[In 1977] When Alfred Kahn, Jimmy Carter’s chief inflation fighter, used the politically taboo word ”depression” in a statement from the White House, the economist was pounced upon by assorted communicators and soothing-sayers; as a result, the hapless but happy man pledged to substitute the word ”banana” for ”depression” in any future economic message.
That’s a quote from a very droll 1982 article by William Safire in The New York Times.”
I found it in a great piece by Michael Every.
Safire was a brilliant commentator on language. Up there with Mark Twain, H.L. Mencken, George Orwell, and Joe Sobran. One can never tire of the bafflegab, horse feathers, flapdoodle, and linguistic dogs’ breakfasts that are served up by the people who play at being “leaders,” “intellectuals,” or “statesmen.” I mean never.
Matters have progressed considerable like since 1982 and today we witness the phenomenon of terms like “lactaters,” “chest feeders,” “birthing persons,” “progressivism,” “husbands,” “women’s health,” “elections,” “rules-based international order,” “New World Order,” “social justice,” “scrimination,” “vaccine,” “horse paste,” “white supremacy,” “new variant,” and “democracy” being uttered with a straight face, if not a face contorted by rage.
Well, I’ve written about Confucius’s warning about the rectification of names. In short, if you can’t use precise language to describe what is happening in the kingdom don’t expect public policy to be formulated that deals with real problems.
“Why are millions of foreigners walking about freely in my kingdom, you brainless putz?
Just visitors, your majesty.”
“Asylum” and “refugee” in our own time are words that deftly disguise the actual invasion of the Western world by third-world primitives — “primitive” in the sense of “honor killing,” FGM, violent, supremacist, tribal religion, and sacrificing chickens outside the courthouse, in case you were wondering — leading to the dispossession and impoverishment of white people in the countries that they founded and built.
So it’s deteriorated since 1982. But, political speech has always been murderous and ghastly really. Nothing new under the sun and all that. As Orwell said, it’s “designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” Russia engaged in “unprovoked aggression” in Ukraine but the U.S. engaged in — and engages in — “regime change” in Syria. It did something in Serbia back when that killed a lot of people and destroyed a lot of stuff but it sure wasn’t murder or aggressive war in the, oh, Nuremberg sense. Hell no.
The rest of the Safire article is worth your time, as is Michael Every’s article on the straits jacket we find ourselves in the East Asia neighborhood.
 “What Happens Next? Nobody Knows – But It Doesn’t Look Good At All”. By Michael Every, ZeroHedge, 8/2/22.