A smart New Year’s resolution you can easily keep
Wordsmith and Republican strategist Dr. Frank Luntz has made a living recognizing the importance of words. He wrote the book Words that Work, on the subject — concluding “words matter.” We agree. And so, obviously, do those on the left. The word they despise is “liberal.” It’s a descriptive term they run from, since it clearly delineates who and what they are.
A time honored tactic of the left is obfuscation. Liberals revel in being able to conceal their true identity. They hide their haughty rancor and affect a pretense of concern, as they engage in class warfare and ever-greater spending — while levying higher taxes on the risk-taking job creators to gift their base with redistributed earning of others.
The word “liberal” precisely describes this well-honed proclivity. It’s no wonder they prefer the term “progressive” to obscure the truth.
Yet more and more frequently we hear supposedly conservative commentators using the word “progressive” to describe liberals — playing their game, with their rules, and facilitating their disguise.
Merriam-Webster and the Free Dictionary each define “progressive” in the kindest of terms — of advocating improvement, moving forward and making progress toward better conditions or making use of, or interested in, new ideas, findings, or opportunities — characterized by progress or by continuous improvement.
Do you think these soft phrases describe the liberal agenda?
As Luntz says, “Words matter.” Think about the deliberate choice of words used in advertising. If “progressive” carried a negative connotation, a large insurance company wouldn’t define itself with that name. Few who are pro-life would consider using the words “pro-choice” to identify those who are “pro-abortion,” because we know all too well that the “choice” they advocate is death of pre-born human babies.
Remember that in 2008, a relatively unknown Barack Obama sailed into the presidency on the single word “hope.” Earlier, Bill Clinton made book on the same word. Rush Limbaugh nearly lost his career over one word: “slut.”
Effective language is powerful, which is why the left disdains “liberal” and eagerly seeks cover with “progressive.”
Let’s not help them. This year, drop “progressive” when describing liberals. Let’s get back to calling them what they are.