EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

July 20, 2013

Column: Conservatives should fight liberal word games

In her book “Statecraft,” the late, great British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher wrote: “Socialists have always spent much of their time seeking new titles for their beliefs, because the old versions so quickly become outdated and discredited.”

The Iron Lady was absolutely right, yet again.

America’s Democratic left craftily swaps the words associated with its policies. As public opinion or the facts start to escape them, presto! Their speeches, articles and TV appearances employ new language.

Leftists leave inconvenient lingo behind, like a snake’s abandoned skin languishing between desert rocks. Inexplicably, though, the Republican right usually adopts the left’s new parlance. This inadvertently advances the collectivist cause.

For instance, leftists understand that the word “liberal” telegraphs bloated, intrusive government at home, a blame-America-first posture overseas, and social programs propelled by victimology. Defining candidates as liberals often assures their defeat.

So, liberals started to call themselves “progressives.” Ah, much better! Everyone loves progress.

One cannot blame the left for this linguistic sleight-of-hand. After all, they like to win elections, too.

What is maddening is that conservative advocates unwittingly aide liberals in this rhetorical jailbreak. Too many officeholders and pundits on the right chomped into the left’s bait and began calling them progressives.

This habit is counterproductive.

If a bank robber wants to avoid capture, do not help him remove the outfit he wore to the heist. Consequently, conservatives immediately should stop calling leftists “progressives.” If statists spurn the liberal label, staple it to their lapels.

Likewise, since data from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellites confirm that Earth’s average temperature stopped rising in 1997, liberals quit banging the “global warming” drum.

Instead, they ring the “climate change” bell. This has the priceless advantage of encompassing all unusual weather. Three feet of snow in upstate New York over Memorial Day weekend? While this hardly sounds like “global warming,” liberals dub it “climate change.”

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