Words have always fascinated me, probably because speaking was such a long, hard struggle for me as a child. Even now, in my late 50s, I still stutter sometimes when I am nervous or even more distressing, I begin to chatter on and on… kind of like how I write so many long rambling blog posts… only worse.
I wrote my Messages of mhere story in an annoying third person, with a snarky tone and pseudonyms, but it really is a true story, all of the characters are real people, but I have no way to prove what happened to me in 1998, so I live my life looking over my shoulder and trusting no one. That’s the truth. I mentioned that story, not to rehash all that, but because I wrote a lot about my childhood fascination with words and how people use them there.
As a child I developed a lot of obsessive-compulsive behaviors. One of them was a dedicated, pretty much daily habit of spending an hour or two reading the dictionary. I loved to read books and I even developed a habit for reading from our set of World Book Encyclopedias too. At first I used a paperback dictionary for my dictionary reading, but I guess I was around 11 or 12 years old when my parents bought a set of encyclopedias, which came with a large, lovely dictionary.
I’ve mentioned that dictionary in a previous blog post, I think. When our parents died, I inherited that set of encyclopedias and this fantastic “encyclopedic” dictionary, which is in need of repair:
From those childhood OCD habits, I still constantly google the definition of words and anguish over the words I choose when writing. Words have meaning, some words have several meanings, but even the meaning of a word, with several meanings, can almost always be winnowed down to what that word means in a sentence, based on the other words and punctuation in the sentence. We don’t need to meander to the Lynne Truss punctuation lamentations extreme to agree that how we use words matters.
The PC culture relies on Orwellian doublespeak tactics to impose their cultural dictates on all political discourse in the American public square and then throughout the other mass media avenues, like the entertainment industry. It permeates our society from top to bottom. The PC lingo isn’t slang or some sort of shorthand terminology, it’s specifically designed to corrupt and confuse American foundational principles, constitutional precepts and even common moral beliefs.
The other day on Twitter, several prominent journalists and political commentators, in their usual strident anti-Trump fashion, bashed Trump and waxed on that, “diversity is what makes America great.” Diversity isn’t what makes or made America great. Diversity is just a bunch of people from different groups.
The fixation on “diversity” followed a progression of leftist efforts to divide Americans into seething groups, whom they could exploit with identity political efforts. Americans embracing hyphenated identities became a visible manifestation of this Leftist political effort, which advanced to our current PC fixation on “diversity”.
What made America great is our common belief in individual liberty, our foundational principles and The Constitution, which codified our individual rights. The strength of America is that regardless of your race, ethnicity, religion or sex, anyone can become an American. It’s one nation united by these beliefs that makes America not only great, but also a unique country in the history of mankind. Absent these common beliefs which unite us, America will devolve into a hot mess of factionaled fighting, of the type President George Washington warned about in his farewell address.
Among the right, there’s been a backlash to the PC diversity culture and President Trump plays to their xenophobic impulse, but even more disturbing to me is the belief gaining traction among some conservative intellectuals that America must dramatically decrease immigration to preserve traditional American culture.
Being a culture of people from diverse religious, racial, ethnic backgrouns isn’t the problem causing disunity or a fracturing in America society. The disunity stems from an abandonment of our civic beliefs and a profound lack on commitment to any common values and a lack of American spirit. It will take a concerted effort to quit the PC faux “diversity” identity politics fixated on factional alliances and work hard to rebuild a common American identity dedicated to uniting Americans to this common purpose:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
American culture has always been a smorgasbord of ethnic communities springing up, who maintained many of their home country habits, cuisine and lifestyle, but even when the first generation struggled with assimilation, the second generation became completely Americanized.
The U.S.military can serve as a role model at rapid assimilation efforts. Our military is a true diversity soup and very quickly, through basic training, followed by advanced individual training for a specific military job, service members swear an oath to defend The Constitution, embrace a clear, concise set of values, eat, sleep and work together 24/7 and learn to work as one team committed to a common purpose.
The “common purpose” training in civilian life in America has been deliberately ground down in our schools and civic institutions and replaced with diversity worship, which was a deliberate, leftist political effort to erode traditional American values, confuse people, and fuel factional divides.
What America really needs is a rededication to good citizenship training, especially in American schools. Instead of investing so much time to PC issues, American children would be better served if more time was dedicated to teaching them about not only their rights as Americans citizens, but also about their responsibilities. Freedom isn’t free and each citizen really does a have a civic duty to embrace upholding The Constitution.