THE SAPIENT SPARROW: conservatism for commoners

"What has always made the State a hell on earth has been precisely that man has tried to make it his heaven."–Holderlin

“WORDS, JUST WORDS”–REALLY?

After our fun (?) foray into Obama “Doublespeak” recently, I was curious about the roots of the language of the Left. Seriously, why do they seem to speak in code? Where does it come from? What does it mean? I know that all administrations have their messages and talking points. I know that certain words and phrases are purposefully chosen after being thoroughly tested on focus groups. Yet this language seems different in a qualitative way. As a friend of mine used to say, “It’s not only that they are on a different page; they’re reading a different book!”

All groups have their own “lingo”. It is what, in large part, gives a group its identity. We recognize that someone belongs to a group by how well and to what extent he or she knows particular “jargon” or catch phrases. However, as a counseling-psychologist myself, of the cognitive-behavioral school, I believe that language has greater potency than simply defining group character. Language shapes the way we think about relationships, events, oneself and the world. In turn, the way we think generates particular feelings. Those feelings lead to observable behaviors, (or in the political arena policies). Understanding resultant behaviors, (and/or policies), is impossible without first developing an understanding of the words, thinking and feelings that preceded them. It all begins with language.

Initially, we acquire our vocabularies, syntax, grammar and idioms/slang within our families-of-origin. Later, these are enlarged and refined to a great degree by our interactions with others. The nature of these interactions can be active, (as a conversation), or passive, (as in listening to or watching media). As we mature, our usage develops nuances and shades of meaning. We begin to understand that words are often used in less than concrete ways. Perhaps the most important impact on language acquisition and development occurs from reading the written word. “The pen is mightier than the sword.” A reader interacts with the material that is read on numerous levels. Words can paint pictures and inflame passions. A seemingly well-reasoned argument can influence, persuade and even radically change perceptions of reality. All of us are vulnerable to a speaker or writer who has a facility with the language. Words can manipulate. Words can mesmerize. Words can illuminate. Words can indoctrinate. Words can obfuscate. Words have power!

Consider the example below:
“Democrats can win if they stop being corrupted by cash and bullied by lies paid for by special interests. Democrats will lose if they remain cowed into fear by those who shout at town meetings, yell at joint sessions, rant on cable television, slander on talk radio, bring guns to greet elected officials, take surveys about violence against presidents, cheer when America does not win the Olympics and filibuster to preserve, protect and defend the despised status quo.”

(Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Pundits Blog. 10-5-09).

The above quote is filled with evocative language; language that is meant to arouse the emotions of the reader. What type of picture is the writer painting by using words and phrases like: corrupted, bullied, lies, special interests, cowed, fear, shout, yell, rant, slander, guns, violence, cheer when America does not win, filibuster, despised status quo? To me, it seems to paint a picture of a weak, victimized minority being coerced into submission by an unscrupulous, dangerous and vicious enemy! And, lest we forget, the Democrats possess control over, arguably, all three branches of the Government, as well as its bureaucracy and the Fourth Estate, an extraordinary amount of power-power that the Left wishes to not only retain, but to expand.

The current administration excels at using words in such a dissembling fashion. We “sparrows” would do well to be alert to these contortions of the language. And, as we will learn in coming posts, this insidious usage did not originate with the present Administration. Its roots are deep within the words that so influenced and shaped Mr. Obama—those of Marx, Baldwin, Ellison, Hughs, Wright, Zakaria, DuBois, Alinsky and Davis, among others.

It is crucial that each of us develops the ability to dissect, dig out, interpret and discern the true meaning of what the Left says in order to grasp how they will act-the future of our Country depends upon it.

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Filed under: brainwashing, education, indoctrination, language, media, POTUS, , , , ,

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