Euphemisms

“A society that puts equality ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom. The use of force to achieve equality will destroy freedom and the force introduced for good purposes will end up in the hands of people who will use it to promote their own interests.”

Milton Friedman

 

By Dr. Jim Ferguson

Change is inevitable, said the Greek philosopher Heraclitus (circa 500 BC). However, we are in the midst of revolutionary change. Conservatives are not against change, but prefer it to be measured and reasoned, especially in regard to big issues.

Sometimes, in the midst of a maelstrom, it’s hard to see the winds of even radical transformation. But make no mistake, the radicals are now in charge and they are using the power of Washington, D.C., to finish Obama’s self-proclaimed “radical transformation” of the United States.

Even if you perceive what is right, the drumbeat of what is wrong tends to wear you down. And after a while the chorus of wrong may convince you that their way is actually enlightened, inevitable, hip or progressive and you should go along to get along. There’s even a neologism for this ploy. It’s called gaslighting.

In Homer’s epic poem, “The Odyssey,” the reader is introduced to the Sirens, a group of malevolent women who sing so “sweetly” that sailors are enticed to steer their ships to doom. A wonderful modern adaptation of “The Odyssey” and a depiction of Sirens is found in the Coen Brothers’ movie, “Oh Brother Where Art Thou.” If you haven’t seen it, you should. It’s a lot easier than reading Homer’s Odyssey!

It’s tough to resist the Siren’s Song of pop culture, dishonest media, and the euphemisms of Democrats, progressives and socialists. But, you must. And to resist, you must understand the enemies of freedom.

Webster defines a euphemism as the substitution of offensive or unpleasant term with a more agreeable term. A euphemism is “spin.” I’ve told this story before, but it bears repeating because it is a perfect example of a euphemism.

By the early 1920s progressives were losing elections because their policies, for example the national income tax and prohibition, were very unpopular. Then in 1924 a progressive named John Dewey (not of Dewey decimal fame) recommended that progressives change their name to “modern liberals,” harkening to the classical liberalism of the Enlightenment and The Founders.

Modern liberals like Obama and Hillary Clinton have little in common with classical liberalism. (I’m not sure what iPOTUS is.) Over time, the “modern” descriptor of liberalism was dropped. These days liberals like Obama and Clinton actually identify themselves as progressives.

The title progressive is a euphemism because who would not want to move forward in an enlightened manner as this name suggests? But then, who wants the progressive policies of an ever-expanding government, redistribution of wealth, non-originalist interpretation of the Constitution, a federally mandated living wage and single-payer universal healthcare controlled by Washington bureaucrats? (Someone should tell AOC types that Medicare is not free.)

These days, one of the most deceitful euphemisms is social justice. We live in a society, and who doesn’t want justice? Justice connotes fairness, and in our Constitutional Republic we supposedly are guaranteed equal justice under law. Some might argue that Hillary Clinton and John Q. Public operate under different systems of justice.

Ancients believed that a civilization could be built on what we recognize as the cardinal virtues of courage, common sense, justice and moderation. Paul in 1 Corinthians 13 wrote about faith, hope and love. We call these the theological virtues which I believe steer the cardinal virtues like the rudder on a ship.

Maybe it’s the linkage of the two terms in social-justice (SJ) that produces the euphemism. The social-justice movement operates on diversity, inclusion and equity. Diversity recognizes that there are differences in the human family. This is obvious and common sensical. The problem occurs because SJ uses diversity to divide and emphasizes groups rather than individuals. Karl Marx also promoted group conflict between owners (capitalists) and workers (proletariat). SJ now promotes conflict based on race, sex, etc. and merges these in the “struggle” for power through intersectionality.

Few would argue that excluding people because of race, gender, etc. is just. But people have differing gifts. What if an educationally qualified person is excluded from Harvard because he’s white and the equity system demands more people of color? Becky and I are people of faith, but if we were Catholics, she could not be the Pope. Nor should I demand I be allowed to join the Lady Vols basketball team or start in the next NCAA tournament game.

You must understand that equality (under law) and equity are different. The former connotes fairness (guaranteed under law). The latter demands a predetermined, often biased outcome. I reject the notion that America is inherently racist or that I am a racist because I’m white. People who see color as defining a person or a group are the racists. Don’t be duped by the euphemisms of SJ. The movement is all about gaining power through victimization and class warfare rather than reason and justice. You must be alert to their euphemisms. One of my readers wisely advises his proteges to “think for yourself or be really careful who thinks for you.”

To a social justice warrior, any majority is the oppressor and any minority is the oppressed. Since I’m white, I am an oppressor. As a person without color, I wonder if I would be oppressed in Africa? Do you see the illogic of the SJ movement as constituted? I’m sure you’ve noticed that SJ warriors now use the term climate change rather than global warming. They also preferentially use the term white nationalism more than white supremacism. I am white and I believe in national borders, so by the perverse SJ logic I’m a white-nationalist.

At this stage of my life, I’m blessed and no longer conflicted about what is “right.” I know where I came from, my purpose and where I’m going.

It’s spring and I have a regular golf date with my grandson. I have enough time, resources, good friends and a wonderful wife and partner. What a shame that SJ euphemisms make me hesitant to refer to Becky as my life-partner without an explanation!

 

 

 

 

 

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