A few thoughts to ponder in reference to the most recent ombudsman column (“Does Stripes pass the balance test?”; posted on Nov. 7) and Stripes’ alleged left-leaning commentary pages. I came across the following news articles while preparing this piece. First, from The Washington Post, a favorite Stripes source; the second, though not a direct Stripes source, is from PBS, in the past broadcast by the Department of Defense to millions of listeners, both civilian and servicemembers, nationally and overseas.
“Mike Pence was elected vice president by a coalition of mostly white voters nostalgic for what they thought of as the good old days in America and galvanized by promises to deport millions of undocumented immigrants” (“Trump and Pence vs. ‘Hamilton’ cast: A collision of two Americas,” Philip Rucker, The Washington Post, Nov. 20).
Oh, puh-leeze. … Here we go yet again on more Leftwing Liberal Lunacy passing off as journalist bona fides these days. And this is one of the more temperate lead-off articles on President-elect Donald Trump’s post-campaign coverage. How about “PBS NewsHour” gleefully posting Aaron Sorkin (creator of “The West Wing”) and his message to his family now gone “viral” to the American electorate and, by extrapolation, the world? To wit: “The Klan won. White nationalists. Sexists, racists and buffoons. … Hate was given hope. Abject dumbness was glamorized as being ‘the fresh voice of an outsider [Donald J. Trump].’ … We’ve embarrassed ourselves in front of our children and the world.” (Nov. 11).
Ugh, duh, ‘cuse me while I try ta jimmy my PC laptop here while sittin’ in my jalopy pick-up before I go out ‘n try ta find my missing teeth in da cornfield. Don’t know nuthin’ ‘bout PCs ‘n stuff. Not smart like y’all Big-Time Lib’rals. Now dis damned PC gonna make me late for my Klan meetin’, too!
Stripes perennially quotes The Washington Post or Washington Post Writers Group, along with The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, America’s three biggest left-wing newspapers, to the extent you’d think they were the only other papers “left” in the country. I have to agree with Ombudsman Tobias Naegele: “Stripes did not publish columnists who backed the Republican nominee … nor did it find many columns that found significant fault with Hillary Clinton without also finding as much fault with Donald Trump” despite DOD Instruction 5122.11 mandating “balanced selection.” This is not anything new.
Go back and look at the ending to the first quote: “undocumented immigrants.” This is all but the standard phrase now used by Stripes’ outside sources of content. Welcome to the language of liberalspeak, Humpty Dumpty speaking in “Through the Looking-Glass”: “When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean.” We’ve gone full circle from “illegal alien” to “illegal worker” to “undocumented worker” to “undocumented immigrant” and, most recently, to just “immigrant.” Presto! The semantic whitewash is now complete: illegal alien to immigrant. Hmm. Immigration anarchy. Everything’s upside down. That’s liberalspeak. As a professor of English for many years, I have to hand it to them, I do. Just lovin’ it.
“Immigrant” and “racism” have become the two most bastardized words in the English language — maybe of all time. I heard this example, presumably from some sort of self-proclaimed expert, speaking on national radio not that long ago in regard to government policies on public smoking: “We have to stop this racism against smokers!” Huh?
This all fits into the hard-core liberal agenda: whitewash the meanings of words, whitewash political realities. Oh, and don’t try to engage in any commonsense debate. Won’t go anywhere. Makes no sense to them to engage with millions of us far-right Klansmen (Klanswomen, too? Must be! After all, we want to “embrace diversity,” don’t we?), white nationalists, sexists, racists and buffoons and — any readers who voted for Trump help me out! We’re just getting warmed up here.
Last, on a serious, albeit sad, note: When words like “immigrant” and “racism” had real meanings, civil dialogue was indeed possible with authentic liberals until the mid-1960s — liberals who, as the saying goes, while disapproving of what you say would defend to the death your right to say it. True liberals like John F. Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey and others of their era fought the good fight against things like widespread, systemic racial violence predicated upon prejudice and discrimination of the vilest kind, etc. But no more. Much of American academia since then has been hijacked by loons. Like in Florida: No more of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” (“too heterosexual”); no more displaying the American flag (“may be offensive to foreign students”). I could go on. And on. And on. Been working alongside them for decades.
Dat said, duh, found my teeth in da cornfield after all. Fellow Trumpsters! See y’all at da Klan meetin’.
Ron Roman has written commentaries and travel articles for Stars and Stripes. The opinions expressed here are strictly his own. He teaches English at the University of Maryland University College in South Korea.