One of Joe Biden’s big campaign promises was to restore norms and institutions in our country. In other words, he would not be Donald Trump.
And while the nation’s political tone has calmed, the Party of Biden is gaslighting us in an entirely different way: by redefining what had been the meaning of widely understood words and terms to suit their political interests.
Twisting language isn’t a new thing. But in modern American politics, this usually manifests as hyperbole (like Biden’s suggestion that the Georgia election law is worse than Jim Crow), euphemisms like “downsizing,” politically correct neologisms like “Latinx,” or issues framed to highlight your strengths (or your adversary’s weaknesses). The technical term for this type of wordplay is “bullshit,” but in polite company it’s called “spin.” And whether you’re a disciple of Frank Luntz or George Lakoff, it is an accepted and bipartisan facet of the game of politics.