Monday, June 15, 2009

Sometimes gubment good, sometimes gubment bad

Denver Post reporter Mark Jaffe has been hanging out at the Western Governors' Association annual meeting in Park City, Utah. Yesterday he and the govs heard Republican pollster Frank Luntz talk about word choice. I'm not sure why Wyoming's Dave Freudenthal and Montana's Brian Schweitzer and Colorado's Bill Ritter had to listen to advice from the likes of Luntz. I guess someone had to be guest speaker. Maybe there's a Utah ordinance prohibiting Democrats at the podium.

Anyway, Jaffe covered Luntz's speech concerning he research he's conducted on Western voters. It seems that 44 percent of Westerners aren't happy with the direction America is headed. In other words, they don't like the gubment. Gubment bad. Until it's time to train and equip its armed forces to fight overseas. Then gubment good. Gubment bad because it makes us pay taxes. When those taxes are used to pave roads or prop up rural airline service or subsidize crops or build dams or fight wildfires -- gubment good then. Gubment bad when it doesn't allow us to shoot our automatic weapons any damn place we please. Gubment good when it allows us to wear firearms and look macho in national parks.

Damn that gubment.

Frank Luntz told the governors to watch what they say.

Luntz warned the governors to be careful about the language they use, saying that instead of talking about "infrastructure," which people equate with bureaucracy, they should talk about safer roads.

Touchstone words should be "safe," "clean" and "healthy," Luntz said.

These words can be used in almost any sentence, particularly those with a Western theme. Here are some examples:

"With Obama as president, I don't feel safe. I need to buy more guns and ammo."

"A clean rifle is a happy rifle."

"If you want to stay healthy, you better be out of town before sundown."

That last one is said to anyone from the gubment who overstays his or her welcome.

"Get out of Dodge, you lily-livered bureaucrat. And please stay healthy by driving on our safe and clean roads."

It's all in the words.

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