People seem to avoid explicit and clear in-your-face terms. Euphemisms have replaced words more deliberate, more specific, and clearer describing a concept we want to explore. Politicians have made such switches an art form.

George Carlin, a comedian either loved or hated, made a living talking about words. He was a brilliant observer of humanity who told no jokes but kept audiences laughing. Based on quips from daily life, among other topics, Carlin was a master of exploring euphemisms.

In Carlin’s world, people no longer died, croaked, or kicked the bucket but they ‘went on to a better place’, ‘found peace.’ He observed the CIA no longer killed people but ‘neutralized a threat.’ There were no more used cars, but rather ‘previously owned transportation.’

As do comedians, movies are an art that illuminate various aspects of life: tell a story, make us laugh, cry, entertain, scare us, make us sad, make us proud, educate us. Sometimes present lines that really catch our attention. In ‘A Few Good Men’, Tom Cruise tells his antagonist, Col. Jessup, he couldn’t handle the truth.

So it is with political rhetoric. Like Carlin’s world of euphemisms or Cruise’s contention of Jessup’s inability to handle the truth, today’s politicians seemingly wouldn’t know truth if it hit them in the head. So it seems when the nation’s pols yak attempting to push their ideas onto American voters who they know won’t handle the truth. They expose their fear in manner of delivery. Trying to conceal the true consequences of so many out-of-whack ideas, they employ euphemisms.

If such terms ease life for people who can’t handle direct language that’s OK, but political barkers have taken the notion too far. There in lies the real issue.

Euphemisms are used to disguise the truth as they hide and twist real meaning. Congressional bills are tagged with names that are about as accurate as saying Bill Clinton held a special place for women, Joe Biden’s talking head, Jen Psaki, says “circle back,” when she means we are going to ignore that question; Joe Biden says the “Supreme Court is getting out of whack,” rather than saying he does not like how the court does its job and it is not a bastion of liberal law-making appointees.

The current administration talks about an “ambitious” agenda really meaning let’s spend as much taxpayer money as possible, before the mid terms.

Politicians have always been exaggerators (euphemism for liar) so we are rarely disappointed when campaign claims go unattended. Presidential talking heads are expected to dance around responses to tough questions, and nobody holds their breath waiting for interviewers to ask follow up questions soliciting real answers.

What this means is there is little hope for any sort of truth from the majority of our elected officials. Far too many have become embedded in their cushy taxpayer funded gigs, biding their time, padding their lucrative retirement kitty. The answer is establish term limits for all legislative seats.

Reduce benefits for these sycophants and eliminate retirement plans.

Let’s not discuss the notion of downsize, realign workforce priorities, correct staffing levels, ya-da, ya-da, but rather fire these people who do little to support the Constitution and waste taxpayer money as they continue on a path to Socialism. Elect new players.

You have to wonder if the average voter would buy into political sales pitches if the words were real and not euphemisms for unaffordable pie-in-the-sky dreams.

Bob Foley is a Sun Chronicle columnist. Foley, of Mansfield, spent seven years flying F4 planes for the U.S. Marines; 20 years as a middle manager/engineer at Texas Instruments and 13 years as a high school math teacher. His essays are published here each Friday.

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