It has become commonplace for politicians to back up their claims with words like "common sense". Think about it for a minute or better yet read the paper or watch the news. You will undoubtedly read or hear the President or one of the numerous campaigns use these words. What happens next is the really interesting part. No one challenges the words "common sense". It's like checkmate in chess. The opponent or the press or the interviewer seldom take issue with a policy or claim wrapped in "common sense" language. The words "common sense" are better than a stiff arm in football.
Another example is the word "fair" or "fairness". This is typically used in discussions around tax policy. For example, "the rich must pay their fair share". Well, ok that makes sense. But what is fair? What number is the right one? And more importantly, who decides what is fair? Who picks the number? And who ensures the "fair" number actually happens? It should not be surprising the super rich get around paying their "fair share" because they hire armies of accountants, lawyers and politicians. The game is rigged ... but that's a different blog.
Our politics are more about words and speeches and rhetoric these days than action. For some reason we have allowed politicians to win or lose an election, a policy debate, just about everything based on speeches wrapped in "common sense" and "fairness" language, without ever doing anything to move the country forward. It almost seems they don't really intend to do anything ... except win elections. Politicians are very good at that.
I like to read and write stories that dig deep into characters and how they respond to challenges.