Recently Mitch Daniels said “We do not accept that ours will ever be a nation of haves and have nots; we must always be a nation of haves and soon to haves.”
The phrase “soon to haves” is an excellent example of a euphemism (a more pleasant or appealing phrase or word substituted for one that is negative or likely to be offensive to the audience). While euphemisms are a stock tool in politics, it is always fair to critically examine their usage to see what sort of reality they might be employed to hide or soften. As such, I will take a short look at this phrase.
Daniels, obviously enough, makes it quite clear that his euphemism is a substitute for “have-nots” (which can itself be seen as something of a euphemism for the term “poor”). “Soon to haves” is clearly a more pleasant phrase than “have nots.” After all, the have-nots are lacking and there is no implication of hope. In fact, the usual way of things is that “whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.” In the case of “soon to haves” this not only makes it clear that these folks will be haves but that this having shall come soon. One rather obvious point of concern is whether or not this euphemism matches the reality it is alleged to describe.
“soon to have” is something like the developing nation description so kindly being applied to our country in place of the earlier under-developed country. The haves-haves-not description applied to its citizens continues but well can we go in for this nice new euphemism now? As if all this makes any difference except a new ontology. The have-nots remain have-nots despite a glowing hope given out in use of new euphemisms like “soon-to-haves.
Soon-to-haves has a shining hope etched into it.Just wait ,man,the prosperity is trickling down.You too shall have it.It is a matter of time.But how soon ? It is better to leave it delightfully hanging in time.
The poor man does not have a house or food or clothes. But doesn’t he have a mobile phone? See ,it is already trickling down.