That latest tsunami in a saucer– the NPR kerfuffle and their back-handing of Juan Williams– is one of the most jaw-dropping incidents of how far down the road America has gone in losing its language. How anything Williams said can even remotely be mistaken for racist or bigoted is bizzaro-land stuff. Obviously, the words "bigot" and "racist" have no objective definition any more. Words used to have actual, definable meaning. Not any more.
In fact, when we speak at all, we speak mostly in code. Or, worse yet, in jargonese. One of the biggest crimes in America these days is not that we’ve failed to protect our citizens against tyranny, or from external murderous threats, it’s that we are always on the verge of offending someone with our language . Thus, we don’t take our trash to the "dump" anymore (for this implies an almost criminal disregard for natural resources), we take it to a "landfill". Strangely, the trucks that enter landfills are still called "Dump Trucks", although now, they proceed with their loads to the "Tipping Floor". The difference between "Tip" and "Dump" is much to sublime for a craggy old conservative like me, I guess.
And I won’t even go into how your effigies would illuminate the countryside if you were to use the term "colored people", although you are given great huzzahs for saying "people of color".
Similarly, The only "swamp" we can drain anymore is the one Nancy Pelosi supposedly tackled in her days of yore. The rest are all "wetlands" now. (Imagine Queen Nancy of Ashbury saying "I came to Washington to Mitigate the Wetland!") My electric company used to be called "Consumer’s Power". This sounded a little too alpha-male for the pantie-twisters in the marketing department, so they renamed it "Consumer’s Energy" a few years ago. "Scrap Drives" long ago became "Recycling Programs".
Some towns used to have "Road and Street Commissions". Now they have "Departments of Intermodal Transportation", for this implies use on the streets by all manner of vehicles, from skateboards to bicycles to (I suppose) Big Wheels (-of course, only one of these "modes" actually pays use taxes, but– no matter). Towns used to "Court Houses". Now they have "Government and Community Justice Centers". "Jails" used to have "guards" with "prisoners". Now we have "inmates" in "correctional facilities" watched by "corrections officers".
There used to be "sexes". Now there are "genders". The reason for this is that there can only be two sexes (a very patriarchal concept), while there can be several "genders", with lots and lots of gray area. Most people have forgotten that "gender" is strictly a linguistic term, referring only to the maleness or femaleness or sexlessness of nouns in certain languages. Now, though, in an effort to neuter everyone , we have "genders". Hey, honey, lets go have some wet and wild gender.
You’ll note there are no more "-men". No firemen, no workmen, no policemen. There are only fire fighters, workers, and law enforcement personnel. The only exception to this is "gunman", which, as we all know, are those people that go around shooting up post offices and school campuses, and, well, they always are men . Except when they are wacko leftist professors who happen to be women who do the shooting, then we simply have a stroke and ignore the whole story.
One of the greatest examples of fetal sublimation of the language was when Harry Truman decided we were no longer going to have a "War Department", we were going to have a "Defense Department". Only, to my knowledge, the Constitution authorizes congress to declare war , not defense , which might be why we’ve not done so since 1941. Imagine the hyperventilating George W. Bush would have induced if he merely changed the name of the "Defense Department" back to the "War Department" on September 12, 2001.
Words are very, very powerful, and the Left has known this for three generations, and Conservatives have ceded every inch of territory in the battle. This must stop.
One of the first acts that Winston Churchill undertook upon arriving at Number Ten in 1940 was to rename the "Local Defence Volunteers". He rechristened them the "Home Guard". Prior to that, the "LDV" was routinely derided as the "Look Duck Vanish", a collection of old men that supposedly scurried like mice at the first hint of unrest. Churchill was a wordsmith, and understood the power, the brilliance, the depth that words have for reaching the human soul. People flocked to the Home Guard.
It’s an important lesson. A "bigot" used to be an entrenched ward boss that wrote legal codicils into title deeds that forbade the sale of land to women, or jews, or "chinamen" or blacks. Now, evidently, it is a word that applies to black men that feel threatened by certain ethnic groups the likes of which make up 100% of the population that have mass-murdered more than 3,000 people in America in the last nine years. A "racist" was a southern Governor that set rampaging dogs on crowds of peaceful black demonstrators. Now, a "racist" is a man with a radio show that has 30 million listeners who wants to buy an NFL franchise. The sad fact is, though, that there are still real bigots, and real racists, without regard to how we bastardized the language, but now we have no words to describe them. So, the whole exercise in communication is becoming rather futile.
So, one of the things I will suggest to the incoming congressional Republican Majority: Retake the language. It costs nothing, but it is powerful (if it weren’t, the Left wouldn’t have invested so heavily in destroying it over the last fifty or sixty years). If you can’t repeal the monstrosity of Obamacare, rename it: For now it is the "Patient Protection and Affordability Act". Let’s call it what it is: "The Medical Treatment Restriction Act". "Overseas Contingency Operations" will henceforth be called "Terror Hunting Squads". "The Corporation for Pubic Broadcasting" shall be renamed "State-Funded Radio". "Clean Energy" shall become "Luxury Energy". "Progressive" shall be "Statist".
You get the point.