Stop calling them “liberals.”
My latest rant on taking back the language, over at PJMedia.
[Update a few minutes later]
as Bill notes, the party was taken over by the hard left decades ago, and abandoned even any pretense of liberal values, even while continuing to call themselves fraudulently by that phrase, and slandering true liberals everywhere. And the reason that they get away with it is because people like Bill O’Reilly allow them to, using their purloined word to falsely describe them himself.
Long before Orwell or Carroll, the Chinese philosopher Confucius said that, when words had lost their meaning, it was time for a rectification of names, because “…if names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success.”
At least since 2006, when the Democrats took over Congress, it’s fair to say that affairs have not been particularly carried on to success, at least for the American people. It is past time to rectify the names, to take back the language from these lexigraphical thieves. And I modestly propose that we start with the word “liberal.”
Related: The coddling of the American mind:
We have been studying this development for a while now, with rising alarm. (Greg Lukianoff is a constitutional lawyer and the president and CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which defends free speech and academic freedom on campus, and has advocated for students and faculty involved in many of the incidents this article describes; Jonathan Haidt is a social psychologist who studies the American culture wars. The stories of how we each came to this subject can be read here.) The dangers that these trends pose to scholarship and to the quality of American universities are significant; we could write a whole essay detailing them. But in this essay we focus on a different question: What are the effects of this new protectiveness on the students themselves? Does it benefit the people it is supposed to help? What exactly are students learning when they spend four years or more in a community that polices unintentional slights, places warning labels on works of classic literature, and in many other ways conveys the sense that words can be forms of violence that require strict control by campus authorities, who are expected to act as both protectors and prosecutors?
They’re questions more people at universities need to be asking themselves.
Also related: “Speech nuts“:
Speech nuts, like gun nuts, have amassed plenty of arguments, but they—we—are driven, too, by a shared sensibility that can seem irrational by European standards. And, just as good-faith gun-rights advocates don’t pretend that every gun owner is a third-generation hunter, free-speech advocates need not pretend that every provocative utterance is a valuable contribution to a robust debate, or that it is impossible to make any distinctions between various kinds of speech. In the case of online harassment, that instinctive preference for “free speech” may already be shaping the kinds of discussions we have, possibly by discouraging the participation of women, racial and sexual minorities, and anyone else likely to be singled out for ad-hominem abuse. Some kinds of free speech really can be harmful, and people who want to defend it anyway should be willing to say so.
I’m certainly willing to say so. It’s the price we pay for liberty. But note, this author also falsely identifies these totalitarian speech police as “liberals.”