The Language of Destruction
February 2, 2015
Years ago I cancelled my subscription to the Los Angeles Times. The reason: the paper’s editors decided to change the phrase “illegal aliens” to “undocumented workers.” Instantly they removed fact, thus truth from readers, clouding their understanding. Law breaking, a serious problem involving national borders and security became, with that edit, mere absence of official papers – a reader ho-hum. Shouts for amnesty weren’t far behind.
As a veteran journalist, I consider the Times’s edit a violation of core journalistic ethics. I’d been taught to tell the truth in news stories as best I knew it - regardless of politics. Politics was for the editorial pages. The Times’ decision was as close to heresy as a newspaper could get. More importantly, it was an early example of “political correctness” or “PC” - dominance of politics over ethics and facts. PC is a scourge. It threatens to help destroy America.
Exaggeration? Consider this: Political correctness is as formidable a weapon as a nuclear bomb – possibly better. Without bullets or explosion, it makes the recipient confused, near blind to the threat and thus unable to effectively fight back. And unlike a nuclear attack, there’s no physical devastation.
Such a weapon is the current phrase “War on Terror.” It’s classic PC – untrue, nebulous and thus confusing and disarming. Who is the enemy - terror? Terror is a tactic - not a soldier or army. The enemy is unidentified - a phantom, a ghost. How do you defeat an enemy undefined, unseen? You can’t. Thinking is clouded. Successful strategy is impossible – as evidenced by the current failed “War on Terror.”
Political correctness dictates that Islam, the real enemy in the “War on Terror,” remain unnamed. Innocents will suffer, is argued. Shielded, Radical Islam has been able to carve out a safe-haven in the Middle East. I fighters can now plan and execute their savagery in secrecy and safety. Already they beheaded, crucified, burned to death their victims. They masscred untold innocents, including children. These innocents are real – not possibles as the West’s PC restriction forecasts. What kind of trade off is that? Unfortunately, it’s the policy of the USadministration and its backers, even Republican leaders.
On 60 MinutesSunday House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – both Republicans - consciously avoided using the word “Islamic” when discussing America’s current enemy. They would only call it “Radical Terrorism.” Anomalous “terror” has so clouded the nation’s thinking that the Obama Administration and most of the press still talk as if Americais fighting a variety of different groups – Al-Queda, ISIS, Boca Haram. Not so. The groups may have different names but each is a part of the same enemy with the same religious motivation - Radical Islam which decrees death or slavery to all who don’t adhere. Were the SS, Brown Shirts and Gestapo different enemies? Each was part of Hitler’s Nazi Germany war machine and the Allies had to think of them as one in order to win. That is not happening now.
“War on Terror” is the most destructive language distortion today. But there are many others:
Take “diversity” and “multi-culturalism.” These words, especially “diversity,” used to mean difference or variety, usually exotic, always pleasant. Today they are war cries of the Left against what is portrayed as an evil, racist America which must be punished and it’s “victims” paid retribution. These two words are used to rewrite history, often falsely, justify massive illegal immigrant influx, push for amnesty and grant taxpayer-funded entitlements to illegals and victims of the so-called past transgressions. Spies and saboteurs take advantage. Pandering corporation officials and politicians embrace PC hoping to profit. The wealth-drain and false history weakens American resolve and security.
“Climate Change,” which used to be called “Global Warming” until proponent scientists were caught faking data, is one of the newest and cleverest destructive phrases. The word “climate” means change. Climate has been changing since creation. But the combination to those without the time or inclination to investigate appears foreboding. Beware! Something sinister is happening. Humans are hurting the environment. Global Warming might be a threat but it is not a fact. Large numbers of respected scientists disagree that its signature is new or man made. Valid studies support them. At the least, the issue is in debate. But with two trick words a false impression is presented and the destruction of American industry and jobs that started with “Global Warming” continues. Companies are bankrupted with punishing regulations, millions of jobs are eliminated, families, the backbone of moral strength, are weakened.
The list of untrue and destructive PC words and phrases is long:
“Data collection” – it really means surveillance.
“Investment” – government spending or taxes
“Fair share – redistribution of wealth, a phrase which itself means stealing.
“Revenue” – taxes
“Gun safety” – gun control
“Healthcare reform” – socialized medicine.
“Dysfuntional Congress” – one that doesn’t agree with the president or the Left.
“Human rights activist” – one who works for Leftist causes
“Rightwing extremist” – one who works for Conservative or Republican causes
“Reproductive rights” – abortion
Each of these distorts, lies and confuses, and as such is helping undermine America. The manipulation of language in this way is a tactic of America’s enemies. As Sol Olinsky, one of the chief proponents of this tactic, taught: Say a lie enough and it will be believed.
Robert K. Wilcox is an author, journalist and historian whose latest book is Target: Patton: The Plot to Assassinate Gen. George S. Patton.
Visit Robert K. Wilcox's web site at http://www.robertkwilcox.com