There’s a Newspeak definition of “special interests.” In Reaganite language, the 97 percent of the American people whose income is less than $50,000 a year are the “special interests.” They menace the administration of the country by Adam Smith’s invisible hand and Ronald Reagan’s visible voodoo economics. This was highlighted when House Democrats sought tax relief for those making under $50,000 rather than for the 3 percent who make more; they were assailed by the Reaganites for hitting the “middle class.”
The Newspeak use of the term “special” interests performs wondrously when confronted by political leaders who seek a coalition of labor, farmers, small business people, women, blacks, and Hispanics. After eliminating all duplication, these population categories must comprise about 97 percent of the country. But many journalists, who should know the populist origins of the term “special interests,” persist in Newspeak. Walter Mondale and most of the other Democratic aspirants for the presidency were attacked for basing their campaigns on appeals to “special interests.”...
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