A little long but I hope you will read it.
It’s an often-used word in politics. It’s a simple word with various meanings. Basically, in most contexts, it is used as an alternative to abolish or remove. So if one does not want to abolish something they say they are going to reform it or fix it.
The dictionary says, Reform:
a : to put or change into an improved form or condition b : to amend or improve by change of form or removal of faults or abuses.
2. : to put an end to (an evil) by enforcing or introducing a better method or course of action
3: to induce or cause to abandon evil ways
4: a : to subject (hydrocarbons) to cracking b : to produce (as gasoline or gas) by cracking
Since it is used so much today in various contexts I thought it was worth a closer look. It is commonly used in politics to refer to any kind of change, especially toward problems or failures, and often as a cure-all. I mention only some applications of the term.
The word conjures up another meaning also used in education, reform school. Decades ago this was a term for school dealing with behavior problems or problem students. Hence, a student was sent to reform school. It was not generally considered a good thing. But it was thought of as a place that might straighten out kids with problems. There were no guarantees though it was hailed as a possibility. (…when other attempts fail)
And there is the religious use of the root word in Christianity, referring to Luther and Protestants in the reformation. Some religious institutions use the word in their name.
And there is a broader social use of the term “reform movement”:
A reform movement is a kind of social movement that aims to make gradual change, or change in certain aspects of society, rather than rapid or fundamental changes. A reform movement is distinguished from more radical social movements such as revolutionary movements.
Reformists’ ideas are often grounded in liberalism, although they may be rooted in socialist (specifically, Social democratic) or religious concepts. Some rely on personal transformation; others rely on small collectives, such as Mahatma Gandhi’s spinning wheel and the self sustaining village economy, as a mode of social change. Reactionary movements, which can arise against any of these, attempt to put things back the way they were before any successes the new reform movement(s) enjoyed, or to prevent any such successes. (Wikipedia)
(note – its a softer approach than revolution)
So there is a lot of talk about reform. Politically, the word has been loosely used (overused) to suggest change needed or necessary. It is used as a blanket description for change, to improve or tweak something. So far, the overuse of the word has not ruined the idea behind it, completely. It still carries popularity and high regards to some folks. But politically, I’m sure many people roll their eyes when they hear the word, as I do. And there has been a good amount of reform done already, which many people disagree with.
Sometimes reforming a bad idea is not the right solution. Often “reform” of something with inherent problems, and plagued from the beginning, is not the best solution. But it still gets used in those contexts as the cure. Strange how liberals who tout “pro-choice” claim that abortions are a solution in dealing with life; but when dealing with federal Government will only go as far as to call for “reform” – and usually dragged kicking and screaming to that position.
To abolish an agency seems to be against their nature. But in dealing with life, they contend abortion should always be an available option – for any and all reasons. In fact, don’t ask why. To abolish a failed agency or program is much tougher. Yet they want a streamlined, simple process to get an abortion. To abolish a program is a monumental task, nothing steam-lined about it, if it can be done– “Let the objections begin.” And liberals like it that way. Even reforming is a challenge. They want the bar set very high to abolish a program or agency, but set very low to get an abortion. But aren’t they based on the same principle, getting rid of something unwanted and a burden to the greater whole? (sorry ….)
Then there are those politicians who take on the banner as “a reformer” politically. You’ve heard them say, “vote for the reformer… vote for the true reformer”. Few seem to want to campaign as the abolitionist. (I know, except for the congressman from Texas) Yet there is something to be said for adopting the abolitionist banner, or at least making it a philosophy that is not so stigmatized and ridiculed a position as it is now. “Reform” must sound better to people. (proabably poll tested)
The Declaration of Independence was a more than a reform philosophy. They tried the reforms. They pleaded to the King, and they got no relief. In fact, the King made things harder and more difficult for them. “Such” was the “patient sufferance” of their colonies. No, it called for more than reform; it demanded some drastic steps. And it was not easy.
Leftists want it easy to have an abortion on demand but want it difficult to rein in out of control, encroaching bureaucracy. Such is our “patient sufferance” today. Yet they want abortion to be as available as possible; any restrictions on it is a restriction too many to them. Liberals will hold rallies or protests to “keep abortion legal”…”save a woman’s right to choose” … and protect women’s right to an abortion. (hailed as a civil right) Then the same folks trot out signs to say “No, you cannot cut this program, spending, or end this government agency. It’s not fair.” Fairness…
So there we have it
Scissors to the back of the head and a suction hose to abort babies; but no technique is painless enough or “necessary” to eliminate an agency that outlived its usefulness. And the stage of development is of no concern for babies. In fact, we even have a Secretary of Heath and Human Services who very much advocates for that ‘scissors to the head’ treatment of babies. How does she feel about a ‘badly conceived idea’ that should be stopped in its tracks? (…like ObamaCare)
You know the answer…
Leave your comments on reform (or anything else) or the way it is used? Your thoughts…