Suddenly, language matters
Over the past few weeks I’ve been getting emails and Tweets from people telling me how, eg., Rush Limbaugh or Mark Levin are talking about how crucial control over language is to the efforts of progressives looking to deconstruct and then invert entire categories of meaning in order to institutionalize the left’s epistemology, such as it is, out of which flows — inexorably and inevitably, as I’ve been fond of saying over the years — a collectivist and authoritarian system of government, complete with its police state enforcement mechanism.
But we all know that’s not the case, my site having been quietly placed on the “do not acknowledge” list sometime in 2009-10 after a well-covered dust-up over the very issue of language and interpretation. Meaning that if Rush or Levin et al are taking their cues from any of the conservative blogs (and Levin will remind you that he’s been talking about this for at least 4 years), it’s from the big, award-winning conservative blogs and information clearing houses on the right, where (ironically!) not too long ago discussions of language — particularly my dissertations into intentionalism and why what we believe ourselves to be doing when we claim to be interpreting not only matters, but is the foundational bulwark against the spread of leftist ideology — were considered “fundamentally unserious” and a distraction from the real political necessity of learning to speak cautiously and pragmatically so as not to give the left a foothold from which to attack us. Which in turn would show our reasoned, god-faith beneficence and allow us to win over the “moderate” voters who have been taught that conservatives are unrelenting hardliners who refuse to compromise.
– Unlike the left, which historically has been all about togetherness and bipartisanship. Right up until such time as the “dissenters” are either forcibly re-educated or else paved over on the road to collectivist Utopia.
So while I appreciate that some of you have been around long enough to recognize me as a sort of referent for current discussions, I assure you that all this means is that, for some who will now take over as the authoritative conservative voices preaching the importance of linguistic assumptions on political and social trajectories, there’s even more reason to pretend I don’t exist.
It’s shabby and cheap, but then, you don’t win trophies for playing nice — and ultimately, it doesn’t even matter, so long as the linguistic message gains purchase. Because that message — along with an all-out war on the propaganda arm of the government, the mainstream press — are two things that will most dramatically reshape the political (and social, and “moral”) playing fields. Which I’ve been arguing here for over a decade now — oftentimes against some of those very same newly authoritative conservative voices.
Unfortunately, the GOP establishment has decided retaking the language and combating the press is a lot of hard work, whereas simply emulating the left is much easier and is therefore perfectly in keeping with the intellectual laziness so consistently on display among our GOP leadership class.
Which means it will be up to the grass roots and influential conservative opinion shapers, many who are new to the fight, to take up the cause of language.
Better late then never, I say. And if they need any help with the nuts and bolts, they can always just visit my archives. My being a giver and all.