It has long been said that the side that defines the vocabulary of a debate wins the debate. This is why the Left has ever manipulated language, advancing their version of “Newspeak.” Conservatives will generally parrot this reflexively, which is why it was surprising to read that the Trump administration banned the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from using seven terms, such as “transgender” and “fetus,” in official budget documents. What wasn’t surprising was a later report that there may be no such “ban” at all.
As the Washington Post reported Friday:
The Trump administration is prohibiting officials at the nation’s top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases — including “fetus” and “transgender” — in official documents being prepared for next year’s budget.
Policy analysts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta were told of the list of forbidden terms at a meeting Thursday with senior CDC officials who oversee the budget, according to an analyst who took part in the 90-minute briefing. The forbidden terms are “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”
This was welcome news for those who’ve watched the Left completely co-opt the language. Having said this, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), under which the CDC operates, has denied the report:
A possible explanation for these conflicting stories is that there isn’t a “ban,” per se, but more of a recommendation. After all, if you want to get money from a largely conservative Congress, it may help to use language they find palatable (though with conservatives’ acceptance of leftist innovations, one wonders how necessary this is).
Whatever the case, the story didn’t sit well with leftist media, whose braying complaint could be summed up as, “How dare you try to manipulate our language manipulation!” — that is, if they had the self-awareness to understand this is all that’s happening. As the Counterfeit News Network’s (CNN’s) Chris Cillizza opined:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention word warning is part of the broader pattern of behavior we've seen in the first 11 months of the Trump administration. The unwillingness to acknowledge a shared set of facts, the persistent falsehoods from the President on down, the relentless attacks on the news media for alleged bias — all of those things are part and parcel with this sort of move at the CDC.
Trump has set the example from the top: You are only limited in how far you can push the envelope by how far you are willing to push the envelope. There are no rules anymore except the rules you create for yourself. Truth is in the eye of the beholder — and anyone the beholder can convince. You take as much as you can take — until you run into someone who can stop you from taking anymore.
A more staggering example of projection has seldom been witnessed. The people who’ve made moral relativism/nihilism (e.g., “Whatever works for you”) fashionable complaining about Truth being “in the eye of the beholder”? Really? And the media’s “alleged bias”? Is this the same CNN dubbed “The Most Busted Name in News” after a sting operation produced video of CNN figures admitting they knew the Trump-Russia collusion story was nonsense but were pushing it anyway (video below)?
It’s amazing how the Left will howl when conservatives stop being conservative, for a moment, and actually push back against leftist social engineering. But not noticing leftist language manipulation is understandable: Being a continual, long established phenomenon, it often blends seamlessly into the culture.
But let’s start with the Obama administration’s not-so-seamless word twisting. It mandated replacing “juvenile delinquents” with “justice-involved youth,” which sounds like teens studying criminology. “Boots on the ground” became “direct action on the ground”; “terrorist attack” became “man-caused disaster,” which sounds like the election of Obama; “rogue states” became “outliers”; terrorism at work became “workplace violence”; “war” became “kinetic military action”; and the “global war on terror,” itself euphemistic (“terror” is a method, not an adversary), became “overseas contingency operations,” to name a handful of examples. Obama also banned the terms “Islam” and “jihad” from national security documents.
Other terms leftists have sought to eradicate/ban, on college campuses and elsewhere, are “birthdays,” “poverty,” “divorce,” disease,” “hunting,” “junk food,” “religion,” “male,” “female,” “illegal alien,” “violate,” “man up,” “he,” “she,” and, well, you could probably find hundreds more examples.
So the Trump administration’s efforts here are a long overdue pushback. And let’s consider their substance:
• “Transgender” — This term should be eradicated. Conjured up not that many years ago, it describes an impossible process, made-up state of being and an agenda behind which there’s no scientific evidence whatsoever.
• “Fetus” — While in Latin the term often referred to a newborn, that meaning has been lost. Today, the word serves to distance people from the reality that a baby in the womb is just that, a baby.
• “Entitlement” — This implies, of course, that the recipients are “entitled” to handouts — which are exactly what are at issue.
• “Vulnerable” — As American Thinker writes, “This word has been used by liberals to mean many things, depending on the context. Someone could be “vulnerable” to drug use, meaning he's a drug addict, or someone could be “vulnerable” in the sense that he is incapable of holding a job or earning a living. I suggest using “lazy” as a more descriptive term.
• “Diversity” — This has become a euphemism for balkanization and the destruction of Western culture.
• “Evidence-based” and “Science-based” — American Thinker again: “These phrases have been perverted to present opinion, and blatantly false ‘research,’ as incontrovertible fact. The global warming scam comes immediately to mind. Liberals use this phrase to shut down any discussion of the global warming agenda. Not only has science become politicized and perverted, but even the language describing it has, so now the term ‘science-based’ has actually become a liberal code phrase to represent the perversion of science.”
Just as the Soviets and Nazis had their speech codes, leftists have been watching our tongues for decades. It’s about time we watched our tongues and made sure they’re not tilting left with every argument uttered.
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