Written on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 by David L. Goetsch
Because they convey meaning, words can powerful tools. Hence, they should be used with care. Like most tools, words can be dangerous if used improperly. In fact, they can become weapons. Depending on the intentions of the speaker, words can either inform and communicate or deceive and manipulate. For two decades, liberal wordsmiths have been distorting the English language to deceive and manipulate Americans. So why do liberals find it necessary to distort the English language to deceive and manipulate? The answer is simple: because many liberal beliefs, practices, and policies are reprehensible to the American public. If these beliefs, practices, and policies were called what they really are, Americans would rise up and reject them.
One of the best examples of how liberals distort the English language to deceive can be found in what they call themselves: “progressives.” If the American left is progressive, then what is progress? Is bankrupting the American economy progress? Is using government entitlements to garner political support progress? Is encouraging an entitlement mentality progress? Is promoting a victim mentality progress? Is perpetuating racial strife progress? Is transforming America’s public schools and colleges into leftist indoctrination centers progress? If these things are considered progress, then the left is certainly progressive. But if these are seen for what they really are, the left should stop calling itself progressive and start calling itself destructive.
For another example of how the left distorts the English language to deceive and manipulate Americans, consider the term abortion. Abortion conjures up images that liberals want to avoid at all costs, images of unborn children being brutally torn apart in their mothers’ wombs. Not an image most people, including liberals, would want to be associated with. Consequently, liberal wordsmiths went looking for a different term, a term that would conjure up positive images.
In the process, abortion became choice, a term that not only distorts what actually happens during an abortion, but turns the discussion away from killing babies to supporting women’s rights. The new term was well chosen, particularly if your purpose is to deceive. After all most people want to be in control of their lives, to be able to make choices. Liberals want abortion to be about a woman’s right to choose, but they don’t want to talk about what that choice really means, nor do they want to admit that the unborn child has no say in the choice.
Another example of how liberals distort the English language to deceive and manipulate can be seen in their use of the term gay instead of homosexual. The word homosexual conjures up an image of sodomy, not a pleasant image. But the term gay is different. It is synonymous with pleasant sounding terms such as happy, joyful, cheerful, and glad. The fact that homosexuality is sodomy is not changed by giving it a nicer sounding name. But liberals understand that if you tell a lie often enough for long enough, people will come to accept it. This is exactly what is happening in America today with regard to homosexuality.
A practice that was once considered so reprehensible to American society that its proponents had to stay in the closet is now widely accepted. In fact, homosexuals have made substantial inroads during the Obama administration. They may now openly display their sexual preferences while serving in the military and, in a growing number of instances, may even marry.
To see just how successful the left has been in distorting the English language to manipulate public opinion on this issue, just ask yourself this question: When was the last time you heard a journalist use the term “homosexual”? In fact, when was the last time you heard anyone use the term? Rather, the term “gay” has gained almost universal acceptance. Even those who oppose homosexuality typically use the term “gay.”
Adopting the very terms used to manipulate you, is a sure sign that the other side is winning the battle. In other words, when conservatives allow liberals to dictate the words that will be used to describe controversial socio-cultural practices such as homosexuality, they are ceding ground on an important battlefield in America’s culture war. Words have meaning. As such they can be either useful tools or powerful weapons. The left has chosen to use them as weapons, and they are wielding these weapons with great effect. But there remains one inescapable fact the left cannot overcome in waging a culture war against conservative and Christian principles. If liberals cannot call the practices they favor by their real names, they are making a tacit admission that these practices are wrong. If these practices were right, liberals would be proud of them and would call them what they really are.