Progressives’ Three-Card Monte
What constitutes news? What does the word even mean anymore? Words have gone from having specific meanings to being malleable tools used to advance a progressive agenda.
Warnings of global cooling in the 1970s became warnings of global warming in the 1990s. Then, when the facts turned out to be completely uncooperative, it became climate change, a meaningless catch-all that can be neither proven nor disproven and whose only use is to bludgeon opponents of the progressives’ “solution.” What doesn’t change is that solution. It’s always more government, more control.
All of this was done in plain sight, right in front of our noses. But like an easy mark being taken on the street in a game of three-card Monte, conservatives continued to play with barely a whimper.
This week the media focused on gay marriage. The Supreme Court heard two cases that won’t be decided for months, yet the days leading up to the hearings were plastered with stories of gay and lesbian couples designed to elicit an emotional response. The days after were filled with “analysis” about as useful as a fortune cookie. Logic, on the other hand, was absent. So was any news about the tanking economy, the lack of jobs, the failure of the progressive agenda to in any way help struggling Americans.
Opponents of gay marriage were painted as knuckle-dragging Neanderthals; supporters were portrayed as just this side of civil rights marchers staring down fire hoses and attack dogs. Progressives have been building to this moment for a decade, and the media played its part perfectly. Media bias is as much about how something is covered as what is covered.
Language is the key to communication, but it’s also the key to manipulation. This fight was won by the left the moment it introduced the words “same-sex marriage.” With that, the word was essentially redefined. Opponents played right along, adopting “traditional marriage” as their cause. Marriage always has meant one thing — the union of a man and a woman — but once it was “adjectived” a new normal was born. (I explained this and the reason for my opposition to gay marriage last year,: read it here.)
But this issue is hardly the only one where language is both the first casualty and a key weapon in the battle. In fact, progressives and their media allies do this all the time and are winning because of it.
Polls show gay marriage rates about as high as polar bear attacks in Miami do on the list of concerns of Americans, but you’d think it was the key to deficit reduction and economic growth with the amount of coverage it has gotten. Similar attention inversely proportional to the concerns of the American people is being paid to other issues, and similarly weaponized words are being employed to advance them.
Immigration reform gets coverage, but little outside of handpicked sad tales of woe designed not to inform but to elicit sympathy for illegal aliens. I used that term deliberately because you’re not supposed to, yet it’s the most appropriate description of their legal status. At least for now. New terms range from “undocumented workers” to “new Americans,” neither of which makes any sense when you look at the fact surrounding their being in this country illegally. But the law and logic have no place in this fight.
Who exactly is clamoring for “comprehensive immigration reform?” We’re told illegal aliens snuck into this country to find work and send money back home to take care of their families. Were they asking for citizenship? Of course not. It’s progressives, acting “on their behalf” who are.
If our economy was in desperate need of more unskilled workers, our public education system pumps them out at an alarming rate. If we were flush with computer engineers a case could be made, but we need to import those and progressives won’t increase the number of high-skilled H1B visas without it being part of a larger package. Companies in need of skilled labor continue to move out of the country while progressives play chicken with our economic future. They don’t want high-paying jobs, they want voters — or, more correctly, votes.
The ability to work in this country could be extended to illegal aliens easily and with little fanfare or controversy, but that’s not the point. Racial politics is the progressives’ bread and butter; their quest for power was born from racism. Over the years, their tactics have changed but their object hasn’t. They obtain power by dividing — by race, by gender, by anything they can. They create victims, exploit them by claiming to be their champion, get votes, advance their agenda and gain power. But they never solve problems; they only exploit them. Ask the black community how 50-plus years of near blind loyalty to progressives has worked out for them.
The only place the tools of division are irrelevant to progressives is in their leadership. If you’re about advancing the agenda, for “the cause,” that’s all that matters. Race hustlers such as Al Sharpton fit right in, and no one says a word about Michael Moore earning tens of millions of dollars decrying the accumulation of wealth by others.
Being a progressive is a get-out-of-hypocrisy free card for damn-near anything. It’s the red queen we are constantly searching for but never finding in this never ending game of three-card Monte we keep playing with progressives. If we don’t reclaim the language we will keep losing.
PS: My friend Paolo pointed out to me how progressives used to call ex-felons “pips” or previously incarcerated persons, but now they’re called “Returning Citizens.” Felons, or even “pips,” lets you know someone committed a crime and is therefore ineligible to vote. But a “returning citizen” who is ineligible to vote, that just sounds wrong. Progressives, always in search of more votes, will win the ex-felon vote, but restoring voting rights to murders, drug dealers and the like has been a tough sell. Denying “returning citizens” the vote is an easier case to make. Forget the fact that they aren’t returning from Club Med or a stint in the Peace Corp, they’re getting out of prison, the agenda must be advanced. Expect to hear more about this in the coming years as the push to restore voting ex-felon’s voting rights continues to grow.
Derek Hunter is Washington, DC based writer, radio host and political strategist.: You can also stalk his thoughts 140 characters at a time on Twitter.