Continuing a train of thought I started in this post, in which I ruminate on the following Tweet from Dr. Haidt…
Why Americans should stop using “liberal” to refer to the left: Dan Klein on the origins and meaning of the word: http://t.co/p5mNRrFD3g
— Jonathan Haidt (@JonHaidt) July 30, 2015
…I have some rhetorical questions I’d like to pose, using “you” generically:
If you’re going to go down the path of reclaiming the word “liberal” from leftist because “A word has cognates and connotations that make our language cohere, more than we know, more than dictionary definitions can tell,’ then shouldn’t you follow that path to its logical conclusion and reclaim a bunch of other words that have had their meanings similarly corrupted?
Like, for example, “choice.”
If you’re really pro-choice then you’d support the choice of another person to exercise his Constitutionally protected right to carry a gun should he elect to do so.
If you’re really pro-choice, and the other person is a devout Christian baker or photographer, then you’d support his choice to exercise his Constitutionally protected freedom of religion by refusing services to gay weddings, or by refusing to offer health benefits that cover abortifacients to his employees.
If you would not support these choices then you’re not really pro-choice, are you?
You’re probably just pro-abortion, and you’ve corrupted the word “choice” the same way leftists have corrupted “liberal.”
You have every right, of course, to your pro-abortion views. Just be honest about them and stop hiding them behind other words with different meanings.
A few additional words that arguably also are candidates for “unrelinquishing,” include liberty, equality, justice, fairness, diversity, tolerance, inclusiveness, and marriage.
There may be others.
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