I intimated in an earlier Diary Entry that I would begin fleshing out ways to dislodge the radical left in the way we as Traditional Americans perceive the political battleground. For far too long, we’ve surrendered the battlegrounds of Moral Superiority, of Popular Culture, of Academic Folkways, and countless others– even as we shy away from effective engagement.
I’m not talking about listening to Rush Limbaugh, or Mark Levin (as important as that may be)… I am talking about the nitty-gritty, the one-on-one, the casual conversation over the break-room table, or on the dugout-bench, or over drinks at the couples’ shower.
Earlier, I pointed out how warped and misshapened the “logic” is for so many arguments of the Radical Left, and how we meekly accept its tortured state in polite society: Yes, we can lower the temperature of the earth by changing our light-bulbs, but we can’t make our country any safer by sealing off our southern border… We are pro-choice, unless it means the choice to send your child to a non-government school…
And so on.
One of the things the Radical Left has been very good –exceptionally good– at the past half-century is to control the language with a witches brew of perceived social embarrassment, moral superiority, and counterfeit sophistication. For example, folks with black skin have been properly addressed –and then just as improperly addressed at different times in my life alternatively– as “Colored People”, “Negroes”, “Afro-Americans”, “Blacks”… and as these labels fell out of favor, they morphed into “African American” and, now, most head-shakingly: “People of Color”. Never mind that the left never deigns to call them (or any of us, for that matter) “citizens” or, simply “human beings”, we Traditional Americans easily fall into the trap of their need to categorize and Balkanize because we don’t want to feel sufficiently hip and up-to-date.
We try on the latest jargonese in the same manner we try on the latest Johnston and Murphy’s. For many people, the itchy uncomfortability of not looking smart is one of the most dreaded of social faux pas. So, we speak with ease about “in-person dialogs” and “social justice” and “taking a haircut” and “climate change” knowing that the words “talk”, “fair”, “thrift” and “weather” will do just fine. But, using these bits of wordy jargon fits us in with the In Crowd.
Granted, as Traditional Americans we are hobbled in this language-race with the Smart Set: We want to be understood– in painful contrast with the liberal left: Our aim is advancement and edification, and thus, we choose our words for their ability to communicate, not obfuscate.
However, there was a time when traditional Western thought was able to carry the day: For example, one of the things that Winston Churchill did when he was finally plucked from the wastes of the Conservative back-bench and brought back into The Government was to rescue the language from the Chamberlains: The Local Defense Volunteers were renamed the “Home Guard”. And this simple word-stringing from one of the most brilliant political writers of the epoch.
Part of the problem in current cultural milieu is that, by lazily appropriating the Lexicon of the Left we tacitly accept their arguments: “Sustainable Energy”, for example, accepts the argumentation that traditional, low-cost forms of electrical generation aren’t “sustainable”. Why is expecting the wind to blow, or the sun to shine sustainable, and yet coal (where we have proven reserves in the hundreds and hundreds of years) isn’t? And what of Breeder Nuclear Reactors, or daisy-chained Pebble-bed Atomic Reactors? In some ways, these forms of energy are about as sustainable as the sun itself. But, in the Leftist Hall of Mirrors, they are “unsustainable”.
Thus, we must stop the use of, well, “sustainable”– at least to the extent that it applies to things other than the national debt. But: more to the point, we must START using other terms.
STOP saying “Wealth Redistribution”. It smacks of Scrooge McDuck throwing dollar bills out the window. Instead START saying “Wage”, or “Paycheck Redistribution”. STOP saying “Public Television”– START saying “Government Television”. And, my personal favorite: stop saying “Gender” when you mean “sex”.
“Gender” is a strictly linguistic term that applies to the use of words in languages (such as Spanish) where most words are either “Female” or “Male” or “Neutral”. Human beings (even at the most molecular level) thus, have no “gender”– they have a “sex”– a simple, binary “either-or”. The use of the word “Gender” in place of “sex” has been undertaken by the left to muddy the waters of basic humanity, and the traditional civil society. If the hedonistic, anti-family left can destroy even basic tenants of western thought (for example, that folks are either male or female–) then they have indeed sown the seeds of the cultural hurricane. A hurricane, by the way, that can only be sorted out by the heavy hand of a ubiquitous, all-powerful government.
A “swamp” used to be a “swamp”– until the radical authoritarian left wanted to confiscate as much private property as it could. A vast swath of Michigan, in fact, from practically the southern tier of “Cabinet Counties” to the Saginaw Bay nearly 100 miles north was once called the “Chandler Swamp”, and rather vast resources of the state were used to drain it and inhabit it. Now, it is called by various, more scholarly-sounding names, and swaths of it are regularly seized in the name of “wetland banking”.
Words are exceptionally powerful. They are all we have to communicate ideas. As a test: Try to imagine a tree without using the word “tree”– it cannot be done– the word predates the thought-ways in our minds (in fact, some sociologist believe that this is the reason infants cannot “remember” in an adult sense: They don’t yet have the language to contextualize what they are seeing).
Fascists, Leftists and other authoritarians have always understood the power of language. Thus, the Army of post-World War One Germany morphed from the Reichswehr (more or less “National Defense”) to Wehrmacht (more or less “Defense Power”). It is also why the communist Chinese finally got fed up in the 1980’s with the continued translation of “Pee-Ching” as “Peking”, and started to get their panties all a-twist and demand their capital be pronounced “Be-jzing”. “Peking” was how Chaing’s supporters pronounced it; not Mao’s.
Which brings us to the prospect of “Vote Slavery”– and the quest for Traditional Americans to beat the left at their own Language Game.
Every four years, leftist Democrats have their electoral time-card stamped with the guaranteed “black” vote; and, in return, they ignore the real plight of black Americans of African descent. The whole of my life I have witnessed the specter of black malaise, and despite these 50 years of Democrat hand-wringing over the heartbreaking plight of Black Americans, all the Democrats have done about it is fear-monger and race-bait. As Lydon Johnson (in)famously said about Black Americans when he signed the 1965 Voting Rights Act, “I’ll have those n—–s voting Democrat for 150 years now!” I call this Democrat Vote Slavery.
Black America delivers it’s votes to the Democrats; Democrats deliver the welfare programs. Nothing more. Democrats don’t deliver self-worth, or pride in accomplishment, or belief in the value of hard work well done. They deliver soulless life on the authoritarian plantation. They offer Vote Slavery: We push the Government Goodies– but you give us your votes. Or else.
Democrats look at Black Americans as Vote Slaves. So, let’s use these words –these inflammatory, front-loaded words. Let’s beat them at their own game, and put them on the defensive, and tell us why they don’t believe in Vote Slavery. Exactly when, Mr. Democrat, did you stop beating your wife?
Traditional, Constitutional Americans need to take the language as seriously as does the Left. Our speech should be direct, colorful and cuttingly simple. Imagine, for example, the uproar the next conservative president would churn up simply by changing the name of the Defense Department back to the War Department — as it was for 140 years. Other than new signs and foolscap, it would cost practically nothing, and it would send shivers down the spines of most of our enemies– without purchasing a single bullet.
At whiles, each of us can think of examples. And use them when speaking at your Bible Study, or Class Reunion, or in line at the Food City.