Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Liberal Left and Linguistic Theft

 

On Fox News Sunday this past Sunday, Senator Chris Coons claimed that to move forward with the hearings and ultimately the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court “constitutes court-packing.” Senator Ben Sasse, who was interviewed in the following segment, rightly corrected Coons’ redefinition by stating, “Claiming that court-packing is filling open vacancies that obviously isn’t what court-packing means.” Others, including Senators during the ACB hearings over the past two days, have reminded Democrats of what the actual, historical definition of court-packing truly is: appointing additional justices to the Supreme Court. Not filling vacant seats.

Just yesterday, Senator Claire McCaskill posted a video to Twitter with this caption: “This is a picture of voter suppression. Why do Americans have to wait in lines this long? This is the line in Suwannee Georgia today to vote.” A long line in itself does not constitute “voter suppression.” The definition of “suppress” is: to put an end to the activities of (a person, body of persons, etc.). Voters waiting in long lines to vote simply because a lot of people happened to show up (for early voting at that) does not fit the true definition of suppression. Rather than appealing to reality and truth, this is an appeal to anger and emotion. McCaskill claims that voter suppression is happening. People are angered by her claim. Therefore voter suppression must be happening. Even when it’s not.

But this is nothing new with the left. They redefine words all of the time.

If Democrats cannot win an argument in playing by the terms of the game, they simply redefine the terms. If they can’t play by the rules and succeed, they change the rules.

In her book Mama Bear Apologetics, Hillary Morgan Ferrer refers to this as “linguistic theft” and she defines it this way: purposefully hijacking words, changing their definitions, and then using those same words as tools of propaganda (p. 63). This definition perfectly describes what we’ve witnessed regarding Democrat’s attempt to change the meaning of court-packing and McCaskill’s attempt to redefine voter suppression.

And over the course of the last few decades, we’ve seen them redefine plenty of other very meaningful and consequential words such as marriage, tolerance, and truth. Very recently we’ve watched as Social Justice Warriors have worked to redefine what racism and white supremacy mean.

Once the word is redefined, the word is then weaponized, and almost always against conservatism and certainly against free and open speech and discourse. The left uses these redefined words to force many into silence or into acquiescence with a threat for not adopting the new terms. It shuts down discussion and debate and allows for the vilification of all who refuse to acquiesce.

Ultimately the goal of linguistic theft is for the liberal, progressive left to get what they want while avoiding and denying both truth and reality.

This could not be more true than in the current fight over the definition of “pro-life.”

Pro-life has always and historically been about the right to life for the preborn. It is true that there are other related issues that the pro-life movement has taken strong, firm stands on, but generally speaking, pro-life has always been synonymous with anti-abortion.

Undoubtedly, the focus of the pro-life movement has been on ending abortion because the movement recognizes the issue as being babies whose right to life are not protected.

But in recent years there are many who have endeavored to redefine what it means to be pro-life. I have seen people tell pro-lifers that they cannot be “truly” pro-life unless they are “pro all life” and then proceed to rattle off a list of other policies, entirely unrelated to abortion, that they consider to fall into their newly created category of “pro all life.”

For example, when explaining why she decided the leave the pro-life movement, founder of the Texas-based pro-life organization Stand For Life, Jess Barfied, posted to her Instagram stories: “When we see others like Jesus sees them, that’s being pro-life. When we seek out the hurting and the broken and the abused and the disenfranchised and serve them however we are gifted, that’s being pro-life.” While those may be lovely sentiments, that is not what pro-life means. And Ms. Barfield does not get to redefine pro-life.

Prominent female evangelical podcaster Jamie Golden took to Instagram last week to inform her fans that she has decided to vote for Joe Biden for president. In her explanation, she wrote,

To me, pro-life cannot only mean anti-abortion. My vote at the local, state, and federal level must take into account as many pro-life platforms as possible. This includes things like economic equality, access to affordable healthcare, advocacy for racial justice, paid family leave, ending the death penalty and criminal justice reform, meaningful policy change regarding the care of the earth, and discrimination-free voting rights.

Instagram influencer Candace Reels recently posted this image:

What these women and many others (the examples are endless) have attempted to do is to sneak the entire socialist utopian Democratic platform into their new definition of pro-life. All of this while simultaneously supporting, promoting, and praising policymakers and presidential candidates who stand for the very thing that the pro-life movement has always opposed: the slaughter of innocent children in their mother’s womb. As conservative blogger Allie Stuckey has said, “the minimum qualification for being considered pro-life is being against legalizing the murder of babies in the womb.”

And while, unfortunately, too many evangelicals and others have taken the bait on this one and fallen for this age-old tactic of the left, conservatives and the pro-life movement must not stand for this. We should unequivocally reject this. To agree to the redefinition of what it means to be pro-life is far more innocuous than simply agreeing to care for people. If we accept the left’s definition of “pro all life” then we accept their stance on welfare, racial issues, climate change, immigration, gun control, wages, universal childcare, and yes, even abortion.

For obvious reasons, conservatives refuse to accept those liberal, progressive positions. And so, for obvious reasons, we should continue to reject their attempt to hijack and redefine what it means to be pro-life. We must decide to stand for truth, for the proclamation of the truth, and for the defense of the truth. No matter how the left wants to define what truth is.

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  1. iWe Reagan
    iWe Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Great post!

    A quibble… making something hard to do is a form of suppression. Think tax evasion, or the paperwork and hassle to buy or carry a firearm.

    There is a kernel of truth in the accusation.

    • #1
    • October 13, 2020, at 7:49 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  2. Doctor Robert Member

    iWe (View Comment):

    Great post!

    A quibble… making something hard to do is a form of suppression. Think tax evasion, or the paperwork and hassle to buy or carry a firearm.

    There is a kernel of truth in the accusation.

    A very, very small kernel. If any. Those people were lined up of their own volition to vote early, an option which certainly is not vote suppression.

    • #2
    • October 13, 2020, at 10:16 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  3. Larry3435 Member

    Think about the logic of the “voter suppression” allegation. The “suppression” is always claimed to be directed against Democratic (especially Black) voters. If the precincts with these long lines are in areas that are heavy with Democratic voters, then the politicians who govern that area are also Democrats, meaning that the voting rules in that area have been established by Democrats. But the blame for alleged “voter suppression” will, inevitably, be placed on Republicans. Go figure.

    • #3
    • October 14, 2020, at 3:34 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  4. Jessi Bridges Contributor
    Jessi Bridges

    iWe (View Comment):

    Great post!

    A quibble… making something hard to do is a form of suppression. Think tax evasion, or the paperwork and hassle to buy or carry a firearm.

    There is a kernel of truth in the accusation.

    I agree there. But I don’t think that a long line in and of itself means that voting has been made intentionally hard to do. It could very well just be that lots of people decided to go and vote that day. 

    • #4
    • October 14, 2020, at 9:08 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  5. Jessi Bridges Contributor
    Jessi Bridges

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    Think about the logic of the “voter suppression” allegation. The “suppression” is always claimed to be directed against Democratic (especially Black) voters. If the precincts with these long lines are in areas that are heavy with Democratic voters, then the politicians who govern that area are also Democrats, meaning that the voting rules in that area have been established by Democrats. But the blame for alleged “voter suppression” will, inevitably, be placed on Republicans. Go figure.

    Excellent point. Thank you.

    • #5
    • October 14, 2020, at 9:08 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. Flicker Coolidge

    And the NYT says that to enlarge the Supreme Court with 3 to 10 more ideologically progressive justices is “depoliticizing” the court. They must mean that making the court of one political ideology nullifies political any and all political debate.

    That’s like your neighbor kicking your dog and saying that he’s “comforting” your dog — because it always feels so good when the pain stops.

    • #6
    • October 14, 2020, at 12:32 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. iWe Reagan
    iWe Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jessi Bridges (View Comment):
    I don’t think that a long line in and of itself means that voting has been made intentionally hard to do.

     I agree. The government sucks at everything. All the lines in my life are caused by government: DMV, TSA, Passport Office, Voting… Government is just faceless, uncaring and incompetent; it is not personal.

    • #7
    • October 14, 2020, at 12:45 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  8. Steven Galanis Coolidge

    Jessi Bridges, a strong analytical piece with a great title. Pro-Life as defined by Stuckey is an uncompromising position. I too have internalized the phrase and expanded its boundaries. You have pointed out the peril. 

    • #8
    • October 16, 2020, at 8:45 PM PDT
    • Like