feel bad about the theory of evolution.  But there is more to it than that.  Republicans believe in freedom, and reason is the great obstacle that stands in its path. Nothing is more frustrating than being told you cannot do something because there is scientific evidence that it is harmful.  We feel constrained. Everyone should be free to do as he pleases, and to that end, we must sever the link between cause and effect.  That way we can cut taxes without increasing the deficit.

Eliminating these words from our vocabulary will greatly ease our minds, which is conducive to good mental health.  That is why the Trump administration was right to start with the CDC.

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