Paraphrasing George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ to illustrate a simple concept my mother drummed into my head from as far back as I can remember, ‘Words mean things.’
In his other memorable offering, ‘1984,’ Orwell used a construct called “Newspeak” as a means for his dystopian government to control thought. It did so by limiting the number of words available with which to articulate thought. I suppose elimination of words was to the author a simpler method to use in fiction when compared to that which has been employed in fact by those who seek to control our thoughts and our acceptance of their agendas.
The current pathway to achieving Orwell’s objective in what we like to think of as ‘the real world’ is to keep the words but change their meaning. There can be no more glaring example than Merriam Webster’s treatment of the word ‘vaccine.’ One day the word referred to a substance administered to an individual in order to convey immunity and to stop the spread of a disease. Overnight it was expanded to include Gene Therapy.
Consider the difference this small addition makes. The pushback against ‘vaccine’ is growing in scope and strength, fueled primarily by the revelation that it is not a vaccine but in fact is gene therapy. Now, with the stroke of a pen, it is also a vaccine. For the propagandists this neutralizes all argument based on whether or not the government is being truthful in its vaccine regulations, mandates and other pronouncements. Now that gene therapy is a vaccine it is no longer a lie. Advantage Orwell.
Consider VAERS, that trove of information on the negative aspects of vaccines. This is a useful compilation of information but also illustrates our government’s approach to the entire subject. When reports are helpful to the official narrative they are akin to gospel but when they provide data that runs counter to the narrative they are false information. My reaction to the government’s self-serving position on VAERS is like that of Enid Strict, SNL’s Church lady, “Well, isn’t that special?”
But what does all this have to do with States? The word “state” can be used to demonstrate how valuable definition fluidity is to those who wish to usurp power. Nowhere is this more apparent than in The Declaration of Independence. Here we find what was at the time of its writing a simple, straight forward proposition, “That these United Colonies are, and by right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved.” A great stretch of logic is required in order to assign separate meanings to the same word when used twice in the same sentence.
To use ‘State,’ when referring to the Colonies, as meaning a political subdivision of a larger country would imply that Great Britain is also such a subdivision. The meaning applied to one must apply to both. Simple logic but inconvenient for those on the Federal level who feel their ability to control is too restricted by that pesky 10th amendment. So, if you can’t change the constitution, change the definition.
This is probably the earliest example of applying Newspeak to the unique American Experiment in Freedom. Further examples are to be found throughout our 245 year history, slowly converting our dream of a Federalist Republic into the near tyrannical government by overreach we have and accept as status quo today. The Framers of the Constitution gave us Article 1, Section 8, The Enumerated Powers Clause. Basically, if it isn’t to be found there, the Feds have no right to do it. But if you parse the words and change the definitions you can create all sorts of rights never intended by the Founding Fathers.
Perhaps we should have a law mandating that all Constitutional debates be settled using dictionaries published shortly before our revolution. Eliminate definition creep, whether it occurred by popular usage or was contrived, and return to using words as they were understood by those who wrote our founding documents and you completely alter the political landscape. After all, changing the definition of words over time does not change the intent of those who used those words long before they were changed. And isn’t intent the metric by which we interpret the Constitution?
Words are the tools of discourse and Momma was right, words do mean things. The American Bison has endured centuries of being called a Buffalo and yet remains a Bison