Stop Calling Leftists 'Liberals'
As Orwell warned decades ago, the totalitarian left refashions the language to suit its chameleonic political needs, and misappropriating the word “liberal” is simply part and parcel of that. In fact, Lewis Carroll anticipated Orwell’s warning by several decades, in Through the Looking Glass:
“When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master — that’s all."
And they do consider themselves our masters, both intellectually and morally. When someone merely says something with which they disagree, they call it “violence,” requiring “safe zones.” But when they commit violent protests (as with Occupy Wall Street), they declare it “speech.” When someone objects to treating people differently based on the color of their skin, or says that not just black lives, but all lives matter, they call it “racism.” When someone objects to dismembering babies in (and occasionally out) of the womb like a human chop shop, they call them a "violent extremist." When someone declines to accept a commission to create art for a ceremony that they find morally problematic, they are oh so tolerantly declared “intolerant” and “hateful.”
And when, as a result of this kind of hateful intolerant behavior, their brand becomes increasingly tarnished, they falsely declare themselves to be to be “liberal,” knowing that traditionally, that has been an admirable and truly progressive world view.
Yes, as Bill notes, the party was taken over by the hard left decades ago, and abandoned even any pretense of liberal values, even while continuing to call themselves fraudulently by that phrase, and slandering true liberals everywhere. And the reason that they get away with it is because people like Bill O’Reilly allow them to, using their purloined word to falsely describe them himself.
Long before Orwell or Carroll, the Chinese philosopher Confucius said that, when words had lost their meaning, it was time for a rectification of names, because “…if names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success.”
At least since 2006, when the Democrats took over Congress, it’s fair to say that affairs have not been particularly carried on to success, at least for the American people. It is past time to rectify the names, to take back the language from these lexigraphical thieves. And I modestly propose that we start with the word “liberal.”