Politics and the English Language

Regardless of whether or not Jamelle realizes it, I think he hit on a theme yesterday–first by addressing how ridiculous it is for Bush to claim to celebrate the “sanctity of life,” and then by noting how the guy who wrote the goddamn book about how liberals are fascists seems to be endorsing what can only be called a fascist approach to law enforcement.

The unifying theme here is something we’ve seen throughout the Bush administration; the manipulation and abuse of the English language to further one’s own political ends. Goldberg and Bush are both using phrases such as “fascism” and “sanctity of life” to express ideas that have nothing to do with the literal meaning of those words. But in political language, thanks to the efforts of the Bush administration and their supporters, those words now mean something very different.

Jamelle called Goldberg an “intellectual cripple,” but I think that’s going a little easy on him. He’s an intellectual toxin. He and his ilk exist to obstruct meaning and destroy the language we use to express inconvenient realities. What’s worse is I don’t think he’s even smart enough to see what he’s doing; I don’t think he has a clue what fascism really is, and so there is no way for him to think about it except in a jumbled mess of far right-wing drivel (see above link). It would be a lot easier to hate him for undermining rational thought if I believed he was capable of it himself.


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