Piers Morgan called a guest on his national TV show “unbelievably stupid,” without apology. NBC, however, immediately apologized for Brent Musburger’s gentlemanly praise of gorgeous, beauty-pageant winner Katherine Webb (Miss Alabama). CNN remains mute about Kathy Griffin repeatedly trying to kiss Anderson Cooper’s crotch on air after threatening to “tickle his sack.” Words have lost their meaning. Compliments are assumed to be insults, and absolute depravity is met with winks and chuckles.
This cultural degradation is fostered by our scruples-bereft media, morality-deprived entertainment, and even revered leaders, who play with words until they are simply meaningless sounds.
Consider the recent campaign slogan “The War on Women.” People who used that phrase in reference to the US should be ashamed. There is a true war on women that is happening in China, with forced abortions, and Afghanistan, where Malala Yousafzai, 15, was shot in the head for advocating education. Currently, an estimated 140 Million women and girls are living with the life-long, often debilitating, effects of female genital mutilation, and more join their ranks each year. But in the US, women scream hysterically for protection of their “reproductive rights,” referring to the right to stop or prevent reproduction, (something currently not even under threat).
“Gun Control” is equally meaningless; it’s really “law-abiding citizen control.” Criminals snicker while taking advantage of “Gun Free Zones,” a poor euphemism for “Easy Victim Area.” Let’s have a debate about “Criminal Control” instead.
Recently, the president of the United States called Republicans “irresponsible” for their reluctance to raise the debt ceiling. During his 2008 campaign, he chastised then president Bush’s outrageous spending as “irresponsible and unpatriotic.” Obama has outpaced Bush’s “irresponsible” spending four-fold, thus redefining that word to mean simply “in disagreement with me.”
Now, the word “terrorism” is up for grabs. While the military labels Tea Party activists potential terrorists, absent any substantive evidence, the rampage of Major Nidal Hasan killing 13 at Ft. Hood, while shouting “Allahu Akbar,” is considered simply “workplace violence.” Similarly, the attack at our Benghazi embassy defied definition for weeks. If they dilute the meaning of the word “terrorist” enough, it will apply to the barrista who looks askance at you for requesting whipped cream.
Good, tolerant people have allowed the cultural elite to redefine, even un-define, our language and to invent new phrases, euphemisms for dangerous or derisible ideas. “Climate Change” has replaced “Global Warming,” which had replaced “Global Cooling.” Few truly understand what it postulates, as yet unproven, (the “scientific data” is easily as corrupt as our language), but too many nod along and devote their efforts to its tenets: limiting and crippling industry and inducing guilt. It should be renamed “Regression Policy.” Funny; its staunchest supporters consider themselves “Progressives.”
Paralleling our society’s moral decay, the US economy is, unsurprisingly, in deep trouble. We have no more meaningful words to describe our fiscal policies. The “fiscal cliff” itself was an illusion – we jumped a long time ago, and now must contend with “suicide debt.”
Money is the language of any economy, and we are on the brink of monetary inflation comparable to our inflated language. Unfortunately, when it comes to economics, no apologies, meaningless or otherwise, will suffice. But a grass-roots effort on the part of the citizens to combat the devaluation of language, to speak out against depravity, to make words meaningful again, and to hold people, the media, and even politicians accountable for both words and actions could go a long way toward a real “recovery” – of the United States we love.