Reliving the bloodiest battles in the War on Language
Beth Reinhard wrote a short piece in The Wall Street Journal entitled "Abortion Battle Set to Rage Anew." Reading it, one can get the impression that there could be a shift in the culture war. And no, it's not that funding for Planned Parenthood is now in jeopardy with the election results – which, fortunately, is the case. Rather, it's the wording in the story that might be a harbinger of things to come.
Ms. Reinhard writes, "The mood in the pro-abortion rights community is grim." Do you see it? It has been a dog's age since the so-called pro-choice community has been properly labeled as being "pro-abortion" in a major publication. To refer to a candidate or some organization as "pro-abortion" would invoke howls of protest from the likes of Planned Parenthood, the Democratic establishment, and the mainstream media, causing a retraction.
So why the change? Maybe it was something that simply slipped past the paper's editors.
Or maybe it was the full-throat endorsement of abortion on demand, including the gruesome partial-birth procedure, by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party that precipitated the wording change. And then again, it might have been how Donald Trump exposed the hollowness of political correctness during his presidential campaign.
Whatever the reason, the change is refreshing...and healthy.
But more language corrections are needed. Too often, liberals have distorted language as a subtle means to advance their agenda. Who knows? Maybe soon the word "gay" will be dropped from describing homosexuals, and the accurate term "homosexual" will be used again. A "marriage" between two men is not a "gay marriage." It's a homosexual union. Of course, homosexuals object to this. They say the term "homosexual" sounds too "clinical," too harsh – that it has a bad connotation.
But by co-opting the word "gay" for their movement, homosexuals send a clear message that their behavior is happy and carefree. And although this is the opposite of reality, it still affects young and impressionable minds, making some venture into that lifestyle who otherwise wouldn't.
Here's another example. It is galling to have Democrat states referred to as blue and Republican ones as red. This is nothing less than a subtle form of propaganda. Although such labeling is ubiquitous today, it reversed a longstanding convention whereby red symbolized left-wing politics (rebellion, the Red Star, Red China, etc.), with conservative movements often blue in contrast. This strategic flip-flop was initiated by the late Tim Russert during his televised coverage of the 2000 election.
Please note that prior to entering the newsroom, Tim Russert was chief of staff to Senator Daniel Moynihan (D-N.Y.) and counsel to liberal Democrat Gov. Mario Cuomo. It was from this liberal political world that Russert was hired by NBC. Clearly, Tim Russert was one of many Democrat operatives posing as journalists. Another noticeable one is the delicate George Stephanopoulos, a senior adviser in the Clinton administration now embedded in ABC as a top "journalist."
Russert and those in the liberal media knew exactly what they were doing when they mislabeled the coloring of states. But the conservative intellectual class didn't seem to. They swallowed this distortion with nary a complaint. Conservative publications, one after another, complied with the red state-blue state model as if a law had been passed on the matter. Why? Is their excuse that they didn't want to confuse their readers? Somewhat more plausible, but still not excusable, is that in 2000, the conservative media, what with the internet and talk radio, might not have been as strong as it is today.
The liberal media is currently trying to delete "illegal alien" from our lexicon and replace it with "undocumented immigrant." Sorry, but no matter how much Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton may protest, such people are here illegally, and they are alien.
Because liberals have had control of the media for some time now, the public dialogue is polluted with their distorted, self-serving language. Readers of the American Thinker no doubt have their favorite examples. The point is that conservatives should never accept liberal-speak. It is past time that accuracy and honesty be restored to our language. And for heaven's sake, it is way past time that conservative media stop taking direction from the liberal media.