“Gotta luv English. Ya can say anythang one day and change id anotha day.”
In case you couldn’t understand the purposeful butchering of English above, let me tell you about the new word every politician uses to in the last 6 years to justify their new positions.
That was me then….not me ‘now’ silly!
Since the advent of 24 hour news and social media, it is now virtually impossible to get away saying something in the slightest that might be picked apart. I guess that is fortuitous counterbalance to fame that had little strings attached. Celebrities and politicians need to watch every word they say or the PC police will come out and bust them.
But for politicians, those shrewd little rascals, they have invented a convenient word perfect for our time.
‘Evolve” is a word like and Ace of Spades is to a poker hand
Some politicians use this word better than others, just like all athletes are not the same. Some are artful in the delivery like a swinging hammock on a breezy summer’s day, to a clumsy shmuck who trips over the carpet edge in their living room. Grace is a real talent and the professional spin doctors are super at this verbal gymnastics.
President Obama has ‘evolved’ from being against same-sex marriages. In 2007, when running for his first term, he was for civil unions. How sweet! Don’t you just want to pinch his cheek and say “awe?” That was very politically convenient for him at the time. He was the first African-American that was seriously running for President with a real shot against the Hillary Clinton, and he did not want to step too far out there. It was tough enough having parts of the U.S.A. accept a black man for President, never mind a pro-gay marriage black man! That was just too much shock to our country’s core. Hell, the announcement alone might have created the earth’s fault line to split in the bible belt.
So, as he became president, he was slowly being enlightened. Again, what a spiritual mission he was on. I can see it now. After the security counsel briefing every week at 10:00am with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he would take off his suit, skip down to the White House meditation room, play some Zen albums, and imagine a day where the LGBT community can be treated as equals. During the ‘evolution’ in his thought process, it required him to reach deep down in his soul and pull out every bit of ‘gayness’ he had to ‘evolve’ from that ‘strongly held personal and religious belief’ that gays should not be able to marry.
As the President began an evolution in thoughts, he came to the realization on his own that gays deserved to be married. It is remarkable how the human spirit can independently change a strongly held ideology in such a short amount of time.
Now take Mr. Wonderful, Donald J. Trump. He has evolved on every issue one can think of today. He was first pro-choice in 1999, now that he is ‘running for President..ahem’ he can no longer have that radical position with the Republican Party’s conservative base. He said that Hillary Clinton was a wonderful Secretary of State on Fox News in March 2012, now suddenly only a year and a half after the finality of her entire term, she has been branded by Trump the worst ever Secretary of State in US history. Is that just an bold face lie or a record in evolution?
Speaking of Hillary Clinton, she has evolved as well. She uses this term all the time. However, she is not as talented as Obama and not as clumsy as Trump. In her 2008 presidential run, she was against drivers license for illegal immigrants. Seven years later (I guess that is in the realm of ‘slow deliberation of evolving’?) she has seen the light, which means she cannot win the presidency without the Latino vote being very strong for her, and has ‘evolved’ her position on this great moral ground of protecting our borders. Notice there is no explanation how she evolved to this position? No need to anymore. Check out this article. In times past, it was sacrilege to use the term, “I changed my mind” or “I was wrong then.” Oh no no no! Today, whip out the word ‘evolve’ from your Fedora and your cruising along!
To be an equal opportunity critic of this word, I would like to point out to Jeb Bush. It took him five days to answer a simple yes/no question whether or not it was right to invade Iraq. The speed of evolution was lightning fast on this one. That was his mistake. He needed to come out immediately for fear of bludgeoning the ‘evolve card up his sleeve’ when he will need it most. Never waste a good evolve card for things that can’t evolve in 5 days. All you are doing is losing arrows from your quiver when you will need them most.
There was an article in the New York times about Jeb Bush and his multiple evolving views over two decades. Here are some excerpts:
Jeb Bush once called for building prisons and emphasizing “punishment over therapy” for juvenile offenders. Today, he supports reforming the criminal justice system, arguing that incarceration can harden low-level lawbreakers into career criminals.
In the past, he stressed using deportation to rid the United States of unauthorized immigrants. These days, he describes crossing the border illegally as “an act of love” by migrant parents and supports a path to citizenship for those who have done so.
He used to emphasize the rights of big landowners who felt cheated by environmental programs. Now, he is a champion of state-sponsored conservation, celebrated for his $2 billion program to restore the Everglades.
Mr. Bush, 61, the former governor of Florida, insists that he will not contort himself to satisfy the ideologues of the Republican Party as he lays the groundwork for a possible presidential run in 2016. But as he pledges to stay true to his beliefs, an examination of Mr. Bush’s record reveals ways in which those views have already changed since his first run for elected office — in presentation, in tone, in language and, at times, in substance.
The long trail of Mr. Bush’s pronouncements — from his days as a candidate for governor of Florida in 1994 to today in his role as a public policy expert bent on recasting the Republican brand — will inevitability invite suspicion from within his party that he lacks genuine conservative conviction, a wariness that he needs to overcome to win the Republican nomination. But the journey may give Mr. Bush the broader, cross-party appeal necessary to compete in a presidential general election.
Lets refresh the exact meaning of ‘evolve’ sourcing from Merriam Webster’s Dictionary:
: to change or develop slowly often into a better, more complex, or more advanced state : to develop by a process of evolution
Now the bullshit stops here
Normally when one uses ‘evolving’ as elegantly has Obama did, they understand that there is a time element to a credible evolution. Trumps timetable is in between new polls and television interviews. Clinton comes across as a robot on a teleprompter. Jeb has so many positions he has evolved from that many conservatives no longer think he is a true to his values. Finally Trump….oh lets just forget him or this blog will never end for his complete disaster of the English Language, not ever uttering a word of gray or nuance, only “I am the best’ and “He/she is the worst.” He has actually watered down the word ‘superlatives’ for his egregious overuse.
In my humble opinion, one can only ‘evolve’ if it comes across as sincere. When politicians use this word as the ‘flavor du jour word of the day,’ they become transparent in their true motives. It obviously looks like political expediency lacking any true convictions. Either they were hiding their true beliefs when they had opposite views back then, or they are pretending to ‘evolve’ now so not look like they are wishy-washy and can change their minds in a political whim.
But that is exactly what they are doing.