A Naked Phrase Goes Clothes Shopping

By Minta Marie Morze

The President in the 2015 SOTU used the terms “fearful and reactive”. He also used the phrase “violent extremist”.

Consider these lines from the SOTU:

“Will we approach the world fearful and reactive, dragged into costly conflicts that strain our military and set back our standing? Or will we lead wisely, using all elements of our power to defeat new threats and protect our planet?”

Here, I believe: “Fearful” could translate to, for example, the NRA, Bible Clingers, Pro-Lifers, Tea Partiers, the Right, and so forth. “Reactive” could be a reference to the known term ”Reactionary”, which means Conservatives, the Right Wing, Climate Change Deniers, and in short, it also could include everyone who is “fearful”, etc.: the “Fearful Reactionary Them” on the Right against whom the Progressive “Courageous Anointed Us” is in perpetual conflict.

People wonder why the President and his Administration won’t use the phrase “Jihadi violent extremism” or “Muslim violent extremism”. Even in the SOTU, he used the term “violent extremism”. He has said elsewhere that he is going to convene an international conference on “Violent Extremism”.

From the SOTU:

“. . . and assisting people everywhere who stand up to the bankrupt ideology of violent extremism.”

While there are many reasons for the Administration to insist on these terms and against the others, against any term relating to Islamists, I believe that a major reason for the omission—a very, very important reason—is simply this:

If you use the phrases “Jihadi Violent Extremism” or “Muslim Violent Extremism”, and if you call for an international conference to deal with the problem, then Islamist Violence/Terrorism will be what it is about. If you simply say “violent extremism” and “violent extremist”, you can have conferences and make laws and policies and regulations about generic “Violent Extremists”. Then, at any time, by inserting numerous qualifiers before the term, you can make the laws, regs, and policies turn, with full force of the law, against all of the people and groups on the Right, all of those “fearful and reactive” people who hurt the Progressives.

“Pro-Life Violent Extremists”
“Tea Party Violent Extremists”
“NRA Violent Extremists”
“Right-Wing Violent Extremists”

See how easy it is? Now all the laws and regs and policies made to deal with “violent extremism” apply to these factions too!

A naked phrase can be dressed in any attire you choose to clothe it in. Just select the necessary qualifier. After all, note how the Administration’s spokespeople carefully say things like, “There are many people who use violence to further their cause”, and other such phrases. (It’s called “priming the pump” or “preparing the ground” or “working the room”.)


JOSH EARNEST [WH Spokesman]: Because violent extremism is something that we wanna be focused on and it’s not just — it’s not just Islamic violent extremism that we want to counter there. There are other forms of –


Martha Maccallum of FOX interviews a spokeswoman for the State Department:

MARIE HARF: . . . . But that’s not the only way that you counter this kind of extremism. Much of it Islamic, you’re absolutely right, but some of it not. So we’re gonna focus on all the different kinds of extremism with a heavy focus on people who do this in the name of Islam, we would say falsely in the name of Islam, but there are other forms of extremism. . . . . Well, I — I — I think all of these leaders have made very clear the serious threats we face. If you look at the president’s speech at West Point, if you look at the things Secretary Kerry has said. It’s not as easy as — as defining at the way you just did. We have to look at each threat individually. All of those threats you just mentioned are from different groups and different places.
[Interviewer MARTHA MACCALLUM asks: “Tell me, what other forms of extremism are particularly troubling and compelling to you right now?”]
HARF: Well, look, there are people out there who want to kill other people in the name of a variety of causes. Of course, Martha, we are most focused on people doing this in the name of Islam. As we’ve talked about with ISIL, part of our strategy to counter this extremism is to have other moderate Muslim voices to stand up and say, they don’t represent our religion. They speak for their religion more than we do certainly, and we need those voices to stand up in addition to all the other efforts we’re undertaking.


And we can add qualifiers like “Hate-Speaking Violent Extremist”.

This can be tied all together, those who speak, incite, behave, etc., in ways that make any qualifying faction a “Designated-Group Violent Extremist”.

“White Privilege Violent Extremist”

Note that, still in the 2015 SOTU, the President said:

“A better politics is one where we appeal to each other’s basic decency instead of our basest fears.
A better politics is one where we debate without demonizing each other; where we talk issues, and values, and principles, and facts, rather than “gotcha” moments, or trivial gaffes, or fake controversies that have nothing to do with people’s daily lives.
A better politics is one where we spend less time drowning in dark money for ads that pull us into the gutter, and spend more time lifting young people up, with a sense of purpose and possibility, and asking them to join in the great mission of building America.”

“Fearful-Demonizing-Gotcha-Fake-Controversy Contriver-Dark-Money-Ad-Producing-Guttersniping Violent Extremist”

So of course I remember the President’s UN speech in 2012, which words I noted at the time, where he said:

“Today we must declare that this violence and intolerance has no place among our united nations.

“In this modern world, with modern technologies, for us to respond in that way to hateful speech empowers any individual who engages in such speech to create chaos around the world. We empower the worst of us if that’s how we respond.

“However, I do believe that it is the obligation of all leaders in all countries to speak out forcefully against violence and extremism.

“It is time to marginalize those who, even when not directly resorting to violence, use hatred of America or the West or Israel as the central organizing principle of politics, for that only gives cover and sometimes makes an excuse for those who do resort to violence. That brand of politics, one that pits East against West and South against North, Muslims against Christians and Hindu and Jews, can’t deliver on the promise of freedom.

“It is time to leave the call of violence and the politics of division behind.

“It’s time to heed the words of Gandhi, “Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.”

“And we must remain engaged to assure that what began with citizens demanding their rights does not end in a cycle of sectarian violence.”

Yah, we all know that citizens demanding their rights leads to violence. With this reasoning, any laws against “’Qualifier’ Violent Extremists” and “’Qualifier’ Violent Extremism” can magically transform to deal with “the demand for rights”, “intolerance”, “hate speech”, “division”, “factions”, etc. Repeating what the President told the UN, (ignoring a Prog ruse de guerre, the ”baseball, motherhood, and apple-pie”-sort of invocation of “America”, “the West”, and “Israel”, which verbalization is a normal Progressive subterfuge):

“It is time to marginalize those who, even when not directly resorting to violence, use hatred of America or the West or Israel as the central organizing principle of politics, for that only gives cover and sometimes makes an excuse for those who do resort to violence.”

Gosh! We wouldn’t want anyone, while themselves “not directly resorting to violence”, to do anything to “give cover to” or “excuse” “those who do resort to violence”.

“Fearful-Demonizing-Gotcha-Fake-Controversy Contriver-Dark-Money-Ad-Producing-Guttersniping-Not-Violent-Themselves-But-Givers-Of-Cover-To-Or-Excusing Violent Extremists or Extremism”


So, as a closing thought, maybe there are more reasons than people have suggested for why the President and Holder didn’t attend what was, after all, a demonstration in favor of “Free Speech”, including speech that “incites” and “offends”—you know, like “Hate Speech”.

A demonstration that marched against, oh, you know, “They-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named-By-Anybody-At-Any-Time Violent Extremists”.


Filed under Culture Wars, Food for Thought, Foreign Policy, General Interest, Islam, Politics, Terrorism, The Media

3 responses to “A Naked Phrase Goes Clothes Shopping

  1. Minta Marie Morze


    Thanks for posting this! (I’m glad I couldn’t think of a title, because the one you wrote is better than anything I could have come up with.)

    I always listen to the President when he makes a speech, because I find it fascinating. He is like the artist Salvador Dali, saying one thing but if you listen carefully you can see an overall image that is different from the words he uses. Sometimes he gives a lot away by the word or words he chooses, or the word(s) he avoids. And he knows what he’s doing: it’s deliberate. Note that he can wax poetic about the great American values when he wants to, because he knows what they are and how they push buttons, and he also enjoys the times when he sounds like he’s praising American values when he’s not, when he alters a word or stresses a phrase that can be heard in two (or more) ways.

    He does much of this wordsmanship purposely. For one thing, refusing to say obvious words makes some people angry, which he loves; for another, it makes people talk about it instead of other topics—and both these are of the same childishness as Obama’s ‘middle-finger’ salutes.

    Anyway, thanks again, Liberty!

  2. Minta, It was my honor to publish your post! You hit on an important tactic in the “fundamental transformation of America” strategy Obama embarked upon. While many of those who look at his actions as dismantling the Republic and a sign of his being clueless on how to govern, you’re right, it’s all carefully planned and orchestrated. What he lacks for in ambition to work out a coherent foreign policy strategy, he more than makes up for when it comes to doggedly fighting for his crystal-clear domestic strategy. The leftists use words as weapons, thus the fixation on “narratives” in their ruthless war of words (propaganda).

  3. Pingback: The Islamic Civilization Circle of Life | libertybelle diaries

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