It’s not a new thing for politicians and ideologues to massage language to advance their efforts to achieve power and influence in societies. We see it all the time. Unfortunately, in America today, the twisting of words and their meanings is used extensively to deceive people concerning numerous topics. Consider a few.
Investing: Now most of us who have a brain know what investing means. To invest is to take money and put it to work to develop wealth. Websters puts it succinctly: “to commit (money) in order to earn a financial return.” Yet those in government have substituted the term “investment” for “spending.” Their poll-driven research long ago informed them that if they say spending your money on government is really an “investment,” you’ll merrily agree with their profligate spending. You would think that after the past four administrations have racked up $34 trillion in debt, that we’d get the joke. But the joke is on us because both Democrat and Republican administrations have gleefully agreed to mortgage our future on what they call “investments.” We need to use a creative word of our own to describe what we should do to the “investment” parasites who are threatening our economic survival. Parasitic divestment.
Equity vs. Equality: I have written about this before, but it bears revisiting the gross corruption of the word “equity.” The far left has been very crafty in substituting the term “equity” for “equality.” Simply put, equity means “the money value of a property or of an interest in a property in excess of claims or liens against it,” as in the monetary equity you have in a home or business. Alternatively, equity can also mean “justice according to natural law or right.” It is that idea that the far left has twisted to supplant what we all know is the foundation of our society, which is equality, as in “all men are created equal.” But the progressives—who actually seek to progressively destroy the country—have figured out that if they substitute the term “equity” for “equality,” then they can make the case that true equality occurs when everyone has the same financial benefit regardless of whether they earned it. That is precisely the foundation of communism, the biggest hoax ever conceived by the human mind. Equity does the trick, not only in insisting that the government pay money to those who haven’t earned it, but forcing those that did to fork it over to others in the interest of being fair. So, let’s be equally creative in using words to describe progressive equity. Social theft.
(Fill in the Blank) Justice: There are few words more misused than the term justice. And the radical left’s use of the word “justice” in conjunction with their pet ideologies seems inexhaustible. You name it, the far left can derive a designated justice. Social justice, economic justice, distributive justice, racial justice, restorative justice, environmental justice, global justice, and gender justice to name just a few. These distorted applications are devised by manipulative ideologues to advance their particular—or shall I say peculiar—political or social agendas. So, what is justice? The definition is clear: “the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments.” In reality, there is only one kind of justice, and it resides within a system of order, law, and natural rights. What is racial justice other than justice for all without regard to race? What is criminal justice except justice for all in the eyes of the law? What is economic justice beyond earning one’s just deserts both in success and failure? But manipulating the emotions of people by assigning the term “justice” to your pet agenda is not justice at all. Once again, we should be creative and call this what it is. Deceitful justice.
Reproductive Rights: This may be the most perverted use of language in American society to describe what is truly one of the most immoral aspects of our national character: the widespread acceptance of abortion to end the life of an unborn child. In America, abortion has become the epicenter of the modern feminist movement. No longer is feminism simply about equal rights for women. It now embraces the right to end innocent human life. Oddly, there is no comparable right in law to destroy innocent life after birth. Only life that has been adjudicated as guilty or that of a criminal threatening others can be legally terminated. In the current parlance, abortion advocates have chosen to use seemingly harmless language to describe despicable harm. They have settled on the deceptive term “reproductive rights,” as if the right to have children includes the right to kill them. Let’s call it what it is. Destructive Rights.
L. SCOTT LINGAMFELTER is a retired U.S. Army Colonel and author of “Desert Redleg: Artillery Warfare in the First Gulf War” (University Press of Kentucky). He also served in the Virginia General Assembly from 2002 to 2018.