“Words, words, words, I’m so sick of words”

Eliza Doolittle, in My Fair Lady, sang the words of my title.  I thought of this when I listened to Jeff Nunnberg, NPR’s resident linguist, tout his book opining that the Right uses language better and that’s why conservatives are defeating liberals in the marketplace of ideas. It doesn’t seem to have occurred to him that words without ideas behind them are just clever liberal bumperstickers.  Maybe conservatives are winning, not because of their catch-phrases, but because the catch phrases actually mesh with reality.

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  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    Uses language better? Bush? Hello here.

    When Bush says something like “I’ll execute 50% of the terroists at GitMo, before I shut GitMo down” then that’ll be better use of language.

    The Republicans lack the Democrat’s ruthless drive for efficiency. A Democrat will and has said “blow up the NK missiles on the launchpad”. See? Case closed. Consequences? Don’t matter. Promises to explain? Not present.

    Unlike Bush, the Democrats just go out and say what they will or will not do (most of the time they criticize others for doing). Americans like open and frank admissions of action. This beating around the Bush fatigues everyone.

  • Zhombre

    I agree with Book: the Democrats don’t have much to say. In the marketplace of ideas, they are pushing product past its sell by date. “We’ll keep carping until we’re in power again” isn’t a message that resonates. I suspect Mr. Nunnberg’s book (which I haven’t read and don’t have to read) is, with those of George Lakoff and Thomas Frank which preceded it, another in the series of “liberalism is superior but either we don’t get our message across (Lakoff) or the voters are too dumb to know what’s best for them (Frank).”

  • erp

    What? Is he kidding? Moonbats are masters of semantics. BW, it’s funny that you used that song, it’s on I often quote too. Here’s a post I wrote just a year ago:

    Words! Words! Words!

    The many well written and insightful essays and articles available in the media and online won’t rid us of those who want to kill us and make our world into their world of oppression and death. It’s as simple as that.

    What is needed is force, and unfortunately, force is something we western effetes are very uncomfortable talking about, never mind actually implementing. The flower girl in one of the excellent numbers from the musical comedy, “My Fair Lady” gets it. Her problem, a professor who can’t see what’s right in front of his eyes, may be different, but the solution is the same. She says, Show Me:

    “Words! Words! Words!
    I’m so sick of words!
    I get words all day through;
    First from him, now from you!
    Is that all you blighters can do?”

    If it’s really all we can do, then

  • http://arosebyname.wordpress.com/ Anna

    It’s not just the words without backup…it’s the doublespeak. Saying one thing and then saying the opposite. (i.e. the of senators and congressmen who stated repeatedly that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction over the last two decades and when they weren’t immediately apparent in Iraq, it was “Bush misled the country.”)

  • jg

    Erp’s message is a good one.

    My grasp is that the Left is winning the war of “ideas” in this country simply by keeping the rest of us from debating honestly and factually (as in the MSM). They don’t have to propose and debate; just extinguish. I think the President may be said to agree in that he has essentially left the Left without contest during his 2nd 4 years, unleashed to make up whatever lies it wants. The Media is that powerful a foe.

    Likewise I am uneasy with youth’s introduction to the real world. They are the strength and future of America.
    So much of their orientation is not verbal, but instead emotions and images, as in the youth music/ entertaiment culture. Youth is an open target bereft of effective tools to grapple with Leftist propaganda. Note the irrational behavior/thinking on many college campuses. Leftism is still the medium of the youth and thus the future.

    Except for (if you will) ‘the hand of God’ in the Evangelical vote, John Kerry, without a shred of pretense to ruling this nation, would have been elected President. Elected by the MSM (what if Dan Rather had scored?), responsible only to the Left elites.
    8 years of Clintonism and that terrible loss of national character would have been resumed. September 11 would not have been an isolated terror attack, but the too-real future for a demoralized, ruined people.

    For Clinton, as the Dems today. was NEVER about words and ideas. Bill detested reason and debate.
    For him/them, Demagoguery, and the power of the Lie, stand as an easier way to power.

  • http://captainsql.blogspot.com Cappy

    The left simply repeats it’s age (at least 40 years) old mantras: vegetarianism, Europe is better, 3rd world culture, pacifism… They are devoid of ideas and oblivious to threats to our very existence.

  • jg

    My fear about the vulnerability of school children is fleshed with details from Mona Charen.

    Her July 7 column (From the high school frontlines in the culture war)
    tells how the war is being lost on HIGH SCHOOL campuses (which many of us know). Charen challenges American parents.
    —-excerpt (link to Townhall below)

    ‘But across the nation, public school students are being indoctrinated in “health” classes and other venues to treat their families with skepticism and to regard traditional mores as “dysfunctional.” Liberals have achieved what the Italian communist Antonio Gramsci only dreamed about: They have completed “the long march through the institutions” and now control the commanding heights of the culture. Conservatives are going to have to figure out the same trick if they do not want to see the country drift irrevocably to the left.’

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    Conservatives are not good at instituting new solutions that are OTB. Out of the box.

    It doesn’t help that Bush is surrounded by the Washington idiots, both political and press.

    Bush himself is a manager, he is not particularly a genius at any specific thing like war, policy making, or propaganda. He has to have good people to do that, but he can’t find any because nobody good at propaganda or total war is in his inner circle. And he can’t the outer circle, unless he brings Lieberman into his cabinet as NS adviser.