Webster's Dictionary has changed its definition of the term preference to include the new understanding that it is "offensive" as regards "sexual preference." This new definition was made in real time, after Senator Mazie Hirono claimed the long standing, inoffensive term, was offensive, on the Senate floor. This claim was made to discredit Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination, and for no other reason.
Taking its cue from Sen. Mazie Hirono and the many disingenuous Twitter objectors to the term "sexual preference," as used by Judge Amy Coney Barrett during her confirmation hearings, Websters gave the public a real time glimpse into how political pressure can create a propagandist interpretation of something as basic as language itself. They didn't need anyone to tell them to make the change, they merely made it so as to be in keeping with the newest iteration of leftist ideology.
Just one month ago, as pointed out by editor and podcaster Steve Krakauer, this notion that the term "preference" could be understood as "offensive" in the context of "sexual preference" was neither part of Webster's dictionary nor of the LGBTQ lexicon.
The concept that the term "sexual preference" was offensive was entirely made up by social media pundits who couldn't find anything else wrong with Barrett or her testimony, so they manufactured outrage surrounding the term. Then they decided that the meaning of the term had always been thus, that the term was offensive through and through and always had been. Joe Biden used the term just recently. And the LGBT community has a long history of being totally fine with the term.
And then, in a supremely Orwellian move, the dictionary backed up the politicians' and pundits' claims that the word had always meant what they decided only yesterday it meant.
Websters Dictionary changed the meaning of a word to support the claims of politicians and social justice activists, claims that were only leveled in order to discredit a judge's character, not her work, her ethos, or her values.
The dictionary has effectively destroyed the past, and in so doing, they give power to the ideologues of the present, who will find that their interpretations, grandstanding statements, and partisan perspectives will not be questioned. There will simply be no evidence to use to question it.
If, in several months, or even a few years, a question were to be raised as to whether the concept of sexual preference were offensive, there may be little to no record of it ever having been different than Mazie Hirono pointed out yesterday.
The claim that the term was offensive had been tested on Twitter for all of one day, and by the time she sat down across from Amy Coney Barrett in the afternoon, it had already been decided, by essentially a hive-mind group think operation, that the term was offensive and always has been.
We watched this happen in real time on Tuesday, and it exemplifies just what we have to fear, and what the consequences are. Here's how it happened:
In the morning, Senator Dianne Feinstein asked Judge Barrett a question as to how she would rule in a hypothetical case that brought the constitutionality of same-sex marriage into question.
Barrett replied that she would not discriminate based on "sexual preference." Social media blew up at her use of this term, saying that Barrett's invocation of the term "preference" shows that she in fact would discriminate against LGBT persons, because it shows that she believes sexual orientation is a choice.
By that afternoon, Sen. Hirono was able to wield Barrett's wrongspeak into a full-throated smear of Barrett as a homophobic, activist judge who would be unable to rule objectively in cases concerning LGBT persons.
Then the dictionary changed its meaning of the words, simply and entirely to back up Sen. Hirono, and the disgruntled social media pundits.
After Sen. Hirono accused Barrett of saying the wrong thing, and therefore believing the wrong thing, Barrett apologized.
The facts of the matter are that Judge Barrett said the right thing, yet the way she said the right thing was used to indicate that she had actually said the wrong thing, a thought crime for which she then offered a mea culpa.
We are watching the hijacking of language, discourse, and reality happen in real time. Propaganda is made in a moment, but its impact is lasting. Websters' editors change of language was done not for linguistic, but political reasons. Altering the past to justify the present is not an acceptable use of the dictionary.