An open letter to Helen
Some time ago I engaged in an argument with a nice leftist lady named Helen. The argument started in the comments section of the Bookworm blog post on the issue of racism and continued on this blog and Helen’s blog. In the course of this very civil argument I suggested to Helen that she might find my "Reclaiming the Terms" article interesting. She did read the article. At first she commented that she will write more later. I’ll take a liberty to offer her second comment here in its entirety:
After reading this again, Eric, I really don’t have much more to say. Etymology is an interesting field. But I do think it’s part of the reason the term “progressive” came into being. What you learned when you studied English has changed. All languages are living, dynamic, or else dead, like Latin. As times change, so does language. There are those who are mad because homosexuals use the term “gay.” They have to do what you have to do: Get over it.
It’s been a while, but it is time to respond.
It is a pity that you don’t have anything to say. Because unfortunately you missed my point entirely. What I said about English being my second language was meant as sarcasm. The article has nothing to do with etymology. You are right, the meaning of words often does change over time, but never to mean something 180 degrees opposite to the original meaning.
So, it is a pity that you don’t have any comments. I was especially eagerly awaiting your comment on so-called "liberal" support for those "saluting" Palestinian policemen. Let’s see that photograph again:
The link to the original Reuters page does not work any longer. But this Time Magazine link still does:
I call this photograph "Hezbo-Jugend", similar to "Hitler-Jugend. This one still works as well:
Here is the link directly to this last image. So, do you have any comments on the "liberal" support for these people?
You say that the meaning of words changes over time. Fine, let’s recap the meaning of the word "Liberal" in the modern sense, as you understand it.
1. Government-enforced redistribution of wealth, i. e. socialism.
2. Government-enforced limitations of speech, i. e. hate speech laws, political correctness etc.
3. Awarding of privileges based on race and ethnicity, i. e. Affirmative Action.
4. Support for racist organizations like "La Raza".
5. Support for the outright Nazis – see the photographs above.
6. Support for euthanasia, like in the Terri Schiavo case.
How do you like my list of "liberal" positions so far? In addition to this list you can also often find pretty wild anti-Semitism on the Left. In fact, 65 years ago there was a government that pretty much held all those positions. They even used that "salute", now appropriated by the Palestinian Arabs, those darlings of the Left. And, if you look at the videos of Obama rallies, they will remind you of those documentaries from 1930s Germany. So, there is only one more step that remains for the Left: to raise its collective right hand forward and repeat after those Palestinians: "Sig …"
I sincerely hope that you will have something to say, especially about those photographs.
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