The Language of Liberty
By Heather Warren
We are what we eat. This oft used phrase has captured the widely believed notion that what we put into our bodies impacts us physically. How does language affect us, and is it something we can use as a tool, to change our perspective, the way we behave, and how we view the world? Do we become what we speak?
Language is the one thing that separates the human race from any other being on the planet. The scientific study of language, known as linguistics, is so expansive that it branches out into specific sub-studies, as well as sister sciences like psychology, sociology, and philosophy. Words, and how you use them, do indeed, seem to matter.
Consider the commonly used introduction to a stated thought that many people use: “I feel like…” If this introduction is used in a situation where emotions are irrelevant, does it disengage the thinking part of the brain? Do we begin to make important decisions about ourselves or others based on the way we feel, rather than the way we think? To the casual observer, it sure seems so.
In the political realm, language is often used to set a premise, or a basis of argument. Anti-abortion vs. Pro Choice, Marriage Equality vs. Traditional Values, Undocumented Immigrant vs. Illegal Alien. The one thing that language does not have the power to change is Absolute Truth.
In the examples above, it is easy to spot the watered-down, politically correct language of the blind faith Progressive Religion, meant to induce a benevolent feel, or that is set on a false premise altogether. Like a cancer, it has completely consumed the political left, and has begun to metastasize to the right. How many “conservatives” allow their speech to be compelled, with utterances of “income equality”, “woman’s right to choose”, or “illegal immigrant”? Even “traditional marriage” is soft speak for a Christian-Judeo worldview, a worldview that allowed the country to be a population of self-governed.
With the advances in technology, we’ve become isolated, and shut ourselves off to other right and moral points of view. Our language has been reduced to emoticons and acronyms, slang and talking points. We’ve become too agreeable, while at the same time, quick to anger. We’ve cast aside the art of persuasion, and reject reason for the sake of tribalism, at the expense of our own children. Will we become what James Madison feared in Federalist #10, our own impetuous mob, “united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens.”
In the Era of Trump, political correctness has been delivered a body blow, but we are at a crossroads. We can fight cancer with cancer, and allow Progressivism to lock us in a left/right prison, enslave us to collectivism and political worship, or we can think in a truer up/down paradigm and speak the Language of Liberty. Be the happy warrior that exchanges hand wringing and anxiety for self-restraint and discipline. Do we become what we speak? Love your neighbor and use your words.
“Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.”-George Washington
Heather Warren lives in Alaska. She is an op-ed columnist for DennisMichaelLynch.com