Time to expunge "make sure" from the political vocabulary

Let's make sure that we never again have to hear another politician promise that he'll "make sure" that [fill in the blank].

make-sureSome politicians seem to be unable to speak without "making sure" that this or that happens. They promise, pledge, vow, aver, affirm and assert to work to "make sure" to balance the budget, make America safe/great again and to put a chicken in every pot.

It's been bothering me for lo these many years to hear these promises that are usually or typically impossible to make real. My breaking point came Sunday morning listening to Sen. Claire McCaskill being interviewed by George Stephanopoulos* host of  ABC's Sunday morning This Week. She unleashed a torrent of "make sures"--eight altogether in just a few minutes. She said:

  • And I want to make sure that he [Gen. John Kelly to be secretary of Homeland Security nominee] has a handle.
  • Should make sure we have strong alliances and to make sure that we are in the strongest position to protect our country.
  • We had a lot of whistle blowing going on out of the Department of Homeland Security.... I want to make sure he understands.
  • And I didn't context (sic) to make sure we have all the facts because I don't think anyone is comfortable.
  • But there's nothing more sacred than our democratic process the United States and we've got to make sure that you,,, put aside partisan politics and make sure that we're getting to the bottom of all of.
  •  Their wok doesn't match their talk and I think we also have to make sure that we communicate clearly.

Of course, "making sure" is a bi-partisan exercise. President-elect Donald Trump is reported to have said that he is reviewing the 2015 Paris climate change accord to make sure China does not gain any advantage over the U.S. President Barack Obama, the make-sure master, told the United Nations that we have to "make sure that we do not abandon those very things that have delivered" (his) achievements.

A Google search turns up 770 million uses of "make sure," which surely is enough assurances and proclamations to last a lifetime.






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  • fb_avatar

    Can we include "the truth of the matter is" with "make sure"? Joe Biden starts every sentence with that phrase and then launches into an enormous pile of BS

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