Incite -- (v) 1: give an incentive; 2: provoke or stir up; "incite a riot"; 3: urge on; cause to act
Sunday, September 26, 2004

Written by: Beck

Once upon a time--I don't really remember when--I was listening to Dick Cheney make a speech, and he referred to John Kerry as, "Disingenuous." At the time, I recall thinking that word was particularly apt. Later, at the Republican National Convention, John McCain appealed to people's common sense, telling them they shouldn't be getting their opinions from disingenuous film makers. From the stands, Michael Moore waved to the crowd. The line drew such applause that McCain eventually had to quiet down the crowd before he could resume his speech.

Then, not too long ago, I was listening to the morning show on the local rock station--Walton and Johnson on 101.1 KLOL. Walton and Johnson aren't particularly remarkable; their routine is perhaps best described as "Redneck Republicans." They're not especially sophisticated, and I've seen them described as Limbaugh clones. It finally dawned on me that there was a recurring theme out there in the 2004 political dialogue when Walton (or was it Johnson?) declared that Kerry is a, "Disingenuous a-hole." Suffice it to say, Walton and Johnson, while they are articulate, are not in the habit of using five syllable words.

Most people, I'd imagine, are like me--they've heard the word plenty of times and have a pretty good idea of what it means. I basically had it pegged as somewhere between "dishonest," and "untrustworthy," with perhaps a dash of, "dissembling" mixed in for flavor. Having decided to pen a post on the disingenuousness of this season's Democratic candidate--and indeed, the entire Democratic campaign (don't want to leave out any disingenuous film makers), I thought first to dig up the actual dictionary definition. It turns out the word suits even better than I had at first imagined.

From Websters, we learn that disingenuous suggests "lacking in candor; also: giving a false appearance of simple frankness. Syn: CALCULATING." Ye ol' Oxford English Dictionary has a slightly different take on the matter, defining disingenuous as, "The opposite of ingenuous; lacking in frankness, insincere, morally fraudulent." Turning to a slightly different reference work, The Synonym Finder--my thesaurus of choice--has these suggestions for words similar in meaning: "insincere, uncandid, unfrank, mealy-mouthed; deceitful, dishonest, underhanded, crooked, tricky, double-tongued; false, false-hearted, double-dealing, two-faced, mendacious, lying, untruthful; artful, insidious, guileful, scheming, plotting, calculating, contriving, designing; cunning, crafty, sly, wily, foxy; shifty, slippery, smooth, slick."

It's the perfect word to describe John Kerry, his campaign, his cronies, and many of his supporters. Dan Rather false-hearted, double-dealing, and untruthful? Yes. Michael Moore mealy-mouthed, deceitful, crafty, and shifty? Absolutely. John Edwards two-faced (or two-America'd at least), artful, guileful, contriving, foxy, smooth, and slick? No doubt. John Kerry... disingenuous? Yes. Yes indeed.

George W. Bush has actually inspired an Anybody But Bush movement. The only other political candidate I've seen draw such opposition--even from within his own party--was in 1994 when I was living in Washington, DC, as Marion Barry decided to run for mayor after having served out the time for his crack cocaine conviction. People HATE Bush. The French haven't been this pissed off at America since we took the croissant and turned it into a croissandwich (apologies to Dennis Leary). But Bush is winning solidly at this point? Why? Because as much as Americans might be able to find reasons to disagree with Bush--whether their particular pet-issue is abortion rights, marriage rights, government spending, health care, or the war in Iraq--they still can't bring themselves to vote for a man so profoundly disingenuous as John Forbes Kerry.

To say nothing of the disingenuous people with whom he has surrounded himself and the disingenuous campaign he has run.

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John Beck

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