Death by Metaphor? Arizona GOP Criticized for Wanting to Stop Dem Mark Kelly 'Dead in His Tracks'

Former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords and retired astronaut Capt. Mark Kelly speak to reporters in Phoenix on March 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Astrid Galvan)

The English language is a wonderful instrument of communication. Precise, yet subtle. Obvious, yet nuanced.

But the modern left has learned to weaponize the English language to the detriment of communication, politics, and the civilized exchange of ideas.


There is no more ludicrous example of this than the deliberate twisting of metaphors to mean something they don’t. If I were to say “Hang all Democrats from the highest yardarm,” everybody above the age of two knows that I’m not serious. Not only would I never kill anyone or advocate for their killing, but there isn’t a yardarm within a thousand miles of where I write.

Do you think that matters to the left?


The head of the Arizona Republican Party faced a backlash Friday after sending a fundraising email that said Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kelly, who rose to prominence when his wife was shot in the head, will be stopped “dead in his tracks.”

The email sent Thursday by Arizona GOP Chairman Kelli Ward highlighted Kelly’s advocacy for gun control, a cause the retired astronaut took on after his wife and then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords survived a 2011 shooting in Tucson that killed six and injured more than a dozen.

“Support the Republican Party of Arizona today and, together, we’ll stop gun-grabber Mark Kelly dead in his tracks,” Ward wrote.


So Gabby Giffords was shot, and her husband Mark wants to exploit that tragedy in service to his own personal ambition. How does saying the GOP wants to stop him “dead in his tracks” give offense, or threaten Kelly in any way?

The answer is, it doesn’t.

 “This dangerous rhetoric has absolutely no place in Arizona and is what’s wrong with our politics,” said Jacob Peters, a Kelly spokesman. “Mark Kelly is running for Senate to overcome this type of nasty divisiveness that does nothing for Arizonans.”

What’s wrong with our politics is liberals hijacking the English language and using it for purposes it was never intended for.

Stopping someone “dead in his tracks” is metaphorical. In this context, “dead” is not to be taken literally — unless you’re a brain dead liberal who actually believes that Kelly is being targeted or even threatened. It’s silly and stupid to imagine it.

Imagine this: There are people who get up in the morning, have a cup of coffee, maybe a little breakfast, sit down at their computer monitor and begin to search. They’re not searching for shopping bargains. They’re looking for something — anything — they can be outraged about. Hence, use of the word “niggardly” can get you fired. Or using “crosshairs” on a congressional district to designate an election target will get you accused of attempted murder.


It’s madness. And it’s what happens when language becomes a slave to ideology.

There’s a simple way to stop it: stop responding as if the argument is legitimate. Instead of complaining about the attack, ignore it. Better yet, make fun of it. Call the perpetrators out for being monumentally stupid.

It will take a while. But there are a lot of fair-minded people in America who recognize the idiocy for what it is: rabid, extreme ideology run amok.


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