The Instapundit has already astutely pointed out how the “international” (read collectivist) community has watered down the once-useful concept of international law though overreaching.
Today, he cites a piece by Jay Nordlinger on how the left has done the same thing to the concept of racism.
There are at least a couple other examples of such devaluation of the currency of language. Nordlinger himself points one out later in the same column:
Just the other day, as we were waging a war against true terrorism, a short time after terrorists took the lives of some 5,000 of us, Jackson accused President Bush ? the man leading us in this mighty struggle against terrorism ? of committing ?economic terror? against Americans. That was Jackson?s way of saying that he disagreed with Bush?s tax and budget policies ? that the president was waging ?economic terror? against his fellow citizens.
Apparently, anything one doesn’t like is terrorist racism (or is it racist terrorism?) and against international law.
But the one that really gets me is “hate.” If we disagree with a “progressive” position, we are not just racists and terrorists, and international lawbreakers, but we are also “haters.” Yes, there are some on the “right” (what a useless adjective) who indeed do hate various people, groups and ideas. But they certainly don’t have a monopoly on it, and the term is so overused that it is no longer of any use.
For eight long years, whenever I objected to the co-Presidents using the Constitution for toilet paper, or using their office for the personal aggrandizement and power of themselves and their cronies, and moving their little Dixie Mafia from Little Rock to Washington, I was dubbed a “Clinton hater.” I did not then, nor do I now, hate Bill or Hillary Clinton. Hate is a serious emotion, to be reserved for serious things–I find them unworthy of such a depth of feeling. Criticism is not hatred. Disagreement with someone’s position is not “hate speech.”
I recall from Mr. Clinton’s famous deposition that he said that he weaseled his way around the truth because he literally “hated” what Judge Starr and his prosecutors were doing. Was his perjury and witness intimidation therefore a hate crime? Hate perjury? Hate obstruction of justice? How much harsher should the sentence be for that?
The left has taken once-useful words and rendered them almost valueless. To the degree that they have any utility today, it is only to indicate that their utterer is incapable of putting up a coherent argument, and is instead resorting to juvenile name calling. And the supreme irony is that, if anyone can be truly accused of being racist, terrorist, or being consumed with blind hatred, it’s those who believe that blacks can’t learn unless they’re sitting next to whites, that unlike all previous immigrant groups, Hispanic children are incapable of learning English in school, that Afghan or Chinese people don’t really want freedom and democracy, that strapping a bomb to oneself and detonating it in a shopping mall, or spiking a tree is “understandable.”
Read the screeds of the Chomskys, the Ralls, the whole melange of post-modern professors in academia. Hatred figuratively drips from every sentence–hatred of capitalism, hatred of rationality, hatred of change and freedom, hatred, seemingly, of life itself. It must really suck to be them. I would hate it.