Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, is celebrating news that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is doing away with certain words and phrases, including “transgender.”
According to a report from The Washington Post, citing an anonymous policy analyst, the discussion of a ban on those terms took place during a budget meeting. In total, seven words and phrases were said to have been banned: “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based,” and “science-based.”
CDC Director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald has denied such a ban exists, claiming instead that the trouble was “confusion” that “arose from a staff-level discussion at a routine meeting about how to present CDC’s budget. It was never intended as overall guidance for how we describe and conduct CDC’s work.”
Perkins, who is an ardent supporter of the Trump administration, presented the situation as nothing more than liberal and media panic. He claimed, citing no evidence, that this sort of thing is standard practice with every administration.
His full statement follows.
For once, it’s not what the Trump administration is saying that’s raising the media’s eyebrows — it’s what they aren’t saying. Heading into the weekend, the Washington Post sparked an interesting debate over the power of words when it reported that officials at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) were asked to avoid certain terms in their budget requests.
The Post treated the news as if it were an unusual — and even troubling — development. Among the taboos, reporters write worriedly, are words like “diversity,” “transgender,” “entitlement,” “fetus,” “evidence-based,” and “science-based.” As usual, the liberal media ginned up plenty of outrage over the changes, despite the fact that this is a standard practice of every administration.
President Obama understood better than anyone that if you control the language, you control the debate. In fact, we’ve watched the far Left use this strategy for years on everything from religious liberty to life. “Abortion” became a “choice.” “Liberals” are “progressives.” And suddenly, it’s not “same-sex marriage” but “marriage equality.”
Framing the debate has always been one of the biggest turf wars in politics. Obama chose his rhetoric carefully, enlisting the politically-correct media to help. And ironically, no one batted an eye. When he changed terms and rules unilaterally, there was no uproar in the mainstream press. They simply accepted it as the administration’s prerogative.
Now, with a conservative in the White House, it’s suddenly news that Republicans would want the agencies to use the conservative lexicon. In this case, swapping out words like “fetus” for “unborn child” more accurately reflects the president’s ideology and agenda. Tone and lingo change with every administration. Why it’s a headline now is anyone’s guess.
Health and Human Services (HHS) spokesman Matt Lloyd called the “controversy” a “complete mischaracterization of discussions regarding the budget formulation process.” Ultimately, the CDC is doing with language what President Trump has done with policy: bringing the country back to reality.
The media wants to act like the swinging pendulum of the Obama years only sways one way. But that’s not how democracy works. This is the return to normalcy Americans voted for — a change in how we view the world that’s in line with most people’s core values. If the Left doesn’t like it, it’s up to them to persuade the country otherwise!