In preparation for the close of the year’s second economic quarter, the White House Council of Economic Advisers has already started the spin: We’re not in a recession if we just redefine what a recession is.
“While some maintain that two consecutive quarters of falling real GDP constitute a recession, that is neither the official definition nor the way economists evaluate the state of the business cycle,” the supposedly nonpartisan group said in a blog post on Thursday.
It’s doubtful the verbal smoke and mirrors will persuade the average Americans whose grocery bills keep growing as fast as their gas tanks empty. A recession is a sustained downturn in economic activity, and many Americans can feel it without knowing what the Q2 numbers are. But it’s far from the first concept the left has simply redefined to deflect the consequences of their failed policies and ideas.
One of their favorite words to redefine, apparently as “full and unchallenged political control,” is democracy. When actual democratic processes are at work — such as when an elected majority votes not to pass a pet piece of legislation, or when issues such as abortion law are left to elected representatives of the people at the state level — leftists scream their favorite catchphrase and call it a “threat to democracy.” They’ve levied that smear at everything from our bicameral legislature to the Supreme Court to the other party in our two-party system. It’s obvious they’re not really talking about democracy in any honest sense of the word. When democracy is a threat to their power, it simply gets redefined.
Another word that’s undergone a 180-degree redefinition is racism. No longer is it considered racist to treat someone differently based on his or her skin color, and not racist to value all human beings equally. Instead, if you’re not promoting theories that “remedy … past discrimination [with] present discrimination,” as critical race theorist Ibram X. Kendi suggests, you are clearly a racist according to the left’s new dictionary. Do you believe in meritocracy? Racist. Think people are responsible for their own choices, and it’s neither possible nor beneficial for the government to dole out equivalent outcomes to everyone by force? Doubly racist. The new liturgy says that true equality lies in teaching some children that they’re part of a hopelessly oppressive system and other children that they’re hopelessly oppressed.
On the subject of pitting people against each other, the term “vaccine” has been ridiculously redefined to cover for the incompetence of the people who profit from them. After the shot that was promised to protect people from Covid transmission and infection failed to ward off either, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention simply changed the definition of “vaccine” to fit the narrative. “A product that stimulates a person’s immune system to produce immunity to a specific disease” was quietly altered to “a preparation that is used to stimulate the body’s immune response against diseases.” Barely a week later, Merriam-Webster followed suit by changing the definition of “anti-vaxxer” from someone who opposes vaccines to someone who doesn’t believe the government should mandate Covid shots.
Just last week, as part of the trans-crazed campaign to redefine what a woman is, Merriam-Webster added “having a gender identity that is the opposite of male” to its definition of “female.” Categories such as “men” and “women” that are based in biological reality don’t suit the agenda that seeks to abolish those realities from minds and bodies. So rather than advocate their agenda within the bounds of reality, the left simply attempts to redefine reality itself. It’s apparent in the push to call women by the objectifying terms “pregnant persons,” “menstruating people,” etc. We saw it when then-Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson told Congress she couldn’t define what a woman is, and it’s obvious in the attempts to put confused men in women’s prisons, shelters, and bathrooms. The reality of womanhood is in the way, so it’s being redefined out of existence.
And while abortion advocates lately have been willing to defend the act of killing a baby in the womb even with the understanding that it takes a human life, for years they’ve pushed their agenda by redefining an unborn baby as a “clump of cells” or some other dehumanizing description.
On any of those topics and more, leftists and their allies in Big Tech also persistently redefine any dissenting opinions or perspectives as disinformation, using that disingenuous label to erase opposition from channels of discourse.
Of course, many people who hear them prattle about “disinformation,” “birthing persons,” “anti-racism,” “threats to democracy,” and their host of other buzzwords know those words are nonsense. We can tell, as George Orwell wrote in 1946, that “political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable.”
But, as he noted, “the worst thing one can do with words is to surrender them.” The danger is in allowing these redefinitions of reality to be said, unchallenged, until enough people forget they could ever be challenged at all.