Words are incredibly important, which explains why Republicans routinely reshape them and rob them of their true meaning. In the latest in a long line of national embarrassments, Energy Department officials are now attempting to rebrand natural gas as “freedom gas” as part of their effort to radically expand this industry’s global reach.
The double speak-heavy statement from the Rick Perry-led federal department said the expansion of the Texas facility meant more “molecules of US freedom” could be produced and exported worldwide.
The facility, based in Quintana, produces liquified natural gas (LNG). U.S. LNG export capacity, currently at 5 billion cubic feet per day, is set to double by the end of 2020.
“Increasing export capacity from the Freeport LNG project is critical to spreading freedom gas throughout the world by giving America’s allies a diverse and affordable source of clean energy,” Mark Menezes, the US undersecretary of energy, said.
“Freedom Gas” Is Tame, By Comparison
Jessica Winter is an executive editor of newyorker.com. She argues that the language of the Trump Administration is the language of a domestic abuser.
Another hallmark of domestic violence is the abuser’s knack for gaslighting: the repertoire of lies, distortions, deflections, and belittlements that steadily distort and erode his victim’s sense of reality, tightening the abuser’s control over her. Gaslighting, it needs not be said, is Trump’s preferred mode of communication, and it is encoded in the family-separation policy itself: once their parents have been taken into custody, the children are reclassified as “unaccompanied minors,” their parents effectively disappeared.
“Unaccompanied minors” is a term that showcases the depth of American depravity, and the state’s reliance on propaganda and signal jamming to get its way and maintain power. The kids fleeing economic and environmental violence at home were accompanied all the way to our southern border, where they were then captured and reclassified. Fact.
The Fake News Is Never Ending
“Fake news” is one of the most hideous and dangerous of Trump’s verbal insults.
The president plays a dolt on TV, but he knows what he’s doing in his quest for power. He spent decades toying with the business press in New York City, creating false personas, making up numbers about his business dealings, who he was dating, and so on. His own experiences confirmed to him that the press has too few scruples and an unrelenting need to fill the news hole with something.
Trump’s been living by his Red Meat strategy and winning, over and over again because of it. The media is like a pool of sharks. You can throw red meat in the water and let them fight over it. While there are pundits on every corner today, none of them seem to have the distance needed to see themselves (and how badly they’re being used).
American science fiction writers of the dystopian variety predicted another hard swing towards totalitarianism. One of the best books I’ve ever read is Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. It’s a fine book about a society that burns books.
When you “burn books,” work to diminish the news media, and make education totally unaffordable, you create an environment where lies can take root. The GOP has been playing us for fools and feeding us one lie after another for as long as I can recall. The ultra-right wingers gather in something called the “Freedom Caucus.” Whatever words the dark sorcerer’s form and forward, chances are good the intent is to mask, not reveal.
Freedom gas, freedom fries, the freedom caucus…what a load of fly-bitten manure.
Freedom from the law, from regulation on industry, and freedom to freely discriminate against their fellow Americans is the kind of freedom the GOP is seeking.
Why does any American, anywhere in the nation, buy their low-grade nonsense? Sadly, low-grade nonsense is the media diet many Americans exist on, which explains a lot.
Terms for A New America
Given how words are incredibly important and how poorly they’re being abused for profit by the GOP, I believe it’s time for the rest of us to adopt some other words and phrases that more accurately describe the American condition today.
How do these sound to you?
- Underpaid and Overworked
- Driven to Distraction
- Uncomfortably Numb
- Forever In Debt
- Not A Good Neighbor
- Restless and Resistant
Note how the words with reality in them also convey negative feelings. That’s why Republicans rework the language to make friendlier imprints on the American mind.
To a realist of whatever political persuasion, the state of being “Forever in Debt” or “Underpaid and Overworked” is not easily explained away. To the right-winger with a word wand, you just alter these concepts a bit. “Forever in Debt” becomes “Invested in Your Future” while “Underpaid and Overworked” is linguistically reframed as “Committed to the Success You Deserve,” and so on into the American sunset.