Originally created 01/31/05

Cocoon of euphemism



So, if the president says "God bless America," does he need to stand aside and allow rebuttal?

That seems to be the logic behind a U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeal ruling that finds South Carolina's "Choose Life" license plates unconstitutional. The court said abortion opponents must have access to a competing message in favor of abortion.

Why - when it's the state of South Carolina that's really issuing the message? Must every bit of government speech be offered with rebuttal space?

It's silly. But the U.S. Supreme Court's decision last week not to wade into the case means the 4th Circuit's ruling stands.

So, to issue "Choose Life" plates, South Carolina must also offer a plate on the other side of the debate.

Now the question becomes, must it be worded exactly how the pro-abortion lobby wants it?

Truth is, the state may not offer the pro-abortion lobby's obviously preferred wording - "Choose Choice," or some such euphemism. Some lawmakers are suggesting a plate saying "Choose Death" or "Choose Abortion."

Ultimately, if that were the decision of South Carolina lawmakers, wouldn't the pro-abortion lobby have to live with that? Or does the 4th Circuit believe the pro-abortion lobby should be able to force the state to spin the subject in the light most favorable to abortion?

In our view, there would be nothing wrong or unconstitutional about South Carolina offering "Choose Death" or "Choose Abortion" license plates. It may be blunt, but it fairly describes the alternative to "choosing life."

There's nothing in the Constitution that requires the government to "spin" speech a certain way.

Fact, is, a little bluntness cuts through the protective cocoon of euphemism quite nicely.