When is fair not fair? The answer is easy. Fair is not fair to you, when it’s fair to someone unlike you.
Here’s a hypothetical example. Government needs to take $1 million in income taxes from its 10,000 taxpayers. If it takes the same amount from each taxpayer, it takes $100 from each. But if it wants to be fair to taxpayers who have expensive mortgages for their four-bedroom houses, it gives them a tax deduction for their mortgage, and it takes only $50 from each of them. And, because there are 5,000 of them, government needs to take $150 from each of the 5,000 taxpayers who rent one-bedroom apartments.
Homeowners think it’s fair. Tenants think it’s unfair. Some say fair is in the eye of the beholder. Some say fair is a four-letter word.
Equal is another word like fair. In Animal Farm, George Orwell explains “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
Fair and equal are words that conjure images, images that vary endlessly from one person’s mind to another’s to another’s. Other such words abound.
When a politician promises to do something in exchange for your precious right to vote, what does promise mean to you? What does promise mean to the politician?
Does anyone, even the Founding Fathers, know what impeachable offense means?
Word images have replaced words. Manipulation has replaced communication. Misdirection has replaced debate. The Newspeak of George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four” has replaced everything.
Woke is the worst word and the best word we have. It means nothing and it means everything. And if you don’t know what woke means, you just ain’t woke.
What do unity, equity, gender identity, racial identity, and the “+” in LGBTQ+ mean? Half of us know what they mean, and half of us don’t. The half that knows disdains the half that doesn’t, and vice versa.
And, today, nobody knows what E Pluribus Unum means. On purpose.
When it comes to words, nobody ever did it better than those who are doing it to us now.
It just ain’t fair.