Revealing punctuation in an email from the crazy right
I don’t know how I got on their list, but I’ve been receiving emails from Freedomworks for at least 3 years. I’m careful to NEVER click on the links as I don’t to contribute to their stats – which they often use to market themselves, but I also haven’t tried to stop the emails, nor classify them as spam, nor shuffle them off so that I don’t notice them.
I archive all of them under the label “Opposition”. And until today, I’ve never blogged about this. But today, a bit of punctuation leaped out at me. This is “From” randpaul(at)freedomworks.org:
Steven, I won’t rest until our republic is restored.
Republicans control the Senate, and that gives us a real opportunity to start reversing Obama’s “fundamental transformation” of America. We can repeal and replace ObamaCare. We can stop the NSA’s unconstitutional spying. And we can finally audit the Fed. It’s not going to be easy but it CAN be done.
Do you see it? The quotation marks around “fundamental transformation”? I saw that and started wondering, why are they there? Read on for my thoughts …
In my own writing, one of the reasons I use quotation marks is that I’m using terminology I don’t agree with. The quotation marks emphasize that I find the terminology highly questionable or down right wrong. Do you want an example? Here: I’ve already done it in THIS post as I sincerely doubt that Senator Rand Paul actually took the time to compose the email that arrived in my inbox, so I put quotation marks around “From”.
Coming from Senator Paul, or from a vast array of other political figures, pundits, and people I consider to be politically crazy, those quotation marks wouldn’t be there. The write would either truly believe that President Obama is fundamentally transforming America (and in this context, the implication would be that President Obama is fundamentally transforming America for the worse) OR the author knows that President Obama isn’t fundamentally changing America, but is catering to their audience for crass political gain (votes) or fame (ratings for the pundits.) In neither case would the author have used quotation marks.
So why are they there? I don’t know. I’m not sure I CAN know. But I do have a hope. And that hope is that somewhere, perhaps deep inside Freedomworks, the person who wrote this, or the editor who approved it, has doubts. Someone knows that something isn’t right in the message that Freedomworks is spreading.
So in short, I hope that these quotation marks mean that there is somebody sane inside Freedomworks. And I hope that sanity is contagious!