You often speak of the importance of using language responsibly, i.e. not like a librul.
So I thought you would enjoy this:
“Our understanding is conducted solely by means of the word: anyone who falsifies it betrays public society. It is the only tool by which we communicate our wishes and our thoughts; it is our soul’s interpreter: if we lack that, we can no longer hold together; we can no longer know each other. When words deceive us, it breaks all intercourse and loosens the bonds of our polity.” – Montaigne
Montaigne's point is mine. Language matters. It deserves respect as the vehicle and enabler of our thoughts and -- to change the metaphor -- the common currency for the exchange of ideas. To tamper with the accepted meanings of words in order to secure argumentative or political advantage is a form of cheating. Wittgenstein likened languages to games. But games have rules, and we cannot tolerate those who change the rules mid-game. We must demand of our opponents that they use language responsibly, and engage us on the common terrain of accepted usage.
The violation of accepted usage is a common ploy of contemporary liberals. Some examples:
Minimal ID requirements are said to disenfranchise certain classes of voters. The common sense requirements amount to voter suppression. They are described absurdly as an onerous barrier to voting."
Onerous? Barrier? In Pennsylvania a photo ID can be had free of charge. In Arizona it costs a paltry $12 and is good for 12 years. If you are 65 or older, or on SS disability, it is free.
People who insist on the rule of law with respect to immigation are called xenophobic. And then there are the cheaply-fabricated neologistic '-phobe' compounds. One who rationally articulates a principled position against same-sex marriage is dismissed as homophobic. One who draws attention to the threat of radical Islam is denounced as Islamophobic.
The sheer stupidity of these mendacious coinages ought to disgust anyone who can think straight. A phobia is an irrational fear. But the proponents of traditional marriage have no fear of homosexuals or their practices, let alone an irrational fear of them. And those alive to the threat of radical Islam may be said to fear it, but the fear is rational.
Liberals can't seem to distinguish dissent from hate. So they think that if you dissent from liberal positions, then you hate liberals. How stupid can a liberal be? "You disagree with liberal ideas, therefore you are a hater!" Even worse: "You differ with a black liberal's ideas, therefore you are a hater and a racist!"
'Unilateral.' John Nichols of the The Nation appeared on the hard-Left show, "Democracy Now," on the morning of 2 September 2004. Like many libs and lefties, he misused 'unilateral' to mean 'without United Nations support.' In this sense, coalition operations against Saddam Hussein's regime were 'unilateral' despite the the fact that said operations were precisely those of a coalition of some thirty countries. The same willful mistake was made by his boss Victor Navasky on 17 July 2005 while being interviewed by David Frum on C-Span 2.
There are plenty more examples, e.g., 'white Hispanic.' When Republicans had control of the presidency and both houses of Congress, Dems whined about a 'one-party system.' Exercise for the reader: find more examples of liberal misuse of language.
In Chapter 42 of his Essays, Montaigne remarks that
We praise a horse for its strength and speed, not on account of its harness; a greyhound for its swiftness and not its collar; a hawk for its wing and not for its jesses and bells. Why then do we not value a man for what is his? . . . If you bargain over a horse, you remove its trappings, you see it bare and uncovered . . . . Why, when estimating a man, do you estimate him all wrapped and muffled up? . . . We must judge him by himself, not by his attire. (Tr. E. J. Trechmann)
I am tempted to agree by saying what I once said to my mother when she told me that clothes make the man, namely, that if clothes make the man, then the kind of man that clothes make is not the kind of man I want to be. (Women are undeniably more sensitive than men to the fact that the world runs on appearances. They have a deep intuitive understanding of the truth that the Germans express when they say, Der Schein regiert die Welt.)
But there is another side to the problem, one that the excellent Montaigne ignores. A horse does not choose its bit and harness, but has them imposed on it. A man, however, chooses how he will appear to his fellows, and so choosing makes a statement as to his values and disvalues. It follows that there is some justification in judging by externals. For the externals we choose, unlike the externals imposed on a horse, are defeasible indicators of what is internal. In the case of human beings, the external is not merely external: the external is also an expression of the internal. Our outer trappings express our attitudes and beliefs, our allegiances and alignments.
That being said, I remain a proud sartorial functionalist who pays no attention to what Thoreau’s "head monkey in Paris" is up to. Practicality and utility rule. Footwear, for example, must be such as to enable the climbing of a mountain should a mountain present itself to be climbed. Bandannas serve as handkerchiefs given their muti-utility for signalling, going incognito, protecting the nasal passages should one find oneself in the midst of an Arizona dust devil, stanching nosebleeds consequent upon overzealous cleaning operations, impeding circulation in case of snakebite . . . .
Pants in summer, that is, during seven months of the year in these parts, must be short to allow proper ventilation despite their ridiculous appearance. Belts must be sturdy enough to support a shootin’ ahrn. A shirt without pockets is worthless, and optimally comes equipped with two deep ones. One needs space for notebook, pen, compass, and what all else. Long ‘geek pants’ that are zipper-enabled for quick transmogrification into short pants are not looked at askance. And so on.
To allow fashion to dictate one's attire shows a lack of independence. Be a man, be yourself, and to hell with the Parisian head monkey.