Controlling the language is a big part of winning the cultural war. Social Security, Affordable Care Act, Department of Homeland Security, Patriot Act. The list could go on, but you get the idea. Make forced government programs run by millions of government employees with billions of dollars behind them sound like they are public charities designed for our best interests.
Then there are the more subtle control words like “progressive,” “war on women, “hate crime” “anti-immigration.”
Controlling the language controls the debate, as Frank Schaeffer noted in his book The Myth of Neutrality. He wrote the following before he went psychotic and joined the other side:
“Think of the use of labels to categorize political activity. Some labels are used to neutralize the actions of certain groups; others denote being ‘one of us,’ acceptable.
“The words ‘right wing,’ ‘fundamentalist,’ ‘pro-life,’ ‘absolutist,’ and ‘deeply religious,’ are put-downs more than categories. Conversely, think of the unspoken pat on the back and blessing that the following words convey: ‘moderate,’ ‘pluralistic,’ ‘liberal,’ ‘civil libertarian,’ ‘pragmatic,’ and ‘enlightened.”
Added to the list are “gay” and “homophobic.” Gay used to mean “happy” or “festive,” like in the line from “Deck the Halls”: “Don we now our gay apparel.” “Gay apparel” does not refer to a rainbow flag draped around a naked homosexual activist or the way many homosexuals dress for a Gay Pride Parade.
Homosexuals learned very early that it was necessary to control the language. They told us all about their strategy:
“In the early stages of the campaign, the public should not be shocked and repelled by premature exposure to homosexual behavior itself. Instead, the imagery of sex per se should be downplayed, and the issue of gay rights reduced, as far as possible, to an abstract social question.”
As Sigmund Freud wrote, “Groups are subject to the truly magical power of words.”
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