What’s in a word?

Here’s some dictionary definitions of the word “maverick”:

  1. A lone dissenter, as an intellectual, an artist, or a politician, who takes an independent stand apart from his or her associates.
  2. One that refuses to abide by the dictates of or resists adherence to a group; a dissenter. (Am.Heritage Dict.)
  3. A person who acts independently of his political party or group.
  4. A masterless person; one who is roving and casual (that’s the Shorter Oxford def.)
  5. One who departs from the customs and beliefs of his group. (Webster)

Does anyone else out there feel uncomfortable with the idea of having two mavericks in charge of the most powerful nation on earth?


What’s in a word? — 8 Comments

  1. My lil old dictionary definition gives an unbranded calf or yearling, and so by transference a masterless person.

    Interesting that the cattle term was coined from the name of Samuel Augustus Maverick, a mid C19th Texas landowner who didn’t brand his cattle … though it is debatable whether he did that because he was an independent thinker, or just had no great interest in ranching, or because unbranded cattle were easier to rustle and do dodgy deals with.

    So if we add rich, uncaring and dodgy-dealing (and perhaps loose cannon?) to our definition of a maverick individual, that sounds about right in the present context, no? It also, alas, sounds like the average outsider’s perception of the national character of the country in question.

    There is a saying that we get the government we vote for (or don’t bother to vote against), the government we deserve.

    Of course it bothers me. But I get the feeling that it’s like watching teenagers go off the rails and mess their lives up, in spite of all wise advice … one can only hope that they learn by experience, and that the hand doesn’t get too badly burned in the process. :

  2. Ah, you have a way with words…

    Funny thing is that under many circumstances, I like the maverick personality. Just not when so much is at stake and we don’t know which way they will jump in any situation.

  3. I agree, maverick personalities can be exciting and refreshing and fun. As parental figures responsible for a family, though, I might have some reservations … let alone parents of a huge nation.

  4. ‘Mavericks’ I could live with, Glenda. The fact that they’re also morally bankrupt liars, bullies and sociopaths, and one’s a religious fundamentalist bigot have me a lot more worried!

  5. Is that maybe the criteria for political success, nashmeister? I am astonished by the number of people who will vote on one moral issue and ignore all others. For example, “I will vote for candidate X because he/she is against a woman being able to choose what to do with the inner workings of her body. That’s my sole criteria for casting my vote for candidate X. I have made a moral decision and that’s what counts. Oh, you say candidate X voted for that war over in Iraq? And he/she is fine with bombing another country we are not even at war with? And candidate X is also fine with torture in jails and imprisonment without trial or legal representation? Candidate X is fine with no gun controls? And he/she is fine with giving huge sums of money to very rich people who wreck the economy? Well, that’s all fine with me as long as he/she is anti-abortion. Yeah, and that includes abortion for a, let’s say, 14 yr old raped and tortured by a 60 year old psychopath. Let the girl bear the baby. That’s a good moral decision to make on behalf of a 14 yr old child. Yep, candidate X is the man/woman for me! None of those other things matter at all…” Argh.

  6. As I keep saying, I am not a politically minded person, but it seems to me that sometimes its the lesser of several evils. I probably wouldn’t vote at all, but that’s not really the answer either is it?

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