Word Abuse

Among the numerous ways in which Trump has damaged our country is his abuse of words by flinging them willy nilly in his tweeted and spoken rants, sewing misinformation, creating confusion, and tending to put everyone in a worse mood than they would have been in if the world had been lucky enough to be spinning through space without him. “Tremendous” need now be laid to rest; “disgraceful.” “socialists,” “criminal,” “anarchists,” “bad,” and even “sad,” are all terribly the worse for wear, as is “terribly.”

It’s important not to take words to mean what they meant when we first learned them. Does “conservatism” mean what you think it does? In a recent column, Jennifer Rubin brought the definition up to date: “Conservatism” now is a chaotic blend of right-wing nationalism, conspiracy theories, plutocratic economics, cronyism, protectionism, realpolitik foreign policy and repudiation of objective reality.”