Etymology: an explanation of where a word came from : the history of a word
As we all know, words have meanings. Some words are pretty universally understood, but others start as meaning one thing, then become something entirely different in the common vernacular. This is often due to someone who knows the etymology behind the word, sharing it with those who don’t, then those people who don’t sharing it in ways it was not intended for because they didn’t really understand it.
So let’s look at a few.
Liberal: of freedom, pertaining to or befitting a free man
At the root of liberal is liber (also at the root of libertarian, liberty, etc.), a latin word meaning free (man); unimpeded; void of; independent| outspoken/frank; licentious; idle.
These days, this word is often used to be a generic term to describe people who often vote Democrat. Yet Democrat policies often around increased government spending on social programs and wealth redistribution—policies quite contradictory to the “free man” aspect of liberal.
In other countries, “liberal” is often synonymous with libertarian. This is why you hear many liberty-minded people abroad refer to themselves as classic liberals.
It is fairly well understood that although Republicans were the party responsible for the civil rights of the black community, both in ending slavery and in the 50s and 60s during the civil rights movement, Republicans have had a shoddy reputation with the gay community, marijuana users, the sex-work industry, and other individuals who seemed to exhibit what Republicans refer to as “deviant” behavior.
Democrats, to their credit, have been quicker to show tolerance towards such people, and in those instances, accurately describe themselves as liberals—or at least more liberal than Republicans. From there, the name just stuck.
America has a pretty anti-socialist history, so when Democrats champion socialistic policies, calling themselves socialists would not typically help their cause, although Bernie Sanders may have disproven that theory. So picking “liberal” over “socialist,” if intentionally used to mislead, would have been pretty smart anyway.
Awareness: having or showing realization, perception, or knowledge
Often when people are championing a cause, they universally just say they want to raise awareness, when they really should be saying money for research or help.
For instance, breast cancer, thanks to efforts by organizations like the Susan B. Komen foundation, is one of the most popular charitable enterprises dedicated to helping millions of women who are, or will be, affected by the disease.
As such, almost everyone is aware of breast cancer—what is needed is money for research.
The term AWAREness started being used correctly as a way to make people more AWARE of causes they may not know about. For instance, the current Zika virus issue, emanating from a foreign country, and just recently migrating to the United States, was largely an unknown in America until the media started raising awareness.
Once people are aware however, you have a better chance of raising money if needed, or if it’s more of a cause to change people’s behavior, such as a new improved health discovery that may be discovered, which is free to do, you just need to make people aware they should do it.
Establishment: a group of social, economic, and political leaders who form a ruling class (as of a nation)
This word is almost entirely derogatory in nature, even though it shouldn’t be. It’s very rare you have a politician willfully claim to be “The Establishment,” due to the negative perception the term has. I’d argue they should claim it proudly, however.
Be proud that you were elected, and proud of the work you’ve done. Let people know that if they’re displeased with “The Establishment,” that maybe it’s not because of them, but instead, the people who didn’t vote with them.
Politicians who are currently elected and serving are the establishment, whether they like that term or not. Those who are not currently sitting, are not. It’s really that simple.