Certain words and phrases are a sure indicator you are being scammed, exploited or lied to. The word “free” on the internet is an example. You will be led to a place you would rather not be, and what you want isn’t really free once you get there.

Here is an incomplete list of terms we encounter daily that are designed for exactly the same effect.

Hate (noun or adjective): Certain groups, we are told, are opposed to “hate.” They are also opposed to “hate groups.” Who isn’t? It is used as a broad negative brush to indicate virtue signaling and to remove any restraint in the user’s tactics to oppose a group or individual. One could even argue the use of the word is designed to create “hate,” which, ironically, would indicate the person using the term is “hateful” or a member of a “hate” group.

Diversity (or being diverse): The use of this term is a sure indicator political correctness has been incorporated into a bureaucratic apparatus. It is a sign ideology has become the driving force in the bureaucratic process, irrespective of any supposed outcome, and encourages a process-driven vector that will never result in anything other than the need for more Diversity. Note this term was spelled with a capital D. I love diversity with a small “d,” but despise Diversity with a capital “D.” If you don’t know what I mean, I envy your isolation.

Fair share: If you hear someone use this phrase, run — don’t walk — away as fast as possible. You are being scammed, and scammed in a nasty fashion. The use of this phrase assumes two things. 1) The listener is ignorant, and 2) the listener is full of “hate” (see above). Some people, not like you, are too rich and greedy, and they aren’t paying enough money to the government so the government can give some of it back to you. Says the demagogue: I will take the property of this greedy person and give it to a virtuous needy person (you), and all you have to do is give me your vote.

What is left unsaid is the person using this phrase typically opposes changing the tax code, which allows the rich to keep their own property, and will use your vote to stay in office long enough to leave as a multimillionaire.

I am always sad when I see an intelligent person fall victim to this insulting and nasty little swindle.

Far (adjective, as in “far right”): This is an interesting term. In Europe, it only appears in front of the word “right.” It never, ever, appears before the world “left.” The American media (if not utilizing “hate”) will use “far” with “right” without any thought whatsoever. Anyone to the right of Stalin evidently is “far” to the right. Someone who would make Stalin look like a right-wing reactionary is only on the “left.”

Demagogues and our “alt” media “hate” logical symmetry.

Dennis Clayson is a marketing professor at the University of Northern Iowa.

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