Monday, March 31, 2008

Word Rant

Somewhat along the lines of Up My Mind's recent entry on statesman vs. politician, I've got a word use issue that's irritating me to no end: competing vs. infighting.

By definition, compete means to strive to outdo another; engage in a contest while infighting means fighting between members of a group.

Clinton and Obama are competing for the presidential nomination, yet every reference I've heard to the competition recently is as "infighting". While infighting may be a correct term, it has a distinctly negative connotation. Competition is seen as "healthy", infighting as an insidious cancer that will bring a group down from the inside. The implication is that infighting shouldn't be happening.

Have people lost sight of the fact that they are still trying to outdo the other to win something life changing??? OF COURSE they're fighting against each other! Duh! That's the whole point of this primary and caucus fracas. The Dems and reporters are now going on and on about how "infighting" is hurting the cause. I think that bitching about "infighting" instead of talking of "competition" is hurting the cause more than anything else. (Well, that and Hillary saying McCain is more competent than Obama.)

I admit, it's a tricky place to be in - you have to put up the fight of your life against someone you shouldn't cripple because they need to be in fighting form for the finals if you don't win. But having people saying that they shouldn't be fighting each other, when their job until the convention is to fight each other, is nuts.

I'd be more okay with it if there were reasons enumerated, but we live in a soundbyte echo chamber. If you specify "infighting" for a reason, the reasons aren't being broadcast as much as the connotation that the democrats can't control their lead actors. So stop it. Do the maneuvering behind closed doors if you want one of them to stand down before the convention in order to save money for the general race, stop handing ammo to the opposite side, and allow the candidate to rest up and plan - like Romney did for McCain. But were I either Hillary or Barack and within spittin' distance of the other after 2 solid elections that were won (or stolen) by just such a hair's breadth, I'd stay in to the bitter end, myself. As much as I hope one of them won't...

Anyone else have an opinion on the use of infighting vs competition by the media? No matter what candiate you're rooting for.

1 comment:

Up My Mind said...

THANK YOU! You put that so well. It's been driving me crazy, too. McCain is out for me, so I'm stuck with the eventual Democratic candidate.

Apparently I'm not the only one that can't decide between O & C. So the media & party leaders should just shut up and let the people decide.

IMO, the "party leaders" are just sour that they can't control the outcome to someone they want. I think they are more worried Obama won't "toe the party line" if he wins than they are a Republican will win. Clinton, she's much more established, they know what to expect from her.

Well tough for them. It's about time the majority of the people get to decide who the candidate is. I think they should wait until the final primary is done, the super delegates should vote as their states/constituents do, and then let the final campaign begin.

If it's so unaffordable, maybe they should seriously look at fixing the primary system!