"When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master— that's all." -- Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll.
Joe Biden now using LTI, the language of the Third Reich.
"No, the most powerful influence was exerted neither by individual speeches nor by articles or flyers, posters or flags; it was not achieved by things which one had to absorb by conscious thought or conscious emotions.
Instead Nazism permeated the flesh and blood of the people through single words, idioms and sentence structures which were imposed on them in a million repetitions and taken on board mechanically and unconsciously. . . language does not simply write and think for me, it also increasingly dictates my feelings and governs my entire spiritual being the more unquestioningly and unconsciously I abandon myself to it.
And what happens if the cultivated language is made up of poisonous elements or has been made the bearer of poisons? Words can be like tiny doses of arsenic: they are swallowed unnoticed, appear to have no effect, and then after a little time the toxic reaction sets in after all.
The Third Reich coined only a very small number of the words in its language, perhaps - indeed probably - none at all. . . But it changes the value of words and the frequency of their occurrence, it makes common property out of what was previously the preserve of an individual or a tiny group, it commandeers for the party that which was previously common property and in the process steeps words and groups of words and sentence structures with its poison. -- Victor Klemperer, LTI -- Lingua Tertii Imperii (The Language of the Third Reich). A Philologist's Notebook.
NYT columnist Joe Nocera says Tea Partiers "have waged jihad on the American people." Joe Biden, THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, as noted in a post below, "likened tea partiers to terrorists." These are but two of a "dogs and cats, living together -- mass hysteria!" chorus from the Democrat collectivists, the party of the International Gunrunner Regime.
Yet the Wall Street Journal says Tea Party Sees No Triumph In Compromise. And the LA Times says "Debt ceiling: A squandered deal."
After months of back-and-forth between President Obama and congressional leaders on raising the debt ceiling, the least one could expect is that the deal they finally reached would solve something. It does not. The best to be said for it is that it would preserve the United States' credit rating for another year and a half, and for that the nation can be grateful. But it doesn't chart a path out of the country's economic problems, the government's fiscal troubles or even Washington's dysfunctional squabbling.
One of the most striking things about the proposed agreement, which the House approved Monday, is how little progress was made in the months of talks. It doesn't slow the growth in entitlement spending or curb the exemptions and deductions that have proliferated through the tax code. Entitlements were taboo for too many Democrats, and tax increases for too many Republicans.
Even Gang of Six Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn speaking on MSNBC this morning called it "a victory for the politicians and a defeat for the people." Listening to the details as he deconstructed them, I had to agree that this was less than rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
So, to what do we attribute the Democrats collectivists' devaluing of words like "Jihad" and "terrorist" when they apply them to their certainly non-violent political opponents? Why do they use, as Klemperer called them, "poison words" when speaking about the Tea Parties?
Klemperer's book not only documents how the Nazis used words to marginalize, dehumanize and ultimately justify killing their opponents, it also demonstrates that, in the words of the Wikipedia reviewer, "resistance to oppression begins by questioning the constant use of buzzwords."
The characterization of Tea Party activists as "terrorists" is ludicrous to anyone who knows one in person. Surely, even the people who are using these words must understand how over the top they are when used to describe the blue-haired old ladies who bake cupcakes to raise money for conservative candidates. Don't they?
Or do they? Something else must surely be going on here.
Psychological projection or projection bias is a psychological defense mechanism where a person subconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, usually to other people. Thus, projection involves imagining or projecting the belief that others originate those feelings. -- Wikipedia.
Klemperer writes with great irony about the ability of Nazi murderers to ascribe murderous intent to their victims. I rather think that is what is going on here.
Calling your political opponents terrorists is no accident. For everyone knows what should happen to real terrorists. They should be killed. Right? The only question is, who are really the terrorists?
When the Vice President of the United States calls his peaceful political opponents terrorists, what he is saying is he would like to see them dead.
The Regime of International Gunrunners' use of language may be ludicrous, but don't laugh.
Whatever you do, don't laugh.
According to Klemperer's experience, you'd better take them damned seriously.