January 6th Reminds Us That Words Do Matter

January 6th Reminds Us That Words Do Matter

January 6th Reminds Us That Words Do Matter

My extended family often has to rearrange Christmas gatherings to meet the various schedules we all have.  This year, we were all able to get together on New Year’s Day.  After the rest of the family had gone, it was just my brother, his twenty-something old daughter and myself.  And as usual between us, the conversation turned to politics.  I was heatedly discussing a well-known progressive activist that I personally believe is malicious and evil.  I hyperbolically but explicitly suggested an untoward end to this person would be most satisfying. My brother took great umbrage to my rhetoric, and I found myself defensive.  We then had a heated debate about how I was being hyperbolic. I didn’t mean to suggest anyone should take me up on my desire. Then, my normally passive brother raised his voice and firmly stated, “Words matter.”  As I look over the media build-up of “insurrection”, I came to realize that January 6th reminds us that words do matter.  

Just taking the CNN article I linked to above, the title states that the January 6 riot and Donald Trump LOOM over Joe Biden’s presidency a year later.  Loom?  Loom?  They can’t let it go!  They don’t want to let it go.  They use it as a cudgel against all things Republican.  Jeff Charles from RedState articulates this clearly:

“The anniversary of the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol building is quickly approaching, and Democrats are about as giddy as a child on Christmas Eve. Democratic leaders, and their close friends and allies in the activist media, have been weaponizing the riot against conservatives for almost 12 months. They have been constantly caterwauling about the supposed attack on the American republic and using it to reinforce how bad the Orange Man is.”

But according to the CNN piece, Biden just can’t shake the horror of it all.

“Two weeks before becoming president, Joe Biden watched the January 6 attack on television from his home in Delaware, horrified as the unspeakable images of the insurrection unfolded and aghast at the sitting President’s unwillingness to condemn it.”

Ok, maybe he was horrified.  It was certainly horrible.  I denounce all violent actions, be it street crime or political activism.  But then the authors of the CNN post use the words “insurrection” and “unspeakable.”

  1. Insurrection.  Thus far not a single person has been charged with insurrection.  You can’t have an insurrection without insurrectionists.  OR, if you do want to be literal with the word, then every violent activist in the wake of the George Floyd death should be called insurrectionists as well.  You can’t (but they will) have it both ways.
  2. Unspeakable.  Man, we have had a year of speakable about the matter.  We haven’t had a week go by without reference to the riot, the commission, the pictures or videos.  

Biden himself keeps Trump looming in his own presidency.  During the first Address to the nation, Biden calls the action of these overzealous criminals (I’m good with that term) the “worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.”  Watch as he uses words meant to divide, not unify us:


Words matter Joe.  The action of these bad actors doesn’t even come close to being the worst attack on the Capital.  Not even a little.  Yossi Gestetner brings the reciepts:

Unfortunately, Gestetner mentions these other incidences because Ted Cruz used the words “violent terrorist attack” to describe the despicable behavior on January 6th.  I have grown to love Ted Cruz.  I really bought into the hyperbolic vitriol about him when I first moved back to Texas.  But he’s grown on me over the last five years.  So, it disappoints me to hear him use words that are technically accurate, but for most American evokes memories of 9/11.  And the trespassing and even physical altercations of the January 6th riots are no Jihad.  

Tucker Carlson seems to take offence to Ted Cruz’s words as well.  As Tucker revisits the questions surrounding Ray Epps and his mysterious disappearance from the FBI website, he castigates my Senator as well:

It’s important in these Orwellian days of language, where boy means girl, and “mostly peaceful protests” are anything but, that we do not lose our credibility by being too hyperbolic.  The endless hyperbole from legacy media, from opinion pundits like myself, are a big part of the growing divide among us.  I’ll leave you with the ironic words of our own clown in chief.  Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself; choosing my words is a work in progress…

“The words of a president matter, no matter how good or bad that president is. At their best, the words of a president can inspire. At their worst, they can incite.”

Yes Joe.  They sure can.  It would be helpful if you actually meant it.


Featured image: Image by kristykay22 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, cropped and modified

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