Democratic speech police demand not only tolerance but endorsement of the progressive agenda.
In his 1946 essay, “Politics and the English Language,” George Orwell wrote that political language “consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.” The description fits Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s new House rules on gender-neutral speech to a tee.
On Monday, the Democratic-controlled lower chamber voted along party lines to approve new official language guidelines. Words such as “himself” and “herself” are to be replaced by “themself.” Out with “father,” “mother,” “son,” “daughter,” “brother,” “sister,” “uncle,” “aunt” and other familial terms, and in with “parent,” “child,” “sibling” and so forth. An incensed Kevin McCarthy, the Republican minority leader, tweeted that the changes “are stupid,” which is true but incomplete.
Mrs. Pelosi is obviously attempting to placate the progressives in her caucus, however it’s also another example of how the political left today demands not only tolerance but endorsement. You can’t disagree respectfully, let alone agree not to agree. It’s bad enough when our colleges and universities enforce what amount to speech codes, or indulge efforts to shield students from dissenting viewpoints. Now we have lawmakers in Washington offering a kind of a federal imprimatur on limiting free expression.
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