Want to know why progressives keep winning? The answer is simple: they control language. Progressives redefine words to suit their narratives, and everyone else follows along.
Consider the story that’s been dominating the front pages for the past couple of weeks. We’ve all seen it dozens of times, in sources ranging from those we consider reliable to those we know are mere propaganda sheets. The common formulation goes something like this:
A protected whistleblower complained that President Trump pressured Ukrainian President Zelensky to dig up dirt on a political rival. Upon being alerted to these concerns, the House opened an impeachment inquiry.
It’s a simple formulation designed to turn Americans against the president. And as stated, the behavior seems indefensible. Which means that it’s worth asking whether this popular formulation is stated reasonably. Answer: It’s not even close.
This popular formulation rests upon nonstandard definitions of “protected,” “whistleblower,” “pressured,” “dig up dirt,” “political rival,” and “impeachment.”
Let’s take a look at them one at a time:
While “whistleblower” may have a technical legal definition, it also has a common one. When people hear it, they assume (quite reasonably) that it refers to someone who has inside, firsthand knowledge that their boss is engaged in inappropriate behavior. The law “protects” such whistleblowers from reprisal in their jobs to encourage them to come forward.
Here, a person who heard reports about a presidential phone call that he or she found disturbing brought them forward in something purporting to be a whistleblower letter. In standard language: An anonymous source reported that unnamed members of the intelligence community found a presidential phone call troubling. Fair enough. People leak and complain all the time. Why grace it with the noble-sounding “whistleblower” label just because this anonymous complainant used a whistleblower form rather than an opinion column?
What’s more, why protect this complainant as if he had already testified and entered the witness protection program? The press routinely reports the identities of bona fide whistleblowers; their employment protection doesn’t exempt them from public scrutiny. Even if some quirk in the law affords whistleblower protection to this non-whistleblower, anonymity isn’t part of it.
Next, let’s look at “pressured.” President Zelensky says he never felt pressured. The transcript of the phone call shows no pressure. Barring evidence to the contrary, the proper word here is “requested.”
How about “digging up dirt” on a “political rival?” That makes it sound like Trump asked Zelensky for information about a rumor that Ukraine’s national airline let Beto O’Rourke fly on points during a blackout period. In fact, Trump’s request was for the new Ukrainian President to investigate former Vice President Biden’s boast that he had used the power of his office to force personnel changes in the Ukrainian government that happened to benefit his own son. The language appropriate here would be “investigating potential allegation by the former Vice President.”
Finally, “impeachment” has a clear legal definition. It’s a Constitutional procedure the House of Representatives may use to begin removing a president. There’s no doubt that the House could launch an impeachment inquiry into President Trump. It has not, however, done so. The House acts by voting, not by pronouncement of its Speaker. Without a vote, the current inquiry is simply not an impeachment.
So what is it? When President Trump suggested calling it a “coup attempt,” the media recoiled in horror. Yet the term seems appropriate. A coup occurs when one part of a government moves against another. At the end of the coup, key personnel have been replaced, the balance of power among governmental actors has shifted, but the form and foundations of the government remain intact.
That seems like a fine definition of what’s happening here. Individual House committees claim that their “oversight” powers enable them to review every record generated within the White House for potential improprieties, whether or not they relate to legislation. Such authority — never before claimed in U.S. history — would represent a significant rebalancing of power between the Executive and Legislative branches. Coupled with the stated (if unlikely) attempt to remove President Trump from office, it’s hard to see why the Democrat House’s behavior fails to qualify as a coup attempt.
Sadly, few sources will report the truth. Even the reliable among them will likely continue to buckle beneath the oppressive progressive ownership of language. We are indeed in the midst of an important story. Using words as they’re commonly understood, it reads something like this:
According to an anonymous source (since confirmed), President Trump asked Ukrainian President Zelensky to investigate allegations that a former U.S. VP had engaged in corruption within the Ukraine. Upon being alerted to these concerns, the House launched a coup attempt that is still underway.
Will anyone out there begin to report the truth? I’m not holding my breath.
Bruce Abramson is the President of Informationism, Inc., a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, and the founder of the American Restoration Institute. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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