Straightforward eloquence is not a virtue we have been subjected to lately. Disillusionment seems to reign the day as cognitive dissonance and a near universal lack of objectivity has permeated even our most trustworthy sources of news and information. Although hyperbole and self-aggrandizement are nothing new, their effectiveness and usage rates seem to be increasing exponentially. In short, activists, commentators, journalists, professors, and even pastors have played a part in Stealing Language.
I have long believed that media bias is much more pervasive and influential than most people understand, and although the medium of news is evolving quickly, nightly network news, pop culture television shows and websites, major newspapers and magazines still rule the day. Simply stated, the average American’s source of news rarely delves deeper than a glance at yahoo news or a snide remark from a celebrity. Since most people, especially my generation and younger, don’t have a grasp for the persuasive power of today’s biased media, I wanted to take a look at a few of the many examples where liberals repeatedly and effectively manipulate language to the point that most Americans under 30 by default view themselves as democrats. I’ve been compiling a compelling list of examples that liberals in the media and elsewhere use to deflect, discredit, marginalize, and stifle debate. This is the first in a series of posts where I will document examples of language manipulation. In no specific order, let’s begin.
Reproductive Rights – The phrase may seem counter intuitive, but to the left, it is a right that they would fight to the death to save. And that’s the god given right to…. abortion… I’m not joking. A few months ago, Democrats were scrambling to salvage their health insurance reform bill, looking to buy off votes from Democrats in moderate districts. One of those Democrats was Bart Stupak, Representative from my hometown and Michigan’s First District. The amendment to the bill would not allow for public funding to pay for abortions, a common sense idea that would take the morally sensitive onus off of traditionally minded people, not to mention the constituents Stupak represents. Given the left’s response to this buy off, you would have thought that Stupak killed Bambi. He was excoriated and vilified along with anyone else who dare be for the sanctity of life, believing that unborn babies deserve the same liberties that PETA believes should be bestowed upon Chickens and Rats. Celebrities and liberal pundits of all kinds attempted to shame Conservatives who were “Anti Women’s Reproductive Rights.” To not be in favor of the ability for women to extinguish their unwanted pregnancy, even at the dime of the taxpayer, you are Anti Women’s Reproductive Rights.
Investments – You would think the definition of investments would be simple enough. Only to find out that our current administration has been using the term “investment” interchangeably with the term “spending.” Although the difference is obvious and clear, when a moving and popular president plugs “investments in people”, the meaning is meant to get lost in the wash of emotional rhetoric. If you believe that all spending regardless of its direction and consequences is synonymous with investing, then President Obama has made more investments than any president in the history of our nation.
Obstructionists & The Party of No – The Left along with their media allies have been working feverishly to paint all Republicans as Obstructionists who say NO to everything. Although the definitional description may be correct as the right has done everything in their power to stop or stall pending legislation, President Obama and his leaders have beaten a simple drum; Republicans are deliberately interfering with their majority progress, and in turn have no ideas of their own. Citing with certainty based on specious reasoning, the left will tell you the right’s opposition ranges narrowly from; they are angry that we have a black president; to they don’t care if children go to bed hungry at night. They simply will not admit that average Americans are genuinely worried with ever-increasing government. Not to mention it’s tough to get your ideas out there and passed when you are in the overwhelming minority constantly fighting off the encroaching tentacles of the Obama Bureaucracy. They truly believe their agenda is so right with common sense that no educated and rational person could disagree with it, lest they be for wicked or disingenuous reasons.
Even faced with steadily decreasing poll numbers as formerly uninvolved citizens are joining the debate, the beat goes on. A recent common theme is that Republicans have no ideas of their own, especially in regards to Health Care Reform. Now we’re being told that the current Health Care Bill is chalk full of Republican ideas. So which is it?
Health Insurance Reform – Upon entering office, President Obama immediately outlined his lofty agenda with Healthcare Reform as an integral part of his three-tiered approach to overhaul Healthcare, Education, and Climate Change. The discussion and proposed legislation was initially billed as Healthcare Reform to curb costs and cover the uninsured. On record touting a desire for universal healthcare, the debate began under the guise of our moral necessity to provide healthcare to all along with the immediate need to squelch rising costs. A bill was put forth that included a Public Option to compete directly with private insurance. As town hall protests around the country erupted at the idea of another major government intrusion into our lives, the debate has moved, morphed and subsequently landed into the idea of Health Insurance Reform.
Both sides have played politics in this fight, and both have played a part in hurting the noble cause of reforming a highly regarded system that’s simply on an unsustainable path. Unfortunately the Democrats have provided us with the most egregious example of language deconstruction in regards to Healthcare. They are looking at passing this widely unpopular bill through the process of “reconciliation”, a tool originally created in 1974 for the Senate to pass budgetary measures with a simple majority vote. Yes Republicans have used this tool for other types of bills, but never for anything with as far-reaching implications that will fundamentally change our way of life. Sadly the media is helping this idea along, repeating the mantra of “Broken Government.”
Just five years ago, the same Democrats who are praising the idea of “saving” the American people using reconciliation, were systematically screaming bloody murder when George Bush was trying to use it for judicial nominations that had been stalled repeatedly by Democrats. Billed then as a “Nuclear Option”, prominent Democrats said, “it will change the character of the Senate forever”, that we were “on the precipice of a constitutional crisis”, that it is “the arrogance of power of the Republican Administration”, and it is “a naked power grab”, etc. Suddenly when it comes to passing a bill larger and more intrusive than anything passed in the last 50 years, the “nuclear option” isn’t so nuclear anymore.