May 14, 2004
GuestBlog: By Bill Kraus
The harm that labeling can do.
I was driving back from Central Wisconsin recently and heard a radio ad for the Capital Times. The label the ad put on the newspaper would be widely regarded as accurate. The ad said it was “progressive.” So far so good. But once that label is pre-empted, competitors seem to be reduced to the antonym: regressive.
Less amusing is the pre-emption embodied in those in the abortion choice debate of the label. Pro-life. As Bob Williams once asked, “What does that make me? Pro-death?”
The latest label ogre on the horizon is something called TABOR, which is an acronym for Taxpayers Bill of Rights. Unarguable but misleading. The organizations and people behind the label are really, in my mind anyway, in favor of revenue limits and against representative government. It is kind of a “Stop me before I tax again!” response to lawmakers who are too weak-willed to say no to anything.
But that is an aside. The fact is that the TABOR idea may or may not be attractive, but the label is dynamite.
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