(Editor's Note: This article was first published by The Washington Times: at this location. It has been reposted with permission)
By Don Feder
T.S. Eliot said, “Humankind can’t bear very much reality.” In the case of so-called progressives — “very much” becomes hardly any.
I used to think the left used certain words and phrases to tilt the political debate in its direction.
I still do. But there’s more to it than that. Liberals aren’t just trying to mislead us but also themselves. They hide from reality in the undergrowth of cliches and catchwords.
They see themselves as morally superior beings who are defenders of civil liberties, open to reasoned debate and tolerant of opposing views.
In every case, the opposite is true. But they can’t admit it.
And as their minds close tighter and tighter, it becomes harder and harder to look in the mirror and not see a man in jackboots and an armband staring back at them. Thus, twisting reality into truly grotesque shapes has become a full-time occupation.
Arson and mayhem in the name of “racial justice” are excused as “mostly peaceful protests.” Ballot security laws to ensure election integrity are efforts to “disenfranchise minorities.” Conservative views are ever and always hate speech.
Florida’s measure to prevent the sexualization of young children is being attacked as the “Don’t Say Gay” law. Once the gold standard of wholesome entertainment, the Disney Corporation has quaffed this particular brand of Kool-Aid.
What opponents of the law are saying is, “How dare you try to stop us from indoctrinating your children.” But they can’t come right out and say it, so proponents are attacked as bigots who want to make sexual minorities invisible.
When the actual language of the law was read to them, more than two-thirds supported it in a Public Opinion Strategies poll.
In its “Guide to Language and Abortion,” The America College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists urges us not to say “baby.” ACOG demands that we stop using “inherently biased and inaccurate” language like baby or unborn child. Instead, it wants us to say embryo (for the first eight weeks of gestation) and fetus after that, up to the moment of birth. Both are suitably soothing terms that allow abortion supporters to hide from the reality of human reproduction.
The absurdity of this is manifest. When a pregnant woman visits her obstetrician, does he ask her, “So, how’s the fetus doing?”
We’re in for another surge at our southern border if Article 42 is repealed. Over a million were added to our population in 2021.
The media call them “migrants” instead of illegal immigrants — even though they entered the country in violation of our laws, hence, illegally.
But “illegal” is such a harsh (albeit accurate) designation. If we called a thing what it is, even some Democrats might be forced to act.
Then there’s the ongoing debate over Big Tech censorship.
One of the many things you’re not allowed to say on social media is that a man who thinks he’s a woman — and insists on being treated as a woman — is and will remain a man unless he’s figured out a way to change his genetic makeup.
Companies like Twitter and Facebook could say: We don’t like your ideas because we’re offended or threatened by them. Instead, we are told they violate unstated “community standards.”
Which community — Italian Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders? They won’t tell us. It’s Kafka-esque. Your viewpoint is on trial, but you won’t be told the charges — just that saying these things violates an unstated code of an unnamed community.
This reached its low point at Yale Law School recently when the Federalist Society could not hold a forum on free speech and religious freedom, which offended the “woke” community. Student protesters screamed and banged on walls so loudly that the event had to be canceled.
When told by the moderator that they were “disrupting the free speech of the speakers,” protestors shot back, “You’re disrupting us.” In other words, by trying to block the heckler’s veto, the moderator violated their civil liberties. They’ve embraced the doctrine (popularized by Cultural Marxist Herbert Marcuse) that voicing certain views constitutes an act of aggression.
Words can enlighten and inspire (like the Gettysburg Address) or indoctrinate, obfuscate and rationalize. Overwhelmingly, the left has chosen the latter.
It’s taking us to a dark place, where most don’t want to go. Someday, words may be replaced by sticks and stones — on both sides. Call it the revenge of the canceled.
- Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer and syndicated columnist.