Words are important. We put them on paper and make books. We use them to argue or defend a point. We encourage, console, correct, and demand with words.
While the words, and the delivery of the words, are very important, it’s what words do in our brain that makes them work.
Friend brings up the picture of someone we know. Dog a favorite pet. Titanium, on the other hand, probably doesn’t do much for you unless you have had a hip replacement. In that case, Titanium probably brings up a picture of your new hip.
When you read a book, you create pictures in your mind.
In the last couple of years I, and others like me, have been identified as “potential terrorists”, racists, (actual) terrorists, and the latest….hostage takers.
It’s easy to shrug this off because we have been taught that words can’t hurt us, but we need to understand why these labels are being applied to former military, conservatives, Tea Party members, and anyone else who disagrees with this administration, and the progressive wing of the Democrat Party. It is an attempt to change our mind pictures.
It’s not just coincidence that we turn on the news and find people using the same terms over and over. Members of the press and political class get these words from those who supply their talking points. It is the job of these word suppliers to identify the words that will effect the reactions of the listening public.
We hear the word “racist” and think of white sheets and burning crosses. When the word racist is applied to those who disagree with the president, we still see white sheets and burning crosses and now we see ourselves. We might reject the notion that we are racist, but the picture is still there. Others, who do not share our political views see the same and do not reject the comparison. A picture has been painted with a word that used to have only one meaning, but now has more. If they try to amend the meaning of a word once or twice, it’s no big deal. If it happens over and over, the new meaning becomes the only meaning.
We can’t change what people call us. However, we should not allow these labels to be applied without protest. When someone calls you a racist or a terrorist because you disagree with the president, you should be able to explain your political position, thus proving it is a difference in ideology, and nothing else. Remember also, that we can’t win the battle of ideals and ideas by only defending our position. Sharpen your words and wits and go forth, but remember that the weapon of words should be used carefully. They are a most powerful weapon and so very often, badly used.