Words do mat­ter

The Idaho Statesman - - Opinion -

Words mat­ter. I re­cently read the ar­gu­ment that you can’t con­nect the ac­tions of one per­son to the words of an­other. This ar­gu­ment is be­ing put forth in de­fense of Pres­i­dent Trump. I don’t buy it. Es­pe­cially in the case of a leader with a fol­low­ing. If this were true, why make speeches? Why hold ral­lies? Words do mat­ter. His­tory bears this out as does an un­bi­ased view of po­lit­i­cal lead­ers, elected or op­po­si­tional, around the world to­day. Win­ston Churchill used words to en­cour­age his fel­low coun­try­men with the blood, sweat and tears speech. The one whose name has be­come toxic to his­tory in­flamed the Ger­man peo­ple with his speech. Tell Vladi­mar Putin that words don’t mat­ter. Why do au­thor­i­tar­ian regimes through­out his­tory at­tempt to con­trol speech? Spin doc­tors are the mod­ern sophists who seek to shape speech for po­lit­i­cal ad­van­tage. Words do mat­ter and when our pres­i­dent calls the free press the en­emy of the peo­ple and es­pouses xeno­pho­bia, misog­yny, racism, na­tion­al­ism, in an an­gry tirade he sig­nals to his fol­low­ers that these views are ac­cept­able and ap­proved. In­evitably some will act.

– Brian Goller, Boise

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.