The importance of precise language.

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(clockwise from top) Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rep. Ilhan Omar, (D-MN), Sen. Bernie Sanders, (D-VT), Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey

Paul GleiserThe importance of precise language.


I believe that words matter. In light of that and given the current state of American society and culture, I further believe that more than ever, precision of language is of utmost importance. So, I pledge to be more precise.

Example. I often find myself using the word, “liberal” when what I really mean is, “leftist.” There is a distinction between a liberal and a leftist. Recognizing that distinction when speaking on matters of policy is important.

Prior to the political dystopia that began about 15 years ago, the tension between conservatives and liberals was civically healthy. The competition of ideas in the public square is a necessary part of self-governance. For most of our history (and begging your forgiveness for using a football metaphor), the contest between liberals and conservatives took place between the 40-yard lines.

For the most part, the back and forth across the aisle served to produce reasonably good policy. Examples include Ronald Reagan’s skirmishes with Tip O’Neill and the give and take between Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton. The tug-o’-war between Republicans and Democrats gave us the Interstate Highway System, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Apollo lunar landings.

In 1965, Republicans and Democrats largely agreed that poverty that disproportionately affects black people is a problem. The arguments were about how best to address it.

Liberals and conservatives of a generation ago generally agreed that the United States is a great nation. How to continue to make it better was what animated the arguments between the sides.

Not so today. Traditional liberals in the Democratic Party have been shoved aside by radical leftists. Leftism is toxic. It destroys everything it touches.

From movies to Broadway to the names of high schools to theme parks to cartoon characters to late night TV to college campuses to the statues that adorn our town squares to the corporate suites at America’s most iconic companies, when leftism comes in contact, vibrant and healthy cultural tissue is reduced to gangrenous suppuration.

The destructive power of leftism is further evidenced in a Quinnipiac Poll released Wednesday. With his approval rating in that poll standing at a catastrophic 33 percent, it’s clear that leftism is destroying the presidency of Joe Biden.

It confers misplaced respect when one refers to leftists as liberals. Old-school liberals like John Kennedy and Daniel Patrick Moynihan sought to promote their policies by winning the debate. Leftists have no interest in debating. Leftists seek only to destroy anyone who disagrees.

The republic cannot stand in the face of an aggressive Russia, an ascendant China and $30 trillion in national debt if we allow leftists to change the subject to gender pronouns. We will die from within if we allow leftists to continue to pit Americans against each using the canard of “systemic racism.”

We conservatives can not only live with traditional liberals, the argument can be made that we need them.

If the country is to survive, however, leftism must be pulled out root and branch.

Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of Gleiser Communications, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The Team FM & KYZS in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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9 Responses

  1. Mike says:

    Bravo! A very powerful and accurate differentiation of political substrates within the so-called Democratic Party. Any of us who follow the news, current events, and who have studied history, know the Democratic party has been hijacked by Marxists. Their socialist ideology is not Socialism; it is communism and complete total authoritarian rule a.k.a. Communist China, Russia, and Cuba. The only difference is these nutjobs believe and work 24/7 for a One World Government. Don’t think China or Russia is going to bow to being ruled by these egomaniacs. We all need to remember the Roman Empire was never conquered by military force. It was destroyed from within exactly as we are being taken apart now.

  2. Chuck says:

    Well stated. And thank you for that new, “suppuration”, word. Hope we won’t need it for long though.

  3. Jim Lee says:

    Another good one Paul. My dad, a brilliant physician and a veteran, must be turning over in his grave. I am confident that this country has a lot of folks like you, with a functioning brain. Keep up the good work my friend.

  4. Matthew says:

    The balance of liberals and conservatives of days gone by needs to return, you’re absolutely right. Until conservatives are first willing to admit the Republican party has descended into obsurdity and lunacy ,and simply bad mouthing the democrats rather than govern,work on policies, present ideas for the greater good. To suggest the Leftists are solely responsible of the devide is an example . Politics in current times is all about sound bites and attention on social media . Political stunts like on our southern border resecently, holding up all trucks and creating a major delay in delivering of goods that our citizens want to see on the store shelves. And regarding the national debt,Republicans seem only concerned when a Democrat is in office, then it becomes a huge issue again,another example. The current circumstances in this country will never get better until folks put party aside and admit the road to recovery is started first and foremost by admitting that there is a problem , and it’s Liberal and Conservative.

  5. Ron Eagleman says:

    This topic is one that is not given enough attention, but the leftists have researched and cultivated the art of using language to benefit their agenda. Terms like “systemic racism” strike to the core of those who are very sensitive to such horrible behavior, and motivate people to action, even though it is ridiculous on it’s face. Why would people of color be risking life and limb to get to a country where they are going to be met with such discrimination? However, linguistics can be very effective in mobilizing those who are “woke”, as well as those who have been indoctrinated by our public schools. The conservatives must get off their backsides, and start utilizing linguistics to counter this propaganda. For example, the term “illegal immigrants” is difficult to distinguish from “legal immigrants”; whereas “unlawful immigrants” would leave no chance for misunderstanding. Also, I do not think even the most woke or uninformed can be confused about “gangrenous suppuration” as a graphic and precise description of how our discourse has deteriorated!

  6. Buddy+Saunders says:

    Your point concerning the difference between a liberal and a leftist is a good one. I, for my part, will make a point of so differentiating in the future. I’m old enough to remember when conservatives and liberals had essentially the same goals, and the same love of country, even as they respectfully differed regarding solutions to the nation’s challenges.

  7. C M Solomon says:

    At what point can we rightfully identify and prosecute “LEFTISM” as CRIMINAL ACTIVITY, whether it be coordinated (conspiratorial plot) or individual, since mountains of evidence proves that it destroys Life, Liberty, and Property, deserving of severe punishment to the full extent of the Laws of the Constitution of the United States and subtending State and Local laws by which this Republic is supposed to maintain a civil society for ALL of its citizens, free of threats from the mob culture known as “LEFTISM”?

  8. C M Solomon says:

    Has parts of our government with the charter to protect us from LEFTISM been compromised by LEFTISM itself? Please see the following documentary.

    https://www.theepochtimes.com/exclusive-letter-from-a-jan-6-prisoner-light-brushfires-of-liberty-in-the-souls-of-men_4427339.html

  9. C M Solomon says:

    I understand that links to videos have been discouraged on this blog, so I have changed my additional comments from this morning to the following: “Have parts of our government with the charter to protect us from LEFTISM been compromised by LEFTISM itself? Please see the following letter (downloadable .pdf document at [https://ept.ms/39jZn1H]) from a former Green Beret named Jeremy Brown who has been harassed by the premier national law enforcement agency in the DOJ because of his Patriotic Love of Country he had sworn to defend.”

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