By now everyone is likely acquainted with CNN‘s efforts to set a more civil, more enlightened tone in their biased political coverage. The video below is provided for those unaware of the noble undertaking with which CNN has tasked itself:
Despite our opposing viewpoints, we at C4P salute our friends at CNN, our colleagues in political conversation, for this altruistic campaign to soften the public discourse by making it more meaningless than it already is. Therefore, in the spirit of the new civility, we hereby offer to assist CNN in this, their bold, consequential endeavor to save the Republic. And, in the new spirit, we will provide this service free of charge, gratis if you prefer.
We are under no illusions. This will not be easy. As John King lamented not once, not twice, but three times, “we’re trying”. We sympathize, John. CNN has unilaterally decided to provide news to their largely English speaking audience without benefit of the English language. But fear not, CNN. We at C4P never back down from a challenge.
Our task is clear. The phrase “in the crosshairs” must be immediately and permanently stricken from acceptable public dialogue. Refudiated, as it were. But in so doing, we need to come up with an acceptable alternative: a new phrase with the same meaning. In short, “in the crosshairs” must be repealed and replaced. For if it isn’t, civil unrest, even anarchy, will surely ensue. And we’re talking real Old Testament chaos: wolves and caribou living together in harmony, polar bears and seals, even Democrats and Republicans sitting together at state of the union speeches.
Where to begin? Politically speaking, before CNN revealed “in the crosshairs” to be the profane term that it is, the expression was simply used to indicate that a particular politician was being targeted for electoral defeat. So, perhaps we can simply replace he’s in the crosshairs with:
He’s being targeted for electoral defeat
Now that wasn’t so difficult. And here I thought we’d have to spend many man hours on this important project….
Oops. My bad. The word “target” is even worse than “crosshairs”. Crosshairs can only be used as a noun. Target, on the other hand, can be used as a noun and a verb, making it twice as dangerous as crosshairs. Not only can we put a “target” on one’s district, but we can also “target” one for defeat. This is simply too provocative. Back to the drawing board. Perhaps instead of target, we can use the word “identify”:
He’s being indentified for electoral defeat
Hmmm. Maybe that’s not so good either. Identify is tantalizingly close to identification, and that’s also unacceptable. Identification is really a code word for racism. After all, every one knows it’s racist to ask a voter for his or her identification. And let’s not forget the provision in that evil Arizona immigration law which requires criminal suspects to provide law enforcement with their identification. The Obama Administration has spoken on this. Next.
Well, identify and target are both out. How about…select. Select is much more PC. It has a more neutral connotation and can even be construed as winning an award. Selecting someone for the Publisher’s Clearing House grand prize, for example. In fact, maybe we should forget select and simply use the word reward.
He’s being rewarded with the possibility of electoral defeat
Somehow that doesn’t quite make it. Defeat is such an ugly word, and certainly not helpful for one’s self-esteem. If one is defeated, he will forever be branded a loser, and we can’t have that. Isn’t this why enlightened communities no longer provide trophies to their winning little league teams, but rather provide everyone with “participation awards”? To recognize the winner is to acknowledge the presence of a loser, and to brand anyone as such is the ultimate humiliation. These same forward thinking communities also have 37 valedictorians in their high school’s senior class, no doubt.
Perhaps we should change the word defeat to something more positive. Let me think… I got it. How about retirement? And while we’re at it, let’s eliminate the ominous sounding possibility and replace it with the more hopeful opportunity?
He’s being rewarded with the opportunity for early retirement
We’re getting warmer, but retirement connotes such finality, a sense of impending doom in one’s life. And this is even more true now that the health care rationing required under Obamacare is the law of the land. How can someone with the retiree label figuratively stamped on his forehead, a metaphorical scarlett “R” if you will, possibly hope to pass muster with Obama’s sophisticated “complete lives system” philospohy? We certainly don’t want this poor politician to face the consequences of his vote for Obamacare, now do we? That’s simply uncivil, barbaric really. So where does that leave us…
My friends (as John McCain would say), I have the answer:
He’s being rewarded with the opportunity for a new and exciting career
So there you go, CNN. We’ve come up with some new phraseology, incomprehensible though it may be, that is sufficiently nuanced and meaningless to not offend anyone. We’re happy to do it. Now that we at C4P have done the heavy lifting (no charge), it’s up to you to figure out whether or not your seventeen viewers understand that “he’s being rewarded with the opportunity for a new and exciting career” really means “he’s in the crosshairs”. Godspeed.