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Tell It Like It Is

Another Tea Party Battle — Get Our Language Back!

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Thomas Segel is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or

December 17, 2010 | 1,344 views | Post a comment

Harlingen, Texas, December 18, 2010: If people think about our language at all, Christmas would be the time when the topic would be foremost in our minds. It is always during this special time of the year that our friends in the American Civil Liberties Union show their true colors and make threats to bring litigation into play for any who decide to write, speak or sing about this holy day in any public arena.

We can see the fear this organization manages to inject into American hearts by the fact that “Happy Holidays”, as a greeting, has replaced “Merry Christmas” among many individuals, organizations and businesses. It does not seem to matter that Christmas has been a national legal holiday since signed into law by President U. S. Grant in 1870. A large segment of this country seems to fear uttering the word “Christmas”.

George Orwell nailed the fear in his 1949 novel titled “Nineteen Eighty Four”. In that story the government has established a new language designed to help control the population. It is called Newspeak. The basic idea of the language was to remove all shades of meaning from words and make it easier for the government to rule.

Many living during the time of Orwell’s writings rejected the author’s laments that the quality of our language was declining and could lead to fuzzy ideas and the lack of logical thinking. Thus, he used Newspeak in his novel to explain how this degrading process works on just about everyone.

We can now move to the 1980s and the birth of Political Correctness in the United States. According to Philip Atkinson writing on “Political Correctness”, the declared rationale of this communal tyranny was to prevent people from being “offended” and to compel everyone to use words which would not offend women, minorities, homosexuals, handicapped, fat people or those who were ugly.

The true purpose behind the politically correct movement was to create an atmosphere where certain words, expressions, ideas, practices and behaviors, though legal...would be forbidden. As more and more people became involved in the movement, the population and its thought processes became more pliable and easier to manage. Political correctness became the unwritten law in some communities and even written into law in other locales.

If we are ever to identify and end the odious nature of political correctness, it must start now. Here I am paraphrasing Atkinson ...As a people, we must stress the importance of plain speaking. We must also stress freedom of choice and freedom of speech because these are the safeguards against the imposition of tyranny.

Those who saw the ground swell movement that became the Tea Party also saw something else happen in the United States. They saw the political double talk or “Newspeak” of politicians attacked at every quarter. They saw the Tea Party activists use plain language to address their demands that the United States return to those principles written in our Constitution. They not only said, “stop spending”, they also said, “stop lying” to the people.

Those in the Tea Party are already starting to become uneasy again about our elected officials. They see an attempt to do some backsliding into the old ways of Washington. The GOP is already selecting members of the Old Guard for chairmanships and softening their language on pledges they made during the campaign.

It was clear during the election that the American people did not want a return to the old ways of Congress. The Tea Party should again speak out loud and often in plain language, so there can be no misunderstanding about what is meant when the people give voice to a concern.

The movement may not be able to stop those Newspeak members of the ACLU from attacking Christmas, but it can let that gang of miscreants know we are paying attention to every word they utter and those words one day will come back to haunt them.

As for Congress, Democrat and Republican alike should really start paying attention to the American people. Honesty and plain talk can win elections. Remembering how they got there can keep them in office.

Semper Fidelis
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