In his book “Rules for Radicals,” leftist leader Saul Alinsky wrote: “He who controls the language controls the masses.” This has become one of the bedrocks of the far left’s ideology. Progressives have used Alinsky’s words as the nuts, cogs, and bolts in their Orwellian propaganda machine.
The propaganda apparatus may no longer be functioning at optimal levels.
The use of such weaponized language has made the progressive left immensely powerful, both in the government and the culture. However, the propaganda apparatus may no longer be functioning at optimal levels.
The Orwell Machine
Recently, Politico reported that the White House is considering the implementation of an executive action to prevent the caravan of Central American immigrants from entering the United States. This order would “restrict certain migrants’ ability to seek asylum.”
Eleanor Acer, a director for Human Rights First, a pro-immigrant organization, released a written statement criticizing the White House for considering such a move. “Any attempt to block from the United States the vulnerable men, women, and children who come here seeking safety is a shameful new low for this administration,” she wrote. “This Latino ban is flagrantly unconstitutional and will not hold up in court.”
If the term “Latino ban” sounds familiar, it’s probably because when President Trump issued the executive order restricting immigration from several Islamic countries, the progressive left dubbed it the “Muslim ban.” Of course, the terminology was deceptive; President Trump was not banning all — or even most — Muslims from entering the United States. He is also not planning to restrict legal immigration from any Central American nations.
The left’s use of the term “Muslim ban” failed to change minds. Indeed, a Reuters poll conducted last year revealed that about 60% of Americans supported Trump’s travel ban. It is unlikely that the use of the term “Latino ban” will fare any better, given the fact that the majority of the public also supports Trump’s approach to illegal immigration.
Moreover, the majority of Americans — both on the left and the right — have decisively rejected the progressives’ use of political correctness to police speech. Apparently, Americans don’t like elitists telling them what they can and cannot say. Who knew?
Surprisingly, the right is gaining more traction in clever ways to use language. One of the less-discussed skills that President Trump has brought to the Republican Party is his aptitude at branding and marketing. Take, for example, the recent slogan “jobs, not mobs.” This slogan is a brilliant instance of the influential use of language … simple but precisely on point.
But this slogan differs from the progressive propaganda machine in one critical way: it isn’t deceptive. The GOP has managed to decrease the unemployment rate to historically low levels. On the other hand, leftist politicians and their allies in the establishment media have encouraged their followers to use mob antics to further their cause.
Perhaps the left still retains dominance in the culture, but this may be beginning to change. Americans have grown weary of the doublespeak. Now it appears that the left, with a deft challenger to its language machine, may be hampered in its ability to control the masses.