WHAT'S IN A NAME?

Political debate has been twisted by deceptive naming for years now. Recently, this has been most visible in the continuing discussion about renewal of the Patriot Act. The problem is that the Patriot Act has nothing to do with patriotism. Its name is a made-up acronym, an attempt to pair a positive image in people's minds with a deeply flawed piece of overreach that came out of the same era that led to us to take away a distant country's weapons of mass destruction through invasion until, as it quickly became obvious, never existed in the first place.

"Patriot Act" is an acronym. The Patriot Act should be, at the least, properly capitalized: it's the USA PATRIOT Act
because it's an acronym. More completely, its full name is Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001. Which makes it clear what a tortured construction this name is.

We're seeing it again. The Freedom Act is coming around, but again, that's the USA FREEDOM Act, or more completely
Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-collection and Online Monitoring Act. That's a name that doesn't describe what it does, but when even its opponents are tricked into calling it that, they're changing the subject, in effect, and sound like they don't believe in freedom. See how this works?

It works the other way too, when you let the other guy name the debate. Remember the PPACA? It's also sometimes known as ACA, but was quickly ridiculed and colloquially renamed by its opponents. Its real name is just the
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, but most people know it as Obamacare. Obama, by the way, is a guy who's black, so attaching his name to anything gives the racists among us something to hate as mindlessly as attaching "Patriot" gives the unthinking something to love.

My recommendation? There are several things that can be done.
> Reference all bills by their bill numbers (PPACA was HR3590)
> Rationalize bill titles while going through Congress
> Call them by their whole names (yes, all of PATRIOT's ten words)
> Regularly make fun of their whole names
> And if nothing else, spell them with the proper capitalization.

The last one is easy. I see that even Nancy Pelosi's website titles her statement of opposition "Pelosi Statement on Extension of USA Patriot Act." If even its opponents fall for this trick, how do we expect to strike a fair balance?