In this sentence – On the issue of deportations, I will cut to the chase – what does "cut to the chase" mean?
I'll not beat around the bush but get right down to the point of our discussion.
"Cut to the chase" means exactly that – get to the point.
In watching Jet Li movies on DVD at home, I do the cut-to-the-chase stuff a lot. That is, I hit the fast-forward button every time there is a dull scene, i.e. a conversation (in action movies, dialogues are often terrible to bear) until I stop at some action, i.e. Li beating guys up or, occasionally, vice versa.
In fact, that's believed to be the origin of the phrase. "Cut to the chase" came from the movie industry. It means exactly that – cutting from a dramatic scene to an action scene (typically a car chase in a shoot-them-up movie) so as to keep engaging the attention of an audience. If used outside the cinema, "cut to the chase" means simply "get to the point".
A great idea it is too. I once saw a leading official in a staff meeting at a small government outfit proceed to the podium and proclaim: "I will say just three sentences."
That's one sentence right there. But, not in a mood to nitpick, I thought now, this man might know what he is doing. I was wrong – That man went on to take another extended 45 minutes explaining and expounding on what those "three sentences" were.
If only leaders and officials all learned to cut to the chase at meetings, I thought at the time. That way, everyone would be able to get on with their lives.
If only, by the way, means it's not going to happen. Otherwise, meetings wouldn't be meetings.
Well, let's cut back to the chase now. There's another Jet Li scene you may want to see.