Campaign slogans don’t tend to change (no pun intended), so we’re
pretty much stuck hearing and seeing them for months on end. Imagine
the potential for a candidate to fire up enthusiasm by actually saying
something new, and often.
And Paul Jacob makes this good point about politically motivated language, as well.
Take the word “staunch.” Please. Somehow, “staunch” only
applies to conservatives. He’s a “staunch conservative,” they say;
she’s a “staunch opponent of big government.”
It’s such an ugly word. For some reason, when I hear it, or say it, I think of plumbing fiascos. Can’t we think of another word?
Like, uh, “principled”? “Faithful”? “Steadfast”?
Why not put the word “staunch” on our taboo list for a year? Or try
to apply it only to liberals for a while. I really would like to read a
news report describing a current liberal politician as “a staunch
proponent of ever-increasing government services and taxes.”
Not going to hear that. At least, not in the major media.
But there’s another contentious word, “liberal.” Once
upon a time, ideas now vaguely associated with “conservatism” —
individual liberty, personal responsibility, constitutionally limited
government, free trade, the rule of law — were considered obvious and
core liberal ideas. People who called themselves conservatives opposed
Abortion pretty much changed all that, single-mindedly.
Which brings up the evolving style manuals in the major media,
changing the language for reporting on abortion as ‘reproductive
rights’ or ‘a woman’s right to choose’, and its supporters as
‘pro-choice’. Whereas pro-lifers have now become “anti-choice
Why don’t they use the term “activists” for supporters of liberal causes?