The English language evolves quickly. New terms emerge and old ones die with remarkable speed, especially in our accelerated age. Changes in culture, technology, and entertainment are often the catalysts, but more and more, the pursuit of social justice is the cause.
The latter leads to what author Steven Pinker named the “euphemism treadmill.” One term is deemed offensive, so it is replaced with a new term, which, over time, is deemed offensive itself.
A good example of this comes from the field of mental health. Offended by hopelessly vague and unscientific terms like “crazy” and “madness,” early psychologists chose sterile, humane terms such as “moron,” “imbecile,” and “idiot.” But if you happened to visit a schoolyard any time after the Harding administration, you know it didn’t take long for kids to yell those well-meaning terms as they pantsed the kid with his tongue stuck to the flagpole.
Earlier this week, liberals forced out the CEO of tech company Mozilla for privately holding common but unfashionable political views. Liberals continue to hound the owners of Hobby Lobby for defending their religious liberty, and also harass the libertarian Koch Brothers for supporting liberty-friendly causes.
Every week it becomes more obvious that liberals are not liberal in any way shape or form.
The word “liberal” comes from liberalis, the Latin word for “freedom.” Politically speaking, the Oxford English Dictionary defines “liberal” as “favoring maximum individual liberty in political and social reform.”
As Republicans were starting the 113th Congress, I offered them some unsolicited advice from my years in marketing. Noting the overwhelmingly pro-Obama bias of the mainstream media, I recommended they use a little messaging jujitsu. They could use the president’s rhetoric against him and win over a frustrated electorate at the same time.
As a first step, I told the House leadership to redefine Obama’s “balanced approach” catchphrase to mean “balanced budget” in the public’s mind:
Since November's debacle, hundreds of conservative pundits and activists have wrung their hands over the GOP’s messaging problem. Luckily for Republicans my background is in branding, marketing and communications, so let's fix this.
In today's mainstream media, conservatives can't catch a break. Epic Democratic catastrophes are ignored while minor Republican faux pas are branded as threats to the republic. Among the chattering classes liberalism has all the power; that won’t be reversed overnight. So conservatives must use liberals' power against them.
The Japanese term for this technique is jujitsu — literally, "the art of yielding." Instead of rushing to fight a stronger opponent head-on, a jujitsu fighter wins by co-opting his opponent's strength. If the attacker throws a devastating punch at your face, you grasp his arm and redirect it to the ground behind you. Sure, the bad guy is more powerful, but that power leads to his defeat.