It should be, but it isn’t:
If you simplify your English, you are freed from the worst follies of orthodoxy. You cannot speak any of the necessary dialects, and when you make a stupid remark its stupidity will be obvious, even to yourself.
From Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language.” The fact is that a lot of simple, vivid, expressive political language is stupid and dishonest. Sarah Palin on the campaign trail last October:
You’ve heard about some of these pet projects, they don’t really make a whole lot of sense and sometimes dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not.
Could you get any simpler? But apparently genetics research often involves fruit flies. If you want to help humanity, a good thing to do is give some competent scientists the money to play with bugs. Don’t ask me any more about the subject, because I don’t know. Neither does Gov. Palin, of course. But she didn’t have to hide her ignorance from herself by using cloudy language. When you’re dealing with technical subjects, ignorance often presents itself as common sense; it needs no language to hide behind. And most public subjects are technical, from global warming to the procedures for drafting and passing a bill. If you assume that you’re right, or if you don’t care, you can tell far-fetched lies in simple language and never break a sweat.
Orwell’s targets were euphemism and latinate obfuscation (“liquidate” for kill, and so on), and there’s no doubt they’ve done harm. But I think he was being a bit intellectual about it all. He was working out a theory about how people could lose their intellectual honesty step by step, until finally they could not even choose their words for themselves; 1984 and newspeak mark the furthest development of his ideas. But people can just refuse to think; they can assume all those facts and figures are a lot of argle-bargle. Or they can figure their principles are good and the main thing is to advance their side, regardless of truthfulness on individual issues. Or they may not care either way and go with whoever gives them the biggest paychecks.