Progressives are expert at misbranding and using euphemisms to shape the terms of a debate. Let’s start with abortion.
Abortion ends a life and buries a potential that will never be realized.
As the character Bill Munn, played by Clint Eastwood in the movie Unforgiven, said, “It’s a hell of a thing killing a man. You take away everything he’s got and everything he’s ever gonna have.”
Given this unarguable reality, the lefty spin machine has given us: “reproductive rights,” “choice,” “reproductive health care,” and “women’s health care.” Notice what’s missing? No mention of the death of a human being and what could have been. Why? Because women vote, and fetuses don’t.
“Renewable energy” and “green energy” are outright falsehoods. There is no such thing as renewable energy. Energy always has a source, be it natural gas or solar cells. Both require a manufacturing process that relies on fossil fuels and consumes resources that are mined or drilled. Taken as a whole, there’s nothing green or renewable about either of them.
Whoever coined the phrase “environmental justice” should be charged with assault on the English language. Justice is a human concept. People who are wronged seek justice. The environment can’t seek justice because it isn’t human. Progressives claim to speak for the environment. If so, I want the progressive who claims he heard the environment ask for justice removed from office for mental health reasons.
This leads us quite neatly to healthcare. Progressives have branded their Venezuelan-style takeover of healthcare as the innocuous-sounding “Single-Payer,” “Universal Healthcare,” or the very utopian “Medicare for All”. It’s properly called nationalization, which is defined as “transfer from private to state ownership or control.”
Describing criminal border-jumpers as “Undocumented Immigrants” belongs in the euphemism hall of fame. Immigrants are people who are here legally. If they’re undocumented, they are illegal. If they’re illegal, they are most accurately called aliens. Alien means “not of this place.” An individual who violates immigration law to get here or stay here is an illegal alien.
The terms “weapon of war” and “assault weapon” is an attempt to brand every firearm as “military” and therefore too dangerous for public use. This argument is easily skewered. A single-shot revolutionary war musket was an assault weapon and obviously a weapon of war. Progressives will always mount an argument, no matter how silly.
Progressives hijacked the term “liberal.” Up until the 1930’s, liberals were people who believed in individual rights, limited government and economic freedom, which sounds like – you guessed it – conservatives. Now, “liberals” believe in group rights, centrally planned economies and big government.
“Democratic Socialism” is an oxymoron, using two contradictory terms. There is nothing democratic about socialism, which always requires extensive government control. It is elected tyranny.
Progressives control almost every part of culture, entertainment and news media. That’s how they get away with mangling the language. We can push back by, for example, calling “undocumented immigrants” by the correct term, illegal aliens. Doing this in our own lives makes it harder for progressives to frame the issues, and makes it easier to hold them accountable for the real damage that their policies do.
Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph.D.