Word Bandits and other Conservative Bad Guys
I certainly am not in the habit of hanging out over at “Crooks and Liars,” a festering cesspool of Leftist rant if there ever was one. But following a link this afternoon I regret to say I found myself lured into an article there entitled “The War of the Words,” in which a leftist, who identifies herself only as the holder of a master’s degree in English (be suitably impressed, less-educated reader!) gets herself all worked up over… well, allow her to tell you herself:
“He who controls the word controls the world. And there are no dirtier, more malicious or ruthless opponents in this vital war of words than the American right wing.”
Yes, you! You bitter clinger. You are not only stupid, greedy, and illiterate, but you are a… WORD-STEALER. (Apparently, “illiterate” and “word-stealer” don’t cancel each other out. We conservatives have magical powers!)
In full “conservatives-are-meanies” mode, our dimwitted writer forges ahead:
“The right wing has spent decades refining definitions and controlling the language of politics, keeping the left constantly on the defensive.”
Um… what? Are we talking about the same Left? The people who’ve spent lifetimes deconstructing language to make it say what they want? Who take a word like “handicapped” and change it to “people challenged by physical and/or mental capability inequalities”? THAT Left? The movement that, like a puppeteer pulling a marionette’s strings, almost universally dictates how the media will characterize individuals and groups?
Someone tried to bomb the Pentagon? That’s an “activist” (if he’s one of Obama’s pals), not a “terrorist” (an arguably more apt description of someone who still thinks for the most part he did the right thing). Someone else sees racism in virtually every human interaction? That’s a “civil rights leader,” not a “race-baiting publicity whore.” (Or, “MSNBC host,” if you prefer.) Tea Party protesters? “Astroturf phonies and racists,” or as Andrea Mitchell recently characterized them on NBC, people committing “exaggerated forms of protest.” That would be as opposed to what Andrea considers “a real movement” – the filthy, confused, openly defecatory Occupiers. (Hey leftists – I didn’t just steal a word; I made one up! Take THAT.) Never mind that nobody was paying the Tea Partiers, and that multiple reports had Occupiers netting some type of personal benefit for their service to the cause – the mainstream media marionettes continue to dance to their puppeteer’s pleasure.
Back to our terribly misguided and dreadfully agitated Lefty writer at Crooks and Liars (speaking of an accurate use of the English language… but I digress), who rambles on for several tortured (and historically inaccurate) paragraphs bemoaning the fact that “liberal” has become a bad word in America, and that its meaning has been distorted. On this, dear Lefty writer, we agree. But not quite for the same reasons. Here’s the real truth of who bastardized this perfectly good word, courtesy of my friend John Wright:
“The Founding Fathers of this country were true ‘liberals.’ The original American politics were truly ‘liberal’ politics. In a sentence, what made original American politics liberal was their focus on individual liberties, founded on personal ownership of property, and with the least amount of centralized authority possible. All three of those elements are exactly 180 degrees contrary to Socialism. But about 100 years ago Socialism became known as what it is, and so the Socialists started calling themselves ‘Progressives.’ Eventually people figured out that the ‘Progressives’ were actually the Socialists under a new name, and so the Socialists starting calling themselves ‘Liberals.’ Now everyone thinks of Socialist politics as ‘liberal’ politics, when its love of state ownership of property, centralized authority, and limited liberty is contrary to true American politics. The Socialists have continued to get away with it because Conservatives never insisted on the use of accurate definitions. A Socialist is a socialist is a socialist.”
Ah, but our Lefty writer has something to say about the term “socialist,” as well:
“What is it in this definition that is so frightening to conservatives? Ah, there it is: (a system of ownership and operation of the means of production and distribution by a society or a community) rather than by private individuals. The 1 percent who own 40 percent of everything and don’t want to share it with anyone else.”
The writer’s ignorance is jaw-dropping, no? First, is she under the impression that socialism has ever shown itself superior to our current free market system in providing the greatest benefits for the most people (of ALL “classes”)? Second, even if her figures were correct, is she under the impression that the other 99% stand ready and willing to give up their (by her numbers) 60% of the stuff? Because we saw how well that private property sharing thing went over at the Occupy protests. Nobody was handing out iPads to their fellow campers. Third, does she not understand that with free markets, the 100% of what’s out there is a growing number, not a zero-sum game?
Ah, but she thinks tax protesters are bad, bad, bad…
“Paying for what you use, in proportion to what you use, should rightly be regarded as fair, with those who are unwilling not only unpatriotic, but actually stealing from the people.”
Wait a second. I agree with this, Miss Lefty! Those folks who use up all the social services should be paying SOMETHING for them, shouldn’t they? That would indeed be “rightly regarded as fair, with those unwilling not only unpatriotic, but actually stealing…” Heh. Methinks she ought to re-read what she wrote.
And she doesn’t like the term “tax relief” because that implies that taxes are an affliction. This is a red flag to me that we need to see her tax return. In my experience, a lot of the people bleating the loudest along these lines (*coughGeithnercough*) don’t even bother paying their taxes. Perhaps she’s a female version of the lefty loser hanging out in mommy’s basement. That would give her plenty of time to research and expose the evil that is America:
“The United States changed the name… to eliminate references to hunger. It’s now termed ‘food insecurity.’ One in four children in America probably couldn’t define food insecurity, but they can tell you what it feels like to go to bed hungry.”
One in four? Really? Where was this survey taken? Michelle Obama says everyone in the ghetto is fat because of McDonald’s, or something. So who’s going to bed hungry? (By the way, if the kiddies can’t define “food insecurity” or any “insecurity” or for that matter “food,” it’s due to America’s biggest flirtation with socialism – the epic failure of socialized education, aka public schools. Thanks, leftists!)
And speaking of thankful, I’m grateful to this writer for explaining why we should never say that “welfare” is bad. Because, see, if you look it up in a dictionary, it means “to fare well.” How can you Grinchy-Scroogy conservatives be against THAT, anyway? Geez.
A few more gems from this masterpiece:
“Lyndon Johnson launched the War on Poverty… and did enormous good for our country, reducing poverty significantly.”
Uh… statistical proof of this would be good. What? There isn’t any? Yeah, I KNOW.
“Conservatives are also thieves – they not only killed the War on Poverty, they then appropriated its framework… War on Drugs, then a War on Terror, with the emphasis on ‘war.’”
Confused? See, it’s like this. Lyndon Johnson didn’t steal the “war” idea from… well, from real war… because he was a good left-leaning president, and therefore incapable of stealing, or really anything bad. But Republican presidents started the War on Drugs and the War on Terror, so they shamelessly STOLE good Lyndon’s whole “war” theme. Those thieving word bandits!
This writer is especially upset that Republican strategist Frank Luntz has suggested we eschew the term “government spending” in favor of calling it “waste” (which by my reckoning is a pretty good thing to call “government spending” that involves, say, paying for an online soap opera.) For a writer who purports to explore the use of words, her lack of understanding of the term “irony” is rich. Does she not see a problem with Obama’s characterization of “government spending” as “investment”?
And speaking of irony, the writer actually explains how one subset of the Left, the gay community, has co-opted language to serve its purposes (both “gay” and “queer” being examples). Yet practically in the same breath, we get this mind-numbing nonsense:
“So what can we – as liberals – do to reclaim ‘our’ words from conservatives who have systematically framed every issue, spending huge amounts of money to manipulate language intended to promote their worldview while emasculating the left, who have done virtually nothing?”
Of COURSE. She’s on to our secret! We on the Right save all our pennies and send them directly to the Koch Brothers to go into the “emasculate the innocent Left” fund!
By the way, she says the answer to her poignant question (“what can we do?”) will come from researchers in cognitive linguistics at UC Berkeley (duh) where exists “one of the very few progressive think tanks in existence in the States.” (Insert snark here regarding use of terms “progressive” and “think” in same phrase.)
And in the biggest, fattest, juiciest irony of all – this writer – who goes by the pen name “nonny mouse” (get it? A-nony-mous) finishes her piece with dramatic flair:
“It’s time we liberals took back that power and restored their true definitions. I’ll start it off: I’m a liberal. And damned proud to be one.”
YES. Nothing like taking a brave, noble stand – anonymously.
Like they say - you can't make this stuff up.