The meaning of “equal”

Senator Lamar Alexander wanted to know how the Equal Pay Protection Act would ensure that men aren’t paid less — a query that led some people to question whether “equal” means something different in Tennessee than the rest of the country.

That’s a facetious question which probably ought to be considered seriously. The meaning of “equal” rather obviously escapes some people.

We already know that the Cons are what we call “math challenged.” They get numbers, unlike that tribe in the Amazon, but they don’t get connections, the relationships between entities. I think what happens is that they see each entity (thing, person, event) as separate and distinct and the only relationship is opposition. Left and right are opposite and so are men and women. That they are both the same and complementary and different just does not compute. I think of it as a mental deficit akin to color blindness where the individual perceives only light and dark.

I once asked a color blind person how he distinguishes the red traffic signal from the green. He said by the intensity of the one that’s lit and the conventional location of the one on the top and the other underneath. Which, of course, introduces an extra element of possible confusion when lights are placed horizontally.

That people are numerically or math challenged is easy to mask, given that politicians, in particular, have all their speeches and talking points given to them. All they have to do is follow the script. Who’s to know they have no clue what they are talking about? Lots of people read without comprehension and tell time without having any sense of time passing in a linear fashion.

Indeed, it may well be that a bundle of cognitive deficits combined with verbal acuity makes for the ideal public spokesperson. He’s got no personal axe to grind because he doesn’t know what he’s doing, other than what he’s been told to say by staff.

Of course, if that staff has been hired on the recommendation of people and groups who do have an agenda, then those interests have a leg up.