Talk Dirty to MeIt's the ultimate, the word that transcends argument, the epitaph that settles the dust and defines the sides. Its use closes doors, alienates friends, cements stereotypes, creates mistrust, provides resentment a safe harbor, shifts focus, and blows smoke.
Language is powerful. Never believe otherwise.
Books, film, theatre, conversation, blogs, newspapers, magazines, comedy clubs, television, radio, and music tap that power. The tiny crunch of grit resounding through the cavernous library underscores it. We seek, need, crave the power of language in order to put a human fingerprint on the chaos of the universe.
What word could possibly wield that much power?
I felt that reaction from here. You know exactly what I mean. I have your attention, whether praise or rebuttal are in your future. The very volatility of the word is intoxicating. We are circling the fires, flames flickering on our faces, leaning in to see the battle with hearts tensed, jaws tight.
Yet, if I asked you to define the word liberal, I wonder what you would say?
I give you, circlers of fires, the definition of liberal:
adj 1: showing or characterized by broad-mindedness; "a broad political stance"; "generous and broad sympathies"; "a liberal newspaper"; "tolerant of his opponent's opinions" [syn: broad, large-minded, tolerant] 2: having political or social views favoring reform and progress 3: tolerant of change; not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or tradition [ant: conservative] 4: given or giving freely; "was a big tipper"; "the bounteous goodness of God"; "bountiful compliments"; "a freehanded host"; "a handsome allowance"; "Saturday's child is loving and giving"; "a liberal backer of the arts"; "a munificent gift"; "her fond and openhanded grandfather" [syn: big, bighearted, bounteous, bountiful, freehanded, handsome, giving, openhanded] 5: not literal; "a loose interpretation of what she had been told"; "a free translation of the poem" [syn: free, loose] n 1: a person who favors a political philosophy of progress and reform and the protection of civil liberties [syn: progressive] [ant: conservative] 2: a person who favors an economic theory of laissez-faire and self-regulating markets. Source: WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University
Several words stand out here: tolerance, reform, giving, and protection.
Tolerance implies acceptance, a lack of judgment on others who are different. This does not imply a lack of respect for the law. It does indicate a lessening of hierarchy, i.e. class, race, haves/have nots. It is the base of seeing human society growing in a constant rate of improvement due to the offering of more opportunity to more people. It does not subscribe to the theory that protecting ones personal wealth by creating barriers to others betters society.
Reform means rooting out barriers that impede opportunity so growth continues.
Giving means searching out need and supplying it for the good of the community.
Protection means caring for all within the community. We do this because we understand that we cannot grow and improve if we do not nurture.
Conservatives hate these ideals, which don't gel with their philosophy of protecting ones own class.
Conservatives identify with "the privileged", the strong, the "ins", the "haves". Conservative whites favor their own kind and try to keep racial minorities "in their place", and out of the jobs and neighborhoods that they would like to conserve for their own kind. Conservatives who have been in America a generation or two strive to keep (newer) "immigrants" out. Conservative males strive to keep women in their place. Conservative adults strive to keep a tight grip on their children (as well as everybody else's). Conservatives heterosexuals don't want homosexuals to gain any ground to catch up with them. Conservative Christians want their religion to be as close to the "official" religion of
America as they can get away with. Healthy Conservatives don't want "their taxes" spent to pay for the health care of the sick. Conservatives who are not oppressed by "officers of the law" could care less about the criminal behavior of police and prison guards against victims powerless to defend themselves, and already presumed the guilty party in any contest between
themselves and their guards. -- Liberals Like Christ
See what I mean about language and power? That's an astonishing bit of accusatory writing. So is this:
"The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful. For the vile person will speak villainy, and his heart will work iniquity, to practice hypocrisy, and to utter error against the LORD, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail. The instruments also of the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right. But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand." Isaiah 32:5-8
"The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. Proverbs 11:25
I believe we have it from a higher source than Rush Limbaugh that liberal is NOT a dirty word.