Salladay uses several terms that are constant sound bites in political reporting. For example, he talks about “special interests” and “business as usual”. The very clear inference is these are negatives. It is accepted as an article of faith that special interest groups are a political negative, that business as usual is as bad as it gets.
      I often wonder how much of America actually believes that. Let’s look at special interest groups, for example. From they way they are talked about you would expect to see a group of people dressed in red with horns coming out of their head, brimstone on their breath, a pitchfork in their hand and evil, malicious laughter their constant accompaniment.
        The truth is…you and I are both part of multiple special interest groups. We simply choose to frame it in other terms.
        One solid illustration might be schools. Virtually everyone wants to see the schools improved/reformed/whatever term is used locally. But hardly anyone agrees on how.
       In our local election a lot of heat is generated by debates over school vouchers and/or school choice, pay for performance for teachers and similar things. The people on either side of the issue call the other side “special interest” with the clear inference that they themselves are not “special” interests but are “community” interests.
     You have the Teachers Unions fighting against pay for performance…they are considered a “special interest”. You have certain groups fighting for school vouchers…they are a “special interest”. And so forth.
     Health Care is another fine example. People wanting universal health care are considered representatives of the “HMO Special Interest groups” while they call the people fighting against it people “backed by special interest groups from Illinois”.
      Make sense? Unless something applies to everyone…a statistical impossibility…any political issue is guided by “special interests”…which simply means anybody who has interests that doin’t coincide with mine.
    At the same time, “business as usual” combines with one of the stupidest phrases of our generation, “thinking outside the box”. 
     Has it occurred to anyone the reason most people think “inside the box” or are accepting of “business as usual” is because…*gasp* it WORKS? 
     When you see people happily tooling around in their mini-van visiting with neighbors, having pizza parties with their Little League teams, and so forth, it is hard to understand why they can’t take time out of their lives of happiness and joy to realize how miserable they are.
    Politicians and “special interest groups”  try to make hay by talking about how outraged people are supposed to be…we just can’t get past our basic happiness to climb out of the box that has served us so well and change the business as usual policies that ensure a realtively happy, peaceful existence.

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