The NEA conference call transcript presented to me a neologism that I'd not encountered before: ask, presented as a noun.
"My ask is . . ."
I don't know where to start with all that is wrong with turning the simplest and most forthright human expression of need into a noun.
My first thought was the biblical words of Jesus' exhortation to his disciples, "You have not because you ask not," which I guess the "have nots" have adopted as the sum total of what it means to follow Jesus: ask for stuff.
To ask is to pray, to entreat the favor or help of another. It implies a bit of humility and perhaps even a relationship. Turning ask into a noun just seems to me a false ploy to remove oneself from the humility of supplicant into a mere applicant. I'm just thinking out loud here, but that pretty much sums up the entirety of what is wrong with mandated charity: it turns humble supplication into entitled application.
If you've ever worked in a good charity organization, you know the mindset is to lift up the supplicant and not humiliate them in their need. That's all well and good, but it's all part of the soft landing that eventually undermines its own intention.
Being in need sucks, folks. It sucks big time. Asking for help is painful, needing help is humiliating and receiving it is humbling. Why do people need to be shielded from that most intrinsic part of life? As though we've arrived on this earth, alone and of our own doing, never to be demeaned by needing the personal care of or accountability to another?
The State of Obama envisions a world of equality that cheats humanity of the things that make it humane. It's a gray and administrative office of oversight that seeks to control, not console; to mandate but never measure; to disburse, but never impart.
My plea, prayer, and supplication? Life. Liberty. The Pursuit of Happiness.
Ask anyone. They'll tell you the same.