“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – – that’s all.”
Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
We seem to have lots of Humpty Dumptys in politics, their words mean what they choose, not what most people think they mean.
Take the “Freedom Caucus”. What do they mean? It certainly doesn’t mean freedom to govern ourselves according to generally accepted rules. To them it means freedom to do what they damn well please, to hell with whoever else's freedom they tromp on.
Just what are “conservatives” conserving. It certainly isn’t resources. It certainly isn’t careful consideration before making any changes. To too many “conservatives” it means either conserving the power of large corporations or conserving a very narrow view of religion. ironically, the latter don’t hold the former to “you cannot serve both God and Mammon.” - Matthew 6:24.
As I’ve written more times than some of my readers would like, “free market” means, according to the Humpty Dumptys is again, free for the sellers to do as they please. To them the free market is not providing buyers with all the information they need and is not avoiding externalities such as pollution and worker safety. These to them are impediments to “free markets”.
“Liberals” misuse words also, but their goals tend to be more friendly to the general populace. But sometimes their “liberality” works counter to the general welfare or unnecessarily creates opposition to certain desirable goals: like letting people lead the lives they choose.
I think “gay marriage” has lost a lot of otherwise “liberal” votes because many supporters have a different view of marriage. I’ve always thought this problem should be dealt with by a “granny rule”. If two grandmothers choose to live together, is it our business whether they sleep in the same bed or in different rooms? It is “our business” if one of them dies. Does the survivor have to sell the house to pay the inheritance of the deceased’s children and grandchildren? To avoid this situation, any group of people who choose to live together should be able to have a civil contract that protects the interests of each member of the group.