Reclaiming language on the right
It has been said those who control the language of a nation control its culture. And if conservatives want to save America, it is time for us to wrest control of its language from our friends on the Left. I propose we begin the process by redefining ourselves as well as our political and cultural opponents.
First, conservatives must change the language we use to describe liberals. Yes, I know they prefer to be called "progressives." What most modern liberals truly are, are socialists. The term progressive was adopted by socialists of the early 20th century once people began to understand what "socialist" meant and it essentially became a four-letter word. Sadly, most rank-and-file liberals today, those who blindly accept and follow the liberal line, are not aware of that.
But back to my point: conservatives constantly refer to liberals as "elites." I am sure the term originally was intended to be an insult, a pointed reference to those on the Left as the self-described, self-anointed intellectual and social upper-crust. Conservative economist and philosopher Thomas Sowell even makes light of liberals' high opinion of themselves in the title of his book: The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy. The problem, of course, is liberals have taken the word to heart and now consider it an accurate description of their place in the world. To paraphrase a quote attributed to several different sources, liberals consider themselves "self-made, and worship their creator."
Of course, using "elite" to describe liberals not only is a misuse of the term but an insult to conservatives. The online American Heritage Dictionary defines elite as: "a group or class of persons or a member of such a group or class, enjoying superior intellectual, social or economic status." Obviously, the writer of that definition was thinking of conservatives - at least insofar as the intellectual and social references are concerned - and we certainly should claim those designations for ourselves.
Concerning economic status, a simple examination of Census and Federal Election Commission data show clearly that, despite liberal claims, (a) the true "fat cats" of American politics are members of the Democratic Party, (b) most major corporations in the U.S. donate the majority of their political cash to Democratic candidates, and (c) the wealthiest Congressional districts almost always send Democrats to Washington. It also is ironic that of those in the Republican rank-and-file, most have demonstrably less income than their Democratic counterparts but give much more of their money, both in percentage and in real cash, to their church and to charity.
At any rate, I would argue there are many other words which better describe the true nature of our liberal friends. One I would propose is "effete." The same online American Heritage Dictionary defines the word this way: "marked by self-indulgence, triviality or decadence; as in an effete group of self-professed intellectuals." I am sure you see the relevance. Another definition from the same online source is: "unable to produce, sterile." Liberals surely do not produce original ideas; as for sterility, we can but hope.
Thus it is obvious effete is a much more accurate term than elite when used to describe those on the opposite end of the political and cultural spectrum from ourselves. I especially like the reference to "self-indulgence, triviality or decadence," and find it ironic it parallels the original definition of the term "democrat." According to historian Joseph J. Ellis in his book Founding Brothers, the word originated as an epithet, referring to "one who panders to the crude and mindless whims of the masses."