Wednesday, January 13, 2016

How the Left Controls Language

As Dennis Miller is fond of saying, liberals have a War Room for everything but war.

Similarly, the left is ever eager to refer to any unacceptable behaviour as “terrorism,” so long as it isn’t what you or I or otherwise normal people would consider terrorism.

Consequently, a bunch of ranchers occupying a vacant building to protest government overreach is terrorism (or the work of Y’all Qaeda), but a Muslim fanatic gunning down his fellow soldiers while screaming “Allahu akbar” is “workplace violence.

An armed, incoherent recluse inside a Planned Parenthood clinic is a terrorist, but a man who shoots a Philadelphia cop and expressly states that he did so in the name of ISIS is “a criminal with a stolen gun.”

Coordinated rape gangs throughout European cities are to be ignored or explained away, but Donald Trump is the real terrorist.

To the left, terrorism is only terrorism when the perpetrator looks like Johnny Lawrence or Gavin McInnes’ dad.

I could go all day on the forced euphemisms deployed to defend Islam; or, more properly, to insist Islam has nothing to do with terrorism, the clear and unequivocal declarations of the perpetrators notwithstanding.

My friend Ezra Levant points out that in the Calgary Herald’s report on a shooting at a nightclub there, the reader is not informed that both attackers were named “Mohamed” until the twenty-fifth paragraph.

Right now, you’re on the ninth paragraph of this column. Even if you hate my guts (right back atcha, commie), is my meaning difficult to discern?

Opacity, evasion, and obscuring plain truths are liberal hallmarks. The left is all about control, and language is crucial to that ambition.

It’s not just matters of life and death, like Islamic terrorism, wherein liberals twist the truth and seek to co-opt you in their lie. It happens every day, in ways large and small. We must recognize these efforts, and resist them.

If you are a parent, perhaps you recently attended a “Winter” concert or celebration at your child’s school.

To whatever extent Christmas was referenced, you can be sure it was immediately diluted by the mention of other holidays, supposedly in the name of “inclusion,” “diversity,” and “tolerance.”

As G.K. Chesterton put it, “There are those who hate Christianity and call their hatred an all-embracing love for all religions.”

It would create an awkward, binary juxtaposition simply to present Hanukkah as the sole alternative to Christmas, so clueless educators toss in their favourite standby: Kwanzaa.

Honestly, do you know one person who celebrates this made-up, American holiday, invented by an FBI stooge? Does anyone other than schoolteachers ever refer to it without being ironic?

Yet there it is, stuffed in between the birth of Christ and a humongous menorah, perhaps along with some celebratory Gaia bush pruned by Ms. Foster-Jamal’s Grade 2 class.

Again, this isn’t about “diversity” or “inclusion” or any of the reasons leftists might give; it’s about pretending the period around December 25 is jam-packed with all kinds of sacred events, in order to crowd out the one thing even non-believers know is most important.

Lies about gender are ubiquitous these days and, unlike the grinning, passive-aggressive coercion surrounding a “Winter” concert, leftists are more aggressive here.

Even though he is a man in every biological sense, and achieved greatness and fame under his given name, if you fail to refer to Bruce Jenner as “Caitlyn,” you are worse than Hitler. Moreover, Twitter will correct you (and perhaps remove your checkmark).

New York City has now instituted six-figure fines for, “intentionally failing to use an individual’s preferred name, pronoun, or title” or “refusing to allow individuals to use single-sex facilities, such as bathrooms or locker rooms, and participate in single-sex programs, consistent with their gender identity.”

This is madness and a lie but, by controlling the language, the left seeks to control you.

Recently, my wife and I attended a restaurant opening and an old friend introduced us to a fellow of her acquaintance. We talked about how much fun our wedding was (I wore a kilt; the answer to your question is, “lipstick”).

When this new fellow spoke to my wife, he kept pointing at me and referring to her “partner.” After several, conspicuous repetitions of this, I asked him what he meant. Remember, gentle reader, that this chap had just been introduced to me as her “husband” and we were in the midst of talking about our wedding.

He at first feigned confusion at my question, then became prissily offended. He had many married friends, he informed me, who didn’t mind being referred to as “partners.”

My wife and I are not a law firm or a wrestling tag-team (though who knows what the future holds), we are married. Moreover, this man had been given our preferred appellation moments before. Yet, he apparently felt the need to adjust our language to suit his principles.

I wasn’t rude or aggressive in asking (when I’m being rude or aggressive, trust me, you’ll know it), but even my gentle pushback was enough for him to go nancing off and not talk to us for the rest of the evening.

Compare this with the recent news coverage of my old pal Seamus O’Regan and the conscientious well-wishes to him and his “husband.”

Seamus, as you may know, has entered a “wellness” program to embrace “an alcohol-free lifestyle.” For conservatives, this is called “rehab.”

I met Seamus when I was Best Man at his cousin’s wedding in Newfoundland approximately one million years ago. On and off thereafter, we had a number of good-natured, well-refreshed debates about policy. He was, incidentally, the first to spring that, “I’m not a leftist, I’m a classical liberal” routine on me – as though Edmund Burke would be Jake with gay marriage and abortion on demand.

It has been noted that, while decent people hope Seamus can quit drinking, he was positively gleeful in mocking former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford for his substance abuse.

As Seamus addresses his self-inflicted, first-world problems, don’t tell me he’s “courageous” while Rob Ford is a “disgrace,” or that Seamus has a “husband” while my wife has a “partner.”

Seamus’ case is not only an object lesson in how language is contorted to benefit the left, but also of how easy life is for liberals of limited talent and erudition who simply show up (Justin Trudeau, please call your office).

Finally, no contemplation of the left’s linguistic perversions is complete without some mention of the Clintons (though it depends what the meaning of “is” is).

On any issue, either or both of them can be counted on to parse, redefine, misconstrue and outright lie to serve their interests. But two recent instances stand out.

The first, briefly, was a telling moment in which an interviewer asked Donald Trump about Bill Clinton’s “alleged extra-marital affair.” Trump, bless him, was quick to point out Bill’s affair with Monika Lewinsky is not “alleged” but “admitted.” Moreover, well beyond an “affair,” the former president has been credibly accused of various forms of unwanted touching, harassment and rape.

This trick of the left may have worked in the 90s, minimizing Bill’s monstrous acts through the use of language, but it will be tougher this time around. Watch this space.

Second, asked recently to distinguish between a Democrat and a socialist, Hillary Clinton had no answer. The venue was friendly and the questioner was fellow Democrat Chris Matthews.

Even so, Hillary had no coherent reply, demonstrating that, for people who like to control words, liberals are surprisingly weak at deploying them.

This pertains to my swipe at Seamus (and Justin), above. The liberal worldview is all about control and mastery of superficial things, like language and words, but there is nothing of substance beneath that rapacious desire.

Here is a woman who aspires to lead what’s left of the free world, yet she has no cogent answer to a rudimentary question of public policy. It is because she has given no thought to anything but her own advancement.

This shows that for all their posturing and will to power, they are hollow and can be beaten.

You see it on the news, and in your daily life: small moves, subtle edits, and constant, picayune pressure to talk, think, and believe as they do. Speak your mind and let them pound sand.

Theo Caldwell is nodding his head like yeah, moving his hips like yeah. Contact him at