What do we mean when we use the word “protection?” A simple Google search yields this.
- the action of protecting someone or something, or the state of being protected:
- a person or thing that prevents someone or something from suffering harm or injury:
- (protections)a legal or other formal measure intended to preserve civil liberties and rights.
- a document guaranteeing immunity from harm to the person specified in it.
- the practice of paying money to criminals so as to prevent them from attacking oneself or one’s property:
- money paid to criminals to prevent them from attacking, especially on a regular basis.
- archaicused euphemistically to refer to the keeping of a mistress by her lover in a separate establishment:“she was living under his lordship’s protection at Gloucester Gate”pro·tect
- keep safe from harm or injury:
- (protected)aim to preserve (a threatened plant or animal species) by legislating against collecting or hunting.
- (protected)restrict by law access to or development of (land) so as to preserve its natural state:“logging is continuing in protected areas in violation of an international agreement”
- (of an insurance policy) promise to pay (someone) an agreed amount in the event of loss, injury, fire, theft, or other misfortune:“in the event of your death, your family will be protected against any financial problems that may arise”
- economicsshield (a domestic industry) from competition by imposing import duties on foreign goods.
- computingrestrict access to or use of (data or a memory location):“security products are designed to protect information from unauthorized access”
It is Donald Trump’s flavor of the week.
Amid protests nationwide over President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration order, the president did not back away from his plan, saying his “first priority will always be to protect and serve our country.”
Trump released the statement Sunday afternoon, two days after he signed an executive order that halts the Syrian refugee program and temporarily suspends immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
“America is a proud nation of immigrants and we will continue to show compassion to those fleeing oppression, but we will do so while protecting our own citizens and border,” Trump said.
President Donald Trump paused as he removed the cap from his pen, an executive order severely limiting immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations waiting on the desk before him.
“That’s big stuff,” the president said, and scrawled his jagged signature.
In the 34 hours that followed, lawyers would mount a frantic effort to overturn the order; politicians and protesters would descend on Logan International Airport as detainees waited behind closed doors; and somehow, at a federal court hearing in the middle of the night, they would win.
George Lakoff, our canary in the language mine, has something to say about protection.
The American Majority got 2.8 million more votes in the 2016 election than the Loser President. That puts the majority in a position to change American political discourse and how Americans understand and think about politics. As a start, what is needed is a change of viewpoint.
Here is a typical example. Minority President Trump has said that he intends to get rid of 75% of government regulations. What is a “regulation”?
The term “regulation” is framed from the viewpoint of corporations and other businesses. From their viewpoint, “regulations” are limitations on their freedom to do whatever they want no matter who it harms. But from the public’s viewpoint, a regulation is a protection against harm done by unscrupulous corporations seeking to maximize profit at the cost of harm to the public.
Imagine our minority President saying out loud that he intends to get rid of 75% of public protections. Imagine the press reporting that. Imagine the NY Times, or even the USA Today headline: Trump to Eliminate 75% of Public Protections. Imagine the media listing, day after day, the protections to be eliminated and the harms to be faced by the public.
Parents and grandparents of teens hope that when romance prevails they are using “protection.” Given this administration’s and the GOP’s plans for Planned Parenthood, that kind of protection is not among their priorities.
Trump’s use of this word is a protection in itself, covering ulterior motives. Words have meanings and Lakoff has been telling us for decades the the Republicans are very adept at co-opting words for their own purposes. He has long advised Democrats to own the framing.
Regulation is a form of protection. Immigration bans targeting specific populations are not protection. They are a form of discrimination for the purpose of abridging the rights of some.
Vigilance requires that we pay attention to words as well as actions. This new government will not protect us. We need to take our protection into our own hands.