BC: You had two tactics in fighting back: “1. Denormalize the commissions; and 2. Press legislators to act.” What do you mean by denormalize? And could conservatives make more use of your methods as a means of combating PC orthodoxy?
Ezra Levant: I think most debates are won or lost before they’ve even begun. That’s because one side manages to define the terms of the debate and even the vocabulary. Take the very name “human rights commission.” How could you possibly argue against something so saintly? And me? I was accused of “hate speech.” Who could possibly support me?
Time to turn that around. (…)
We are so conditioned to using the language that the other side invents for us that we often don’t even realize it. I think the key is to be accurate, but to choose the accurate word that is the most helpful. For example, I call myself a “human rights activist” now because I think it’s accurate. I try not to call the law the “hate speech law”; I try to remember to call it the “censorship law.” It’s not rocket science — although there are some people, like Frank Luntz, who have built it into a science or an art.
Some words out there are just dying to be replaced — “community organizer,” “stimulus,” etc.