By Dr. Jim Ferguson
As my readers know, I am a stickler for words. After all, words are the only tools beyond body language we have to communicate our thoughts and feelings. Mr. Webster advertises nearly a half million words in his on-line English dictionary, and I doubt this includes all the legalese, medical-ese and other technical terms. Interestingly, the average person’s lexicon (vocabulary) is 10-50,000 words.
English is a living language where words come and go. Your grandmother might have used the word frowsy to describe a “slovenly or uncared-for appearance.” Twenty-five years ago the word mouse described a scurrying rodent in your basement. Now the definition includes an electronic device which moves the cursor on your computer screen.
In grade school, once called grammar school, I learned the past tense of the verb wake. Now “hipsters” use the slang term woke to describe someone who is “actively attentive to issues of racial and social injustice.” I cringe in disgust when I hear such guttural and divisive verbiage.
More recently, the slang intransitive verb dox has surfaced in web commentary and is now being used and legitimized by TV commentators. To dox someone is to make public their private identity and information “as a form of punishment or revenge.” This was recently done to a private user of Facebook who posted a doctored video of Nancy Pelosi. Facebook released the man’s private identity and information to the media, apparently as punishment for his parody of Pelosi.
In grade school I often stood Safety Patrol watch at street intersections. Now, the term intersectionality is often heard as the rally cry of the progressive alt-left. Mr. Webster defines intersectionality as “the complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (racism, sexism and classism) combine, overlap, or intersect, especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups.” Apparently, everyone is a victim – unless you’re a white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant male citizen of the United States who is actually a perpetrator of injustice.
I love figures of speech. Sometimes the best way to describe something is to compare it to something else with a simile. An example is “green as grass,” which works for everyone who is not red-green color blind. Another figure of speech is the metaphor, where “a word or phrase is applied to an object or action which is not literally applicable.” A brilliant example was used by historian and professor Victor Davis Hansen in his May 29, 2019 essay in American Greatness. Hansen described Trump as the Democrat Party’s Moby Dick, and their hatred of the president has turned them into the delusional and destructive Captain Ahab.
It’s hard to comprehend the irrational verbiage streaming from the Democrat presidential candidates. Incidentally, it is the Democrat party not the “democratic” party. The 2016 suppression of presidential candidate Crazie Bernie by the DNC in favor of HRC proved this. Again, I’m a stickler for words.
As an American, how can I take seriously people who refuse to secure our country’s borders and then shelter illegal aliens from codified law in sanctuary cities? I use both reason and emotion to make decisions. Compassion influenced me to make a half dozen mission trips to Guatemala. But logic must dictate when using the metaphorical analogy of a twenty person life raft and a hundred survivors of a shipwreck. All will perish if the life raft (USA) sinks trying to save all one hundred survivors.
Homelessness, lawlessness, drugs, disease and poor sanitation are the results of Democrat management of large cities like Pelosi’s San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle and many more. The mantra of Democrat presidential candidates is to promise a cure with a basic income for everyone, free college, forgiveness of college debts and Medicare for all, including illegal aliens. I might ask, why would anyone go to school or work if you were to be given money, lodging and food for no effort?
The Democrat candidates advocate a Green New Deal which will bankrupt our country and do nothing to deter China and India’s pollution. Progressives/Democrats want to get rid of the Electoral College which gives Tennesseans a say in presidential elections. (Without the Electoral College, presidents will be elected by the most populous states of California, New York, Texas and, perish the thought, Florida.)
Democrats even advocate pro-choice after birth, but whose choice? Certainly not the baby’s. One candidate even wants to eliminate circumcision! All of this is under foolishness and pandering. These socialist philosophies are the Siren’s song. As Margaret Thatcher one said of socialist utopia, it works “until you run out of other people’s money.”
Actually, like many people, I’ve quit listening to the major news media because of verbicide, the deliberate distortion of words. We even have a term for this distortion, Fake News. We used to be able to read newspapers like the New York Times or listen to Walter Cronkite and receive news of the day’s events. At least I thought so, but maybe I’ve been deceived all along. Actually, the first recorded example of fake news was from 1300 BC when Ramses the Great instructed his chroniclers to tell the Egyptian people that his army vanquished the enemy, when, in fact, they did not.
No longer do we have news; we have political spin and commentary. As a free market guy, I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that I object to CNN on airport televisions, even though they purchase the right to project their bilge. But is my liberal tolerance of their illiberal intolerance in some way enabling their continued existence? And CNN has the cable “news” market cornered in the rest of the world. It’s no wonder that Trump and America are held in such low esteem.
I have found that it is impossible to get the “unvarnished truth” as Cas Walker once proclaimed in his newspaper the Watchdog. I recommend that you seek the truth widely and apply reason to anything that you hear. I may have become a skeptic, but perhaps I have just lived long enough to be less gullible.