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We’ve all experienced it. The phone rings just as the first bite of the evening meal is lifted from the plate. The caller on the other end is a salesman or woman of some sort, hawking better mortgage rates, magazine subscriptions, cheap vacations, pyramid schemes or any other number of possibilities. We have been hounded lately by an “important message from a law firm,” that demands that you call them during office hours of 9-5, but their phone call always rings between 6-7. Apparently it’s not important enough for the law firm to make the call to me during office hours. Another one was a pink envelope that showed up in our mailbox recently with the scary note in bold letters across the front: “IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR MORTGAGE.” Knowing that pink envelopes don’t usually carry good information, I quickly opened it. Thinking of all the possible scenarios that would have made me late on my mortgage payments, I was relieved (and then annoyed) to find a “your interest rate is too high, re-finance now” offer.
The problem with all of these direct-marketing schemes is that they are unwanted and unsolicited and rely on an existing infrastructure to harass their potential customers. I pay a monthly fee to have a phone in my house so that my family and I can stay in contact with family and friends. I didn’t have a phone installed so that direct-marketers had a direct line into my life; yet this is exactly what happened. The sort of “piggy-backing” happens all the time, and it is no more apparent than in the modern world of political rhetoric.
Social liberals (pro-abortion, pro-big government, pro-homosexual marriage, etc) must also use the same tactics of the phone and mail direct-marketers. They appeal to their potential audience by using arbitrary or even deceptive language and scare-tactics. Knowing that the majority of Americans are not in favor of homosexual marriage, liberals who run the spin generators have equated gay marriage with the civil rights movement, something that most Americans do support. Although many writers have pointed out the disingenuousness of this comparison, the liberals continue to use it because it is working.
The pro-abortion crowd does the same thing. When was the last time that you heard a “pro-choice” advocate say exactly what pro-choice means? Almost always, the rare cases of a mother’s health, rape victims, and babies with birth defects are used as the examples for why we need “choice.” These cases are made to sound like they are the vast majority of the abortion scenarios when, in fact, they are the minority. Choice becomes synonymous with “after-the-fact birth control.” The political positioning of the pro-choice supporters will almost never refer to the baby. It’s always about the woman and “reproductive rights.” The baby who loses his short life in the process becomes nothing more than an unfortunate political rhetoric bargaining chip. While most women survive the abortion process, there’s a 100% mortality rate for the infant. Situational ethics and redefinition of terms rule the day.
This is nothing new of course. Voltaire made the following quip famous, “If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.” What he meant was that “in a general way the idea that the existence of God (or the belief therein) helps establish social order” and that “the idea that criminals would be punished in the afterlife…was a strong deterrent against crime.” Voltaire understood what today’s liberals understand: without a strong moral code that transcends the individual, no behavior modification will work. The agenda-setters of liberal social policy work within the parameters and define their arguments for or against their policies, in terms of a theistic, and specifically, Christian, worldview.
In the 1992 film, Sneakers, Cosmo and Bishop are idealistic college roommates who are brought back together twenty years later by a plot to possess an electronic box that can break any code. In their college days, Cosmo and Bishop both wanted to rid the world of evil, exemplified by the extreme dichotomy between the haves and the have-nots. All grown up and wise to his college naïveté, Bishop cannot buy into Cosmo’s fairytales anymore. But Cosmo refuses to admit that their college dreams are impossible. His attempts to get the code-breaking box are funded by organized crime and involve breaking almost every law in order to get the power to change the world. Cosmo wants to have the power to be able to “make everyone on earth equal;” but he must become a dictator of a different sort in order to obtain it. The irony of Cosmo’s schemes are not unlike those of the social liberals, who must presume the standards of the undereducated “proletariat,” so that they can dream of the possibility of their “bourgeois” paradise. Just like telemarketers, they must wait for the infrastructure to be put into place, so that they can exploit it or rail against it.