There are two phrases in politics that make my skin crawl: commonsense and comprehensive

I’m breaking from my string of “Open Letter” style diaries on this one.


There are two phrases (words really) that I hear tossed about in politics that terrify me.  Commonsense and comprehensive.

It’s not that the words themselves are bad or that they — in the common meaning of the word — indicate evil things.  I’ve been trained over years of watching progressives in the advancement of their policies twist the meaning of useful words.

When I hear them, I look them up in my “Politicians Dictionary”:

Commonsense (adj):
1. supported by emotional pleas
2. supported by non-scientific online polls
3. agrees with knee-jerk reactionary ideals
4. based on cursory examination of at least a handful of data points

Comprehensive (adj):
1. incorporating a vast collection so large of at least tangentially related items that no human could possibly comprehend the intricate interworking and systemic interactions
2. documentation occupying a ridiculous volume of paper, such that no human could possibly read it before a voting deadline
3. including every (at least marginally related) item on a political wishlist

Whenever I hear “commonsense”, I just want to channel what my geometry teacher would say when I wanted to make a “commonsense” step in my proofs:

Justify the step.  Prove that A leads to B… tell me why; “because” and “obviously” are not valid reasons.