Ignorant or Malicious?


John Hinderacker has a post over at PowerLine looking at the question of whether Ilhan Omar’s statements are the result of a lack of familiarity with English (as Nancy Pelosi has suggested) or whether she is using a form of Progressive Newspeak. Specifically, Hinderacker examines Omar’s complaint that President Trump is dehumanizing people by referring to them as “illegal aliens.”

In point of fact and as a matter of law, the President is correct in his language. The law [8 U.S.C § 1101(a)(3)] defines alien as “any person not a citizen or national of the United States.” It’s illegal for such persons to be in the United States unless properly admitted as residents (with green cards) or visitors/refugees (with visas). Aliens who are in the country illegally are breaking our laws, they are criminals, and they are subject to legal sanctions, including deportation.

There are two possibilities here. One is that Omar is poorly educated and is unfamiliar with the common English word “alien.” That could be. The second possibility is that she, like so many liberals, is trying to bully the rest of us into adopting their vocabulary, even when it does not accord with common usage, common sense, or, as here, the law.

Normally, I’d be inclined to shrug and say, “Embrace the power of AND,” but I believe the balance of the evidence weighs on the second choice. That opinion is strengthened by Omar’s repeated misstatements of the facts and by statements made by her allies among the current freshman class in the House of Representatives such as She Guevara (aka Alexandria ¡Ocasio-Cortez!).

No, we aren’t dehumanizing persons who law enforcement has probable cause to believe have crossed our borders illegally by detaining them until they can be processed by our immigration and legal systems. No, we are not placing them in concentration camps.

Dachau was the National Socialists first concentration camp, opened in 1933. While it was not nearly as brutal as the industrial scale death camps run by the SS (or perhaps as Stalin’s gulag), it was a place of terror, torture, and forced labor for the internal enemies of the state. None of the facilities holding detained immigrants here in the U. S. are remotely analogous to places like Dachau.

I don’t believe politicians like Omar and ¡Ocasio-Cortez! are stupid. I think that they’ve been rewarded for making outrageous claims that fit the narratives believed by enough voters in their districts to get them elected and that they believe they can get away with such loose talk on a national stage. I also believe that their claims will become more radical as they react poorly to fact-based pushback.

Words Have Meaning (And That’s Double Plus Ungood)


There’s nothing new in the SJWs’ current attempt to hijack our language by using words in ways that don’t fit their meanings found in common dictionaries. That method of trying to control the parameters of thought and argument was old when Orwell wrote his essay on Newspeak.

Sarah Hoyt has an essay over at PJ Media about her experience with The Semantic Whoredom of the Left. She has an interesting perspective as someone trained in linguistics who is not a native-speaker of English.

But it wasn’t until l’affaire prom dress that I realized it wasn’t just their etymology that was faulty but that these people had in fact built themselves an entirely new language, with words that are in common use, kidnapped, raped, and made to parade in public with disfiguring makeup.  Or if you prefer, with words that are in common use voided of their signification, and filled with meanings they were never meant to have, meanings that can only be understood if you share the basic assumptions of leftist liberals.

Also,

It’s quite possible that the true believers are effectively beyond our reach.  But we should try to force those who are new converts, freshly spewed from universities where the cult is taught, to unpack their assumptions and confront the real meaning of words.

Making them read dictionary definitions, and a bit of history is a good beginning.

Above all, do not accept their definition.  Fight against it.  They’re holding perfectly good words captive and making them commit acts against their nature.

And corrupting language is corrupting thought.

Read the whole thing.

They’ve got be be carefully untaught.

Plusgood Goodthink


Robert Weissberg has an essay posted in the Phi Beta Cons section of NRO called Academic Crimethink in which he analyzes how political correctness has crippled much academic research over the pas few decades. Read the whole thing.

I have one nit to pick. Mr. Weissberg refers to what academics do as crimethink. Actually, they are practicing crimestop to avoid straying from goodthink into the dangerous realm of crimethink.