I’ve always had a tremendous respect for the English language. It’s a remarkable tool for communication, and in that certain words have tremendous power. It’s the primary reason I don’t swear much — it’s not any form of prudery. I know and respect and understand the power of those words, and I despise seeing them diluted and watered down through overuse — I want to save them for those special occasions.
But there are other words that have great power that are also diluted through overuse. And of late, two of them have been so overused and abused by the left to the point where they have almost no meaning.
The first is “hate.” Hate crimes, hate groups, haters, hatred, all that crap. I was reminded of this just the other day by the endangered commenter Bob Armstrong:
I don’t see Sullivan et al smearing Romney? No, it’s Palin and Santorum and Bachmann – you know – the haters – who get hate back in their face. They earned it and deserve it.
Palin, Santorum, Bachmann. “Haters.”
I don’t follow Palin as closely as some, but I don’t recall her ever saying anything hateful, in the traditional sense.
Santorum is not that fond of gays, it’s clear. But looking at those quotes, it’s all focused not on homosexuality, but legal sanction of gay marriage. To me, that’s a far cry from “hatred.”
And with Bachmann, it mainly revolves around her beliefs that homosexuality can be “cured.” In her mind, it seems, homosexuality is a defect or an illness or affliction, one that can be removed and the individual healed and made whole. While I think she’s seriously wrong about that (it might be true in certain rare cases, but I don’t think it’s generally true), to me it doesn’t represent hate. In fact, to her, she’s trying to “help” them — going along with the Christian doctrine of “hate the sin, love the sinner.” Wrong-headed, but well-meaning.
So, if they don’t hate gays, to me, who does?
Well, Nazis. They hated gays so much, they made them wear special marks, sent them to concentration camps, and killed them.
The Westboro Baptist Church assholes, for another. Their anti-gay hatred is so strong, they condemn anyone who isn’t as anti-gay as they are as actively supporting the gay agenda, and attack them.
And for a third, exceptionally devout Muslims. The Koran gives very specific penalties for gays. The Bible does, too, to be fair, but pretty much no contemporary Christian religion still endorses that — while homosexuality is a death penalty offense in most Muslim nations, and in most Muslim cultures.Israel actually accepts gay Muslims as political refugees, and the gay culture in Israel is very strong — which someone really ought to explain to the “Queers For Palestine” dipshits.
It isn’t just gay rights that takes up the “hate” theme. The Southern Poverty Law Center divides “hate groups” into 12 themes: Anti-Gay, Anti-Immigrant, Black Separatist, Christian Identity, Holocaust Denial, Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Confederate, Neo-Nazi, Racist Music, Racist Skinhead, Radical Traditional Catholicism, and White Nationalist. I had my problems with their list, but again it seems that if one opposes enough liberal agenda items, or one or two strongly enough, you’re a “hate group.” Or a “hater,” if you’re not organized enough.
Another term that’s been seriously overused in the past few years? “Racist.” If you oppose President Obama’s agenda and actions, you’re obviously motivated — at least in part, if not entirely — by racism. Here’s a stereotypical discussion, abbreviated:
“I don’t like how Obama is doing X.”
“You had no problems when Bush did it, so you’re obviously a racist.”
“When Bush did it, it was nowhere near this extreme. Plus, Bush was doing other, more important things right, so I let it slide. But Obama has turned it up to 11, while also screwing up a lot of other things, too.”
“Shut up, you racist!”
That’s not really that much an exaggeration. You’ve all seen it. But it’s been overplayed so much, being called a “racist” is becoming a badge of honor — as long as you spell it properly, as in “RAAAAACIST!11!1!!!” (Capitalizing, exclamation points, and 1’s optional, but 5 A’s mandatory.)
The goal behind the name-calling is obvious. It’s to first change the subject from the topic at hand to the person discussing it, then to shut them up through intimidation — no one wants to be known as a hateful racist. In the old days, you’d immediately trigger a defensive reaction as the accused immediately drops the argument to refute the charges. But at that point, though, they’ve pretty much lost the fight.
Which is why the new tactic is to simply laugh it off and mock and scorn the accuser. It’s the tactic I try to use, but don’t always remember to do so.
The fun question, though, is once “racist” and “hater” have lost all their power, what word will the liberals seize upon next?
My own hunch is that they won’t admit they’ve worn them out, and keep trying to use them. I simply don’t think they’re self-aware enough to realize it.