Watch Your Language

It is everywhere, the endemic use of language to support a particular world view. I thought about this seeing someone ask if China was the greatest threat to the USA. Look at that word. Threat. Loaded with menace. It is filled with visions of ‘yellow men’ pouring out of tunnels to invade the USA. Challenge would have been a better word because it suggests the actual work of the USA is to meet China’s economic prowess.

One person’s freedom fighter is another person’s terrorist. One person’s visionary is another person’s political nightmare. And the press are foul at the way they label people knowing the power they have to sway public opinion. The words they have to generate empathy against those to generate hostility. Psychologists and linguists understand the usage, the positive and negative words; the whole history of idiom and connotation.

Talking things up and talking things down. This is the work of people who have an axe to grind, who want you to be swayed to their opinion. They are not objective thinkers they are manipulators. And yet people the world over don’t particularly want the objective, rounded arguments so they can draw their own conclusions, they want to be spoon fed their view of the world. If someone on TV spouts what they already believe without challenging it, they love that person for being of like mind.

It seems the greatest threat to the USA is the one third of its population with so little education or so much money they think the Tea Party is about freedom and not about power.  Is about justice and not incipient racism. Is about defending a Constitution and not redefining it.

Once you know the words, you know the intent.

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February 2019
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