Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.
– Vladimir Lenin
Only four, Comrade Lenin? How about eight or 12 or 16 years? How about graduate school?
The enemies of this country and our way of life must have leapt into the air the day they figured this out: that in order to defeat us, they didn’t need to beat us militarily. All they needed to do was learn our language, put new meanings to our words, see that their meanings were implemented in textbooks and curricula – and wait 20 or 50 years.
Eventually their definitions would be accepted, because theirs would be the ones the media would use. The media would use them because their members would have learned them in school and carried them from there into the workplace. Meanwhile, the Americans who built the culture and wrote the dictionaries would retire, die off or otherwise become irrelevant.
You could probably take over the world with a scheme like that if you had enough time – and the devil has nothing but time.
Speaking of the devil, Hitler launched his career by redefining “Aryan” from the people of India to the people of Scandinavia, although he was neither. His more educated contemporaries must have privately snickered at such profound ignorance, but it’s not nice to be caught laughing at the emperor, nor is it very safe. He further redefined “Christian” to mean European neo-pagan while trying to destroy the real Christianity, and he redefined himself as German, although he was not that either.
Next came the Soviets, who redefined practically everything. Their rhetorical overkill, a source of humor in the West for its unintentional but astounding lack of subtlety, has been preserved on The People’s Cube, the brilliant satire site of a man who survived real-life communism in the land where it first took root.
Other more discreet attempts to pervert our language soon followed, and almost a century later the hits still have not stopped coming.
Have you noticed that liberals are no longer liberals? They are now – at least according to themselves – “progressives.” What does that mean? Why, it means whatever they are, of course; just ask them.
Since the legalization of abortion in 1973, hyper-feminists have pretty much stuck with their original battle cry of “The right to choose!” Although they haven’t come up with many new whoppers – well, outside of “emergency contraception,” that is – why tinker with something that works so well?
As for the term “gay marriage” – a compound redefinition if ever there was one – I am still puzzled over how 2 percent of us can compel the other 98 percent to refer to them as happy and carefree when their life expectancy and suicide rates clearly don’t reflect this. Second, what adults do in private with other consenting adults doesn’t concern me, but requiring me to support it with my tax money and vocabulary certainly does.
People who shouldn’t even be here haven’t missed the lesson, either, and if you think “undocumented workers” are Americans who left their ID badges on the breakfast table, you haven’t been paying attention.
Hordes of southern illegals have redefined our great Southwest as their “Aztlan,” a kingdom in Aztec mythology, and some violence-prone easterners both inside and outside the country have taken an even bigger bite out of our language, with “resistance” now meaning imperialism, “honor” meaning ego and “marriage” meaning the purchase of a slave from her owner. “Modesty” now requires wearing half the yard goods department and implies with a sneer that women – but not men – who dress normally are somehow immodest. “Martyrdom” has become suicide intended to take along unwilling victims. “Innocent” means belonging to their particular religious cult, and “racism” – although they are not a race – is the questioning of any of their actions, religious doctrines or demands. The press in some civilized countries even helps them out by designating them “Asians” no matter what continent they come from. Real Asians ought to sue for defamation of character.
If you were taken in as a refugee to escape persecution, given personal liberty you had never imagined and fed at the public trough for an indefinite period of time, would you have the gall to tell your host nation to redefine its own words according to what you would like them to mean? I didn’t think so.
Meanwhile, life goes on, and so does the pillaging of the dictionary by the enemies of free speech. If you can’t shut people up, the logic seems to go, the next best thing is not to let what they say signify anything. “Tolerance” has come to mean forced acceptance, “rights” to mean special privileges for those with highly paid lobbyists, and “freedom” to mean the freedom to oppress others. The Constitution upon which our government is based has come to mean just about nothing at all. The founders who signed it would be so proud of what their country has become. That’s my new synonym for the word “ashamed.”
Marylou Barry is a Christian Zionist with a special interest in the Middle East. She is also the author of a series of children’s books. Visit her blog at Marylou’s America and her book website at House with the Light Books.