Triump’s Trials and Tribulations: The Power of Words
Since liberals control the media, entertainment, the courts, and the classroom, they control the words. Language both reflects our thought process and informs it. For better or worse, words have connotations, and people avoid association with negative terms. Saul Alinsky in Rules for Radicals says controlling language is key to acquiring power.
President Trump, a master persuader and devotee of Norman Vincent Peale’s classic The Power of Positive Thinking, understands language. He knows how to use negative words to deflect opponents’ attacks. Examples include his famous nicknames (Crooked Hillary, Sleepy Joe) and his infamous tweets. A glance at Showbiz CheatSheet’s 20 most outrageous Trump tweets reveals he tells it like it is. #11, for example,“You are witnessing the single greatest witch hunt in American political history…” refers to the Mueller investigation and was scoffed at before proven true.
The Power of Positive Thinking recommends Bible passages as brain tools to create prosperity. It warns against negative speech. So President Trump, whose belief in God is stronger than it appears, use today’s instant, international media to send direct messages - usually positive and motivational - to specific audiences. His words turn negative - and memorable - when an enemy crosses a line. When Trump says, "We have the best economy in the world,” his positive hyperbole motivates the public to create just that. But by calling Kim Jong Un “Rocketman,” Trump threatens Kim and diminishes his power. Trump doesn’t cares what the public thinks about his tweets; they are tools to motivate or combat specific targets.
Some conservatives prefer dryer, factual language. As the party of personal responsibility, we think we aren’t easily manipulated. But we’re wrong. That artists and writers populate the Left gives it an advantage. Below is a partial list of words the Left has used over decades to manipulate Americans into living its agenda.
“Politically correct” first appeared in the early 20th century to describe overzealous Communists. The Nazis used it to vet party members. By the 1980s, it became code among American liberals to self-identify. By the ’00’s, Americans feared being seen as “incorrect.” Now, with Trump, correctness has begun to seem ridiculous - even to some liberals. That's because, by crudely calling a spade a spade, Trump diminishes the Left’s control of words.
“Progressives” - code for Communists - have co-opted words like “Fairness” and “Justice” to persuade Americans to redistribute wealth. Since America is powerful, it must be broken into bits to be beaten. So America is “multicultural” and “diverse” rather than one united country of immigrants from international backgrounds. “Diversity” divides individual against individual, making the whole easier to manage, while “multicultural” dissolves borders, leaving citizens with little identity.
Make no mistake: the goal of identity politics is to destroy identity. It’s vocabulary feels schizophrenic. Over 60 years, “colored people” changed to “people of color,” “negroes” became blacks, blacks became Afro-Americans, (avoiding association with the Afro hairstyle, they became Black again) and, thanks to Barack Obama, they’re now “African Americans.” We have Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans, but no European-Americans. They’re “white;” being “white” is incorrect. Replacing “nigger” with the “n - word” undermined our freedom of speech by making incorrect vocabulary a crime. In the 70’s, homosexuals and lesbians sought power by uniting under harmless sounding “gay.” Today “gay” has splintered into 63 terms - each, if Nancy Pelosi has her way, a protected class. The distasteful sounding “Cisgender” replaces “Straight,” slang for the accurate “heterosexual.” Addicts and hobos are “homeless,” describing the result of their actions but not how they live. In short, our words divide and confuse us.
Without accurate words to reflect our identity, we’re open to attack. To paraphrase Saul Alinsky, no one will notice the revolution is happening if they’re upset about something commonplace like the weather. That’s why “Climate Change” replaced “Global Warming,” which replaced the ‘70s “Global Cooling.” Now, to combat Trump’s policies, the Left has created urgency by replacing “Climage Change” with “Climate Crisis.”
A hundred years ago, Progressive John Dewey, the decimal system guy, discouraged the study of logic and replaced it with “critical thinking,” a euphemism for Marx’s “critical theory. “A ‘critical theory’ has a distinctive aim: to unmask the ideology falsely justifying some form of social or economic oppression…and, in so doing, to contribute to …ending that oppression.” Students of logic learn tools for accurate reasoning. Critical thinkers assess what they read or experience. They’re easier to manipulate. That’s why critical thinking is taught in schools.
Conservatives must pay attention to language. We can’t let the Left dictate our vocabulary. If Octavio-Cortez becomes AOC, it gives her JFK status. Don’t fall for that. Suffer through wondering if her first name is Alexandra or Alexandria. Doing so diminishes her power. Take inspiration from Trump’s language mastery. His directness can seem crude, but his words strike like swords. When he controls language, he wins.