In case you missed it, the Associated Press recently made some changes to its official “Stylebook”, the guide journalist use to determine what words and phrases they should or should not use in their reportage. The new edict declares terms like “illegal alien, an illegal, illegals or undocumented” as verboten.
Why? The AP claims that it is just “ridding the Stylebook of labels”. And that “…the English language is constantly evolving, enriched by new words, phrases and uses. Our goal is always to use the most precise and accurate words so that the meaning is clear to any reader anywhere”.
Except in this case, that is, given the fact that the term “illegal alien” is the actual legal definition of the people they are trying to describe.
Over the years the politically correct terminology has evolved from “illegal aliens” to “illegal immigrants” to “undocumented immigrants” to “undocumented workers”. What’s next, “uninvited guests”?
Just how are we supposed to accurately describe people who have entered into our country in violation of our laws, forged official documents and committed perjury? But that’s the point. We’re not supposed to accurately describe them, because that would make achieving goals like amnesty and newly registered voters difficult for the folks on the left.
Solution? Change the terminology.
Does anyone seriously believe that it is just a coincidence that such a change comes about right as Congress is again set to debate major immigration reform legislation? It’s a well known fact that, if you control the language and terminology that is used in any given debate, you stand a much better chance of winning that debate, if for no other reason than by confusing or misinforming those who don’t already have an opinion.
As a famous talk radio host is fond of saying, “words mean things”.
Couple this with another recent development that showcases an overt exercise in the labeling that the left purports to hate.
A recent US Army Reserve training program was found to contain materials portraying evangelical Christians and Catholics as “extremists”. And in this case, the rest of the “extremists” category was populated with the likes of the KKK, Hamas and Al Qaeda.
After receiving numerous complaints from clergy and other concerned Americans with a modicum of common sense, that portion of the tax-dollar supported material was removed and the Army proceeded to find underlings to pass the buck to, (so much for the chain of command).
And who was the source for this slanderous labeling? The Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization which ironically claims to defend black Americans against racism, but seems OK with labeling fellow blacks as “extremists” if they happen to be evangelicals.
One assumes that it came as somewhat of a surprise to Catholics to find themselves thrown under the same politically correct bus along with evangelicals, but it could have something to do with their high profile opposition to mandatory abortion related coverage in Obamacare, or maybe their opposition to gay marriage.
Of course conservatives are accustomed to such labeling from radical liberal groups, even from some of America’s leading politicians and various elements of our bloated bureaucracy. But now the liberal culture that encourages such characterizations is beginning to infect even our nation’s military.
It is just another step in the marginalization of conservative people of faith in America.
To review: we can’t use terminology straight out of any legal dictionary to describe the status of millions of people while covering a major political debate, but the US government can equate over fifty percent of the population with known terrorists because some bureaucrat labels their views are “extreme”.
We’re approaching the point in our country where, if you accurately describe someone’s immigration status, you’re potentially a racist, and if you also happen to be an evangelical Christian or Catholic, you’re an extremist (double point score!). It also means that there is a good chance that you are white, most likely did not vote for Obama, are not a contributor to Planned Parenthood, oppose gay marriage, and could even be from the South (gasp!).
This is what things will look like when you have a media that long ago set aside everything but its pretense of objectivity, and an administration that is not only tone deaf, but openly antagonistic to the views of the majority of the country.
So, there you have it. Illegals aren’t illegal, but evangelicals and Catholics are “extremists”. Up is down. Black is white. So long as it advances the objectives of our liberal betters.
A Bizzaro World indeed.
Politics of Obamacare Gives Liberalism a Comeuppance
So said Nancy Pelosi in response to the Great Democrat Panic of 2013 over the general public’s reaction to the realities of Obamacare.
Democrats are in a tizzy, feigning shock and indignation because the law is doing precisely what it was designed to do – kick people off of their existing insurance plans in order to subsidize the new government insurance scheme, despite Obama’s promises to the contrary. Worse, the same government that managed to put a man on the moon (several times) and can read your emails, text messages and listen in on your phone calls can’t build a website to sell insurance.
About the only thing that could make it worse would be if using the website gave you rickets.
The panic dam officially burst when Bill Clinton gave worried Democrats cover to bail on Obama by saying “the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to these people and let them keep what they got.” Within days thirty-nine House Democrats ignored a White House veto threat and supported a Republican bill to allow insurance companies to continue selling the old policies.
As a famous Chicago pastor might put it, Obamacare’s political chickens are coming home to roost.
Even before the fiasco with the website Americans have been split over Obamacare, with those opposed to it outnumbering those in favor of it in most every poll conducted since the law was passed.
According to the latest Quinnipiac poll, just a month ago both Obama and Obamacare were at about 45% approval; today they’re both at 39%, the lowest ever. Only 36% of Americans approve of Obama’s handling of health care in general, and 54% disapprove of his overall job performance. The same poll shows 52% of Americans agreeing that he isn’t trustworthy, and 56% say that he is incompetent. Worse yet, both Obama and his namesake law are upside-down among the 18-34 year old crowd that put him in the White House to begin with.
More amazingly, the latest Gallup poll shows a record 55% of Americans do not believe that it’s the federal government’s responsibility to provide everyone with health care – up from just 28% in 2008.
It turns out Joe Biden was right, it really is “a big ___ing deal”.
The problem for Democrats is that these numbers aren’t being driven by clever Republican messaging, but rather by the implementation of Obamacare itself.
So far over five million policies have been cancelled, while just over one-hundred thousand people have managed to get insurance through the new program, (with the vast majority of them actually signing up for Medicaid). But the number of people losing insurance now pales in comparison to the tens of millions more who will lose theirs when the employer mandate kicks in a year from now. Further, even the White House now admits that the “better” Obamacare policies chock full of things people don’t want (such as maternity coverage for men) costs more than their old “sub-standard” policies, (despite Obama’s other promise that the average family would save over $2,500 per year).
Of course the Democrats now running like scalded dogs are the same ones who voted for the law and stood by Obama when he said “If you like your plan, you can keep it”. In fact, many of them were saying the exact same thing, (which will make wonderful commercials in 2014).
The political damage goes deeper than the next election and extends to liberalism itself.
Setting aside the current debate, how many other big-government schemes are voters likely to shrug their shoulders at, or will Democrats in competitive seats embrace anytime soon?
It should be pointed out that part of the political strategy of Obamacare was to have government provide a tangible, personal benefit to voters in hope that they would see how great big government could be. But every cancelled plan, every rate hike, every deductable hike and every lost access to a personal physician is a personal story some potential voter will be sharing with other potential voters between now and next November.
Obamacare is the biggest, most personal opportunity Republicans have ever had to make the case against big government liberalism. It feeds perfectly into a strategy of focusing on issues with a liberty oriented message. To remind voters that elections matter, and that the people who bungled both the creation and implementation of this law are the same people who want to run other aspects of our lives, rather than leave us free to do it ourselves.
Democrat National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Shultz recently told CNN, “You’re darn right that our candidates are going to run on the advantage that Obamacare will be going into the 2014 election. The choice will be very clear.”
The challenge for Republicans is to make sure that it is.