When metaphors attack!
By: Matt Barber
Guns donâ€™t kill people, metaphors do. Itâ€™s true. Words have consequences. I tested it: I used a sports analogy yesterday and a pick-up game of hoops broke out.
This is liberal-think. Silly, isnâ€™t it?
Yes, words can have consequences. Except for when they donâ€™t. As we soon learned â€” and as officially â€œnot stupidâ€ people already knew â€” the horrific shootings in Tucson on January 8 had exactly nothing to do with â€œtone,â€ â€œpolitical discourseâ€ or â€œincendiary rhetoric,â€ and had everything to do with mental illness, individual responsibility and raw evil.
Not only did Jared Lee Loughner turn out not to be a Sarah Palin-loving, Tea Party-attending, â€œright-wingâ€ talk radio hound; he ended up being a Bush-hating, â€œlefty pot-head,â€ 9/11 â€œtrutherâ€ whose favorite books include the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf.
So does this mean that liberals are â€œaccomplices to mass murderâ€ due to their well-documented history of â€œdangerous political rhetoricâ€? Well, yes, if you apply liberal-think. No, if you apply reality.
Still, this hasnâ€™t stopped the dinosaur media, left-wing politicos and bloggity-blah-blahs in PJs from using this tragedy to whip together a frothy mix of feigned indignation, slimy politicking and â€œprogressiveâ€ puerility.
In a not-so-thinly veiled effort to lay blame at the feet of all things â€” and all people â€” conservative, theyâ€™ve baked-up a steamy meme of â€œviolent rhetoricâ€ pie. Itâ€™s been ugly.
That said, weâ€™re now at the point where the leftâ€™s disgraceful political exploitation of this national tragedy has sunk to such low-rent absurdity that itâ€™s worthy of little more than ridicule.
Conservative pundits and mental health experts have broadly and effectively diagnosed, deconstructed and discredited this obtuse â€œblame-everyone-but-the-bad-guyâ€ pablum to the point where reasonable America â€” left, right and center â€” has shared a collective eye-roll. Itâ€™s backfired magnificently.
Yet there are people, entire â€œnews networksâ€ in fact, who evidently believe that using metaphorical war imagery in the game of politics â€” something done since Eve first lobbied Adam to put the seat up â€” is likely to cause some nutcase to go postal (although I suppose that could be why Cain went off on Abel).
Take CNN, for instance: In a recent broadcast, CNN anchor John King issued an immediate apology after a guest used, on air â€” and appropriately so â€” the word â€œcrosshairsâ€ in a political discussion about the Chicago mayoral race.
We were just having a discussion about the Chicago mayoral race. Just a moment ago, my friend Andy Shawâ€¦ used the term â€œin the crosshairs,â€ in talking about the candidates out there. Weâ€™re trying â€” weâ€™re trying to get away from that language. â€¦ We wonâ€™t always be perfect. So, hold us accountable when we donâ€™t meet your standards.
Alright, Mr. King, Iâ€™m holding you accountable. Whereâ€™s your apology? After all, when you begged forgiveness for airing the word â€œcrosshairs,â€ you repeated the word â€œcrosshairs.â€ Shouldnâ€™t you have said â€œthe CH wordâ€ or some other such nonsense?
This is political correctness. Silly, isnâ€™t it?
But apparently Republicans have also caught the PC bug. While publicly addressing the now-passed House version of the officially tagged â€œRepealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act,â€ theyâ€™ve dropped the words â€œjob killingâ€ and now use â€œjob destroying.â€
Hereâ€™s an idea: Rather than capitulating to its dictates, perhaps the best way to â€œdestroyâ€ political correctness is to place it in your â€œcrosshairsâ€ (um, metaphorically) and then â€œpull the triggerâ€ (er, figuratively).
Political correctness is a barrier to truth and honest debate. Itâ€™s the soft-sell, beat-around-the-bush catalyst for our escalating American wussification. Weâ€™re now lectured by the left as ironically as possible that itâ€™s â€œinsensitiveâ€ to use such war imagery and â€œincendiary rhetoricâ€ in political discourse.
Well, Nancy-boy, lifeâ€™s insensitive. Truthâ€™s insensitive. Politics are insensitive. This isnâ€™t badminton. Weâ€™re at war here. Itâ€™s a war for our culture â€” a war of ideas. Itâ€™s a battle for the heart and soul of a still great nation.
Conservatives, nowâ€™s not the time to play touchy-feely. Itâ€™s the time for a full-on, no-holds-barred, shock-and-awe frontal assault. Because when the good guys self-censor in the name of political correctness, the bad guys win.
I know its clichÃ©, but guns donâ€™t kill people. If they do, then my nine-iron sucks at golf. Neither do metaphors kill people. No, evil people kill people. And if you think words are to blame, then brush your teeth.
Matt Barber is an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. He is the Director of Cultural Affairs for Liberty Counsel. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Facebook/jmattbarber / Twitter @jmattbarber.
Matt Barber (@jmattbarber on Twitter) is an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. He serves as vice president of Liberty Counsel Action. (This information is provided for identification purposes only.)