Since When Can’t You Say ‘Woke’?

Transgender rights activists protest during a rally at Washington Square Park in New York City, May 24, 2019. (Demetrius Freeman/Reuters)
A movement that fears any name at all for what it proposes to do is, ultimately, trying to smother any sort of democratic debate of its goals.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE L anguage has power because words have meaning. The ability to communicate meaning from one person to another is the purpose of language; more than anything else, it is what separates humans from the rest of the animal kingdom. In politics, communicating meaning is essential to persuasion, to the building of coalitions, and to the defeat of error and wickedness.

One of the most effective ways to prevent criticism of an idea is to deprive people of the language in which to name it. Political propagandists understand this, which is why they are now objecting so loudly to terms such as “critical

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