George Orwell's classic essay "Politics and the English Language" noted that euphemistic language had political effects. In Stalin's Soviet Union, murder of political opponents was politely termed "liquidation." Get people to change language, and you change how they think.
The Bush presidency has already been a nauseating roller coaster ride for environmentalists. "There was tremendous disappointment once it became clear that George W. Bush would be president," says a senior attorney at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). "That was followed by a real sense of hope when Christie Todd Whitman came in [as EPA director]. Then shock and disbelief when Bush reversed on carbon dioxide. Then hope again when it came out that Whitman had urged him not to."
After the Safety Net: A Welfare Reformer Reflects on What Washington Wrought
David T. Ellwood is the Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Political Economy and former
academic dean at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He previously served as
assistant secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Department of Health and Human Services.
After serving as one of the two chief architects of President Clinton's welfare reform proposal,
Ellwood resigned in protest over Clinton's support of the Republican bill -- a bill that did not
provide jobs or other protections for welfare recipients who reached welfare time limits without
finding a job.