Beware the Language of the Left
by MICHAEL SALL
June 27, 2012
The language of the Left is designed to push the debate in their direction, even when it conveys false information. The word for spending is spending, not a euphemism like "investment." The word for taxes is taxes, not "revenue enhancements." These words are brought into the debate for one purpose; to mislead.
Lou Dobbs invited Define America co-founder Jose Antonio Vargas on his Fox News show to debate Obama's unilateral declaration rescinding part of our immigration law. Vargas, a prominent writer, had recently announced that he was not a US citizen, even though he has lived here most of his life. Dobbs repeatedly referred to him and others here illegally as "illegals", and Vargas repeatedly corrected him saying they were "undocumented." What is the difference?
"Illegal" means that the individual is breaking the law. That seems pretty clear. People crossed the border illegally or illegally overstayed a visa (those born here to illegals are US citizens). "Undocumented" means that the individual has no documents, but may be here legally or illegally. It is the difference between driving without having obtained a driver's license, or driving when you left your driver's license home. If you are guilty of the former, suggesting you are the latter is simply false.
Recently The New York Times and National Public Radio invented some new terms. They referred to George Zimmerman, the man who killed Trayvon Martin, as a white Hispanic, or a white Latino. Why? Simple. They wanted to make the tragedy into a race-driven incident, even though by all accounts such an assumption is nonsense. Zimmerman is half white and half Latino. There is absolutely no evidence in his past or in the sequence of events leading up to the incident that indicated race was a factor. Common verbiage would describe him as Hispanic or Latino. Given those labels, or as the PC crowd says, a person of color, the race element in this tragedy disappears. Did the NYT or NPR, those august institutions, ever refer to Barack Obama as a white African American? Of course not.
"Stakeholder" is one of my favorites. In a capitalist system private property is vigorously protected, and the use of that property (within the law) is directed by its owner. This system has provided us with the most prosperous, most generous, freest nation in the history of mankind. The term stakeholder was invented by socialists to create the false impression that the public at large has the rights to that private property. The public has the right to expect an owner to obey the law and to honor his contracts, but that is all. If we don't like the owner's choices, we are free not to do business with him. If there are enough of us, he will get the message or cease to exist. Were the state to give the public the right to determine the use of that private property, all economic and social progress going forward would fall victim to the public's insatiable want of something for nothing.
"Social justice" has also joined the lexicon of the Left. The words sound very compassionate. Who can be against justice, especially in a social sense? In reality those who use it are simply trying to usurp private property rights to fund a redistributive agenda, one chasing an unachievable, false, utopian dream. The term is used to support and justify every socialist idea under the sun. Real social justice consists of protecting a man's right to the fruits of his labor, not simply because it is ethical, but because it provides the most goods and services, the best environmental care, the best healthcare and the best of everything else that we as a society are capable of producing, and for everyone.
Columbus thought he reached the Indian Ocean when he landed in the Antilles and named the people there "Indians." The term stuck long after the mistake was recognized, and for centuries it referred to the indigenous peoples of the Americas. The PC crowd determined that it was a demeaning term and changed their reference to "Native American." Native American had been used for centuries to refer to anyone born on American soil, regardless of race, regardless of when. Why would they do this? Indian had nothing pejorative associated with it. My theory is that since the Left adapts to change quickly, during the transition it allowed them to claim the moral high ground when those of us with less verbal agility continue to use the newly designated "racist" term, Indian.
There are other reasons the Left change names. In the same way no liberal columnist wants to review any of their past predictions (invariably they are wrong), so too does the Left like to shed its failed past by changing names. Woodrow Wilson led the "progressive" movement until 1920, but his disregard for the Constitution, and such things as the Left's embrace of eugenics, soured the public on the movement. So, progressive was renamed "liberal." But the liberals' close ties with Communism, as well as with other unpopular policies such as their softness on crime, became a political liability, so in the 1980s they returned to the name "progressive" (no one remembered the Wilson era, most were dead by then). The problem is that no matter what they call themselves, they continue to champion the same failed policies.
Did anyone notice that all of the old Communist organizations and their members are today avid environmentalists? Same people, same ideas, just a different name. Is global warming science, or a political ploy designed to create world government?
Be careful of the Left and their politically correct language. It is created under the banner of respect or compassion for certain groups or individuals, but in reality it is a naked attempt at forwarding a political agenda.