As someone who upholds traditional American family values, I am increasingly alarmed at the events in our nation. With an intensity unlike anything I have seen in my life, our values are being challenged and replaced with another value system that is un-American. We need to acknowledge that our enemies are using tactics that have worked against us to gain an advantage. I want to examine those tactics to see if we can reverse course.
My theory is that people of faith, conservatives, and Republicans have been losing the culture war largely because we have failed to understand the age-old maxim “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Language is used as a devastatingly powerful weapon by defining and framing issues. We have allowed the left to hijack and redefine the words we use to describe the important issues of our day.
As a result, we have been unable to effectively define who we are and why we believe as we do. This has severely weakened our positions, the groups to which we belong, and the results we ought to be enjoying. If you will forgive me for using marketing terminology, I believe it is the reason the religious, the conservative, and the Republican brands are failing. It is also the reason we are having a hard time attracting young people to our side.
I will illustrate the point using one of the most contentious issues in America: abortion.
Before 1973, the word “abortion” meant “the spontaneous expulsion of a human fetus during the first 12 weeks of gestation.” It was synonymous with the word “miscarry.” Abortion originally meant the natural ending of a pregnancy. The left hijacked the word and redefined it to mean something vastly different. Now it means the process by which external forces (with chemicals or sharp instruments) end the life of a human being that would otherwise have been born naturally.
But the left didn’t stop there. They also hijacked the word “choice” and doubled down by defining the phrases “women’s rights,” “reproductive freedom,” and “women’s liberation.” Choice, rights, freedom, and liberation just sound so nice. Who could be against any of those things? Obviously only mean, nasty, and evil people. Right?
Over 2,500 years ago, Sun Tzu, the Chinese warrior, said, “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” The left’s use of language to change the definition of right and wrong enabled them to win this huge battle without fighting. In my estimation, flipping the definitions of “abortion” and “choice” literally cost the lives of over 62 million people in the United States. The left chose the battlefield, and we lost the battle before it was even fought. It turns out Sun Tzu was right.
Although there is no doubt that we suffered a terrible loss in 1973, I would argue the aftermath was even worse because the way we lost exposed a weakness that has been repeatedly exploited by our enemies to this day. The progressive left learned from their 1973 victory that language shapes culture, which in turn determines public policy and law. They realized that whoever controls the narrative controls the world.
From this perspective, it should become obvious why the left has made such a determined effort to first infiltrate, then control, the institutions that influence culture. It is now almost five decades since Roe v. Wade, and it is not disputable that leftists control almost all the mechanisms that create culture and attach value to ideas.
Make no mistake: The left is destroying America by lying and by bullying. Although the lying is still hidden, the bullying is in full view. Do you think Jack(boot) Dorsey cares if he is called in front of the Senate to answer for his actions? Do you think the executives of Hollywood, FoxNews, YouTube, Facebook, and Google care what you or your senator think?
The fact that they have become so bold is an indication they realize they control the narrative and the flow of information. They know they have an awesome and dangerous power, and they are acting like it. Under these circumstances, it should come as no surprise that the country is moving rapidly towards socialism, totalitarianism, and tyranny.
As bad as the situation is, I firmly believe we can reverse course and win. But to do that, we must recognize our enemy’s strengths and our weaknesses in the hope that we can improve our position.
I am convinced it starts with aggressively protecting and defending the language we use to define the constructs of our culture. We must not allow our enemies to frame the issues by redefining words.
It is time to speak up, and speak up boldly, because the truth will set you free—unless you allow truth to be redefined.
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