Whoever Controls the Language Controls the Debate

If you can control the language, you can control ideas. By controlling ideas, you can control the way people think and act. Before Frank Schaeffer went over to the Dark Side, he had some good things to say about how liberals think and act. His analysis of language is still applicable: “Think of the use of labels to categorize political activity. Some labels are used to neutralize the actions of certain groups; others denote being ‘one of us,’ acceptable. The words ‘right wing,’ ‘fundamentalist,’ ‘pro-life,’ ‘absolutist,’ and ‘deeply religious,’ are put-downs more than categories. Conversely, think of the unspoken pat on the back and blessing that the following words convey: ‘moderate,’ ‘pluralistic,’ ‘liberal,’ ‘civil libertarian,’ ‘pragmatic,’ and ‘enlightened.”1

Consider the following list:

LIBERAL

CONSERVATIVE

Arsenal of Weapons

Gun Collection

Delicate Wetlands

Swamp

Undocumented Worker

Illegal Alien

Cruelty-Free Materials

Synthetic Fiber

Assault and Battery

Attitude Adjustment

Heavily Armed

Well-protected

Narrow-minded

Righteous

Taxes or Your Fair Share

Coerced Theft

Commonsense Gun Control

Gun Confiscation Plot

Illegal Hazardous Explosives 

Fireworks or Stump Removal

Non-viable Tissue Mass

Unborn Baby

Equal Access to Opportunity 

Socialism

Multicultural Community

High Crime Area

Fairness or Social Progress

Marxism

Upper Class or “The Rich”

Self-Employed

Progressive, Change

Big Government Scheme

Homeless or Disadvantaged

Bums on Welfare & Leeches

Sniper Rifle

Deer Rifle with scope

Investment For the Future

Higher Taxes

Healthcare Reform

Socialized Medicine

Extremist, Judgmental, or Hater

Conservative

Truants

Homeschoolers

Victim or Oppressed

Criminal or Lazy Good-For-Nothing

High Capacity Magazine

Standard Capacity Magazine

Religious Zealot

Attends Church

Fair Trade Coffee

Overpriced Yuppie Coffee

Exploiters or “The Rich”

Employed or Land Owner

The Gun Lobby

NRA Members

Assault Weapon

Semi-Automatic Handgun

Fiscal Stimulus

New Taxes and Higher Taxes

Same Sex Marriage

Legalized Perversion

Mandated Eco-Friendly Lighting

Chinese Mercury-Laden Light Bulbs

Accepted Fact

Horse Shit

  1. Franky Schaeffer, A Time for Anger: The Myth of Neutrality (Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1982), 15. []