“Restore the proper meaning of words,” advised Confucius, to restore order to a disordered society.
Naturally, the left turns that upside down, and corrupts language all the time to suit its agenda. I recall seeing Napoleon Duarte, imposed by the U.S. as president of El Salvador, bragging that he would “robar las banderas de la izquierda” — “steal the banners [slogans] of the left.” Of course, Duarte was a leftist himself, and corrupt, and a failure, and left office in disgrace. [Quick quiz: name the last Latin American president who has not left office in disgrace. But I digress.]Now comes Gary Hart with a rerun of the same old story. Recognizing that “leftism,” “nationalization,” “Sturmabteilung,” and “involuntary servitude” are still out of fashion, Gary steals some traditional language to sell his totalitarian scheme: why, his huge national “good works” corps will “restore the Republic”! Undoubtedly, these marching cherubs will also proudly serve to “restore order” when domestic civil unrest prevails — not in the way of Confucius, but of you-know-whom.
Consider Gary’s dream: millions of young people recruited, commanded, and paid by the government to serve “public needs” (will their shirts be brown? Black? Red?). After all, to Gary, only workers under the control of the government will be “worthy of their city and their nation.”
So you think maybe Gary’s channeling Ernst Röhm? Shame on you, says Gary: “Resistance to expanded public service programs can be expected from the ideologically sclerotic, those who occupy the negative ground between government as the problem and government as our enemy.”8:37 am on February 26, 2009 Email Christopher Manion