Washington’s Language Renaissance

Member Group : Jerry Shenk

“Undefined words are a big handicap in logic, but they are a big plus in politics, where the goal is not clarity but victory – and the votes of gullible people count just as much as the votes of people who have common sense.” – Thomas Sowell

One hesitates to disagree with one of America’s finest minds, but, one can make an argument that the larger problem in politics is not “undefined words,” but the use of common words in ways that fool/mislead people, and trigger emotions.

Frankly, “logic” means little to people who prove the truth of an old aphorism-turned-Washington-mantra often attributed to Mark Twain: “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

Washington politicians are masters of misusing ordinary words to appeal to voters who see themselves as “victims,” and/or are envious of or have been taught to distrust others. Cynical politicians pit people and groups against one another to gain and keep power.

For example, Washington Democrats, a demographic seldom known for the scrupulous use of words’ precise meanings, have been bellowing for three years about a January 6, 2021 “insurrection” conducted by unarmed demonstrators, male, female, young and old, many of whom were revealed in subsequent surveillance videos to have been invited into the U.S. Capitol building by capitol police.

Let’s be honest. A few hundred entrants taking selfies and fist bumping cops is not an insurrection. Surely some people deserved charges, but prosecutions and multiyear prison sentences for hundreds, including absentees, is ridiculous.

Many rank-and-file Democrats have descended into such an advanced state of blissful ignorance that they cannot tell the difference between the events of January 6, and the 2020 riots perpetrated nationwide by Black Lives Matter, BLM sympathizers, and other criminal opportunists.

Those people, we were told, were not “rioters” but rather “protesters.” Despite lost lives and livelihoods and billions of dollars of theft and property damage – including to minority-owned businesses and federal buildings – their crimes were described as “mostly peaceful protests.”

As another example, America has a set of laws that define and regulate the admission of aliens, that is, anyone who is not a citizen of the United States. Any alien violating those laws to enter America or overstay legal visas has committed an illegality.

Accordingly, those people are “illegal aliens.” Full stop.

But, today, such objectivity is called “hate speech” by those who worry that every deportation is a lost vote. They prefer more anodyne terms such as “undocumented Americans,” “Americans without papers,” “refugees,” and their favorite heartstrings-tugger, “Dreamers.”

Nonetheless, such euphemisms make, or, at least, should make no difference to the law. But, no one, deceivers hope, is mean enough to enforce existing laws on “Dreamers.”

But, more than euphemisms are used to deceive the public. There’s also much to be learned about things that seldom or never appear in national media.

For example, if one accepts the premise that an essential element of President(ish) Joe Biden’s campaign agenda was to elevate Americans’ trust in government, how do the scandals that have enveloped his administration engender trust?

Depending upon your sources, you may have heard little or nothing about Biden’s scandals, because in-the-tank national media who repeat the left’s linguistic deceptions have also been bearding for Biden for years.

That suddenly changed, though, when media were forced to cover and quote a special counsel’s report that fueled concerns over Biden’s age and mental faculties.

Needing an excuse to protect Biden after detailing his illegal possession and misuse of classified documents dating back to his Senate days, the counsel, Robert Hur, declined prosecution, suggesting that Biden would make a sympathetic witness in his own defense due to his age and frailty, that a jury would not convict “a well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” and making reference to Biden’s “diminished faculties in advancing age.”

Outraged, an ungrateful Biden appeared on nation television to dispute the counsel’s report, insisting that his memory was just fine, oblivious to the reality that, if that were proven, the special counsel could be obligated to press charges.

Mentally/physically diminished or criminal, either delivers a potentially-mortal blow to Biden’s reelection prospects.

Accordingly, Trump-deranged media and Democrats (forgive the redundancy) need a Biden alternative, so the New York Times led, “The Question Is Not If Biden Should Step Aside. It’s How”

Euphemize that, Washington!