One thing I have learned over the years is that there are plenty of Chomsky-esque, center-right leaning wordsmiths out there too. It isn’t just those on the left that are abusing the poor English skills of Americans to promote socialist agendas. Believe it. Particularly when it comes to the latest attempt at giving amnesty (and the current “comprehensive immigration” bill in the Senate IS Amnesty). And I can prove it by simply using the words as they are defined, not as some would like them to be defined.
Let’s begin shall we?
Amnesty is defined as “the act of an authority (as a government) by which pardon is granted to a large group of individuals” (source: Webster’s Dictionary). What we find at issue here is usually the word “pardon” and it’s meaning. Ok, what does “pardon” mean?
Once again we turn to Webster’s Dictionary to find that pardon means “1 : INDULGENCE, 2 : the excusing of an offense without exacting a penalty, 3 a : a release from the legal penalties of an offense b : an official warrant of remission of penalty, 4 : excuse or forgiveness for a fault, offense, or discourtesy (source: Websters)
Ok, so we’ve got several definitions for that word, three of which basically say the same thing and summed up in the single word of the first meaning, “indulgence”. That makes the definition of amnesty “the act of an authority (as a government) by which “indulgence is granted to a large group of individuals.” Ok, what is an “indulgence”?
Indulgence, as defined by Webster’s is”1 : remission of part or all of the temporal and especially purgatorial punishment that according to Roman Catholicism is due for sins whose eternal punishment has been remitted and whose guilt has been pardoned (as through the sacrament of reconciliation), 2 : the act of indulging : the state of being indulgent, 3 a : an indulgent act b : an extension of time for payment or performance granted as a favor, 4 a : the act of indulging in something; especially : SELF-INDULGENCE b : something indulged in”.
Also, to “indulge” means “to treat with excessive leniency, generosity, or consideration”.
So an “indulgence” is an “excuse” or “way out” (synonym: lenient). It is a forgiveness (as definition 1 states) of part or all of a punishment through generosity or consideration and leniency. So “indulgence” is basically when “part or all of the punishment has been remitted” giving us amnesty defined as: “the act of an authority (as a government) by which part or all of the punishment has been remitted to a large group of individuals.“
Notice that an indulgence is when “part” OR “all” of the punishment is remitted. The important word here is “part”. Because the right leaning Chomsky wanna-bes would have us believe that “amnesty” only occurs when all of the sins and transgressions of illegals are forgiven and only when they are not required to pay anything or have any punishments dealt to them for their actions. They claim that because there are new penalties and procedures, which still require some punishment to be meted out, that this cannot possibly be “amnesty”.
But we can clearly see they are wrong. Existing law requires certain punishments and measures to be taken against those in this country illegally. Giving them a “way out” of those punishments through what amounts to the purchasing of indulgences certainly DOES remit “part of the punishment” that is required of them under current laws.
We can play word games all we want, but we cannot rewrite the facts.
That the definition of one word can be inserted into the definition of another word defined by using it is a pretty basic skill; one that we all learned in grade school. And it clearly defines the act of rewriting the current laws for which certain punishments are due to change that punishment as indeed being amnesty.
So sorry to all you out there that cannot understand that, including you Mr. Bush. The fact is the current law has penalties and this Senate bill serves the purpose of granting illegal aliens a means of obtaining amnesty from those penalties. Period.
Author’s Note: This article is based on the original post at American Conservative Daily by J.J. Jackson on May 25, 2007 “Is it Amnesty? Yes. It is”.
J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative and the owner and Lead Editor of American Conservative Politics – The Land of the Free and American Infidel T-shirts. His weekly articles can be read at Liberty Reborn