My interest in words and meanings extends to the times we live in.
And events of the day can influence how certain words become cultural reality.
For instance, “economic insecurity” and the word “precariat.”
In the coming years the words “conspicuous consumption” may describe “prosperity.”
Or, in a world joined by global interests “economic disparity” is lexicon for “redistribution.”
Now let’s reexamine history within the context of redefined words.
The year 1916 in the USA was the beginning of last term of an ill President Woodrow Wilson lurching toward disaster. As *reformer Amos Pinchot bitterly observed: “President Wilson had put his enemies in office and his friends in jail…”
In 1917 the new and unusual clashed openly with the conventional and the commonplace, like the red scare fermented by rebels in the progressive wing of the Democratic party was overtaken by radicals who encouraged a USA inspired Bolshevik revolution.
The nation voted in 1918 for a GOP congress openly against a “progressive” POTUS who was ill and suspicious of all dissension.
However, the election of 1920 signified the nation wanted a return to the “normalcy” promised by President Harding.
Yet the year 1921 ushered in renewed “civil unrest” even bombings by “radicals.”
You can’t extrapolate the election of 1916 to the election of 2016.
In 2016 the country was no longer in full step with 8 years of “progressivism.”
Nevertheless, with a claim that the popular vote count didn't mirror the Electoral College victory, in 2017, “social progressives” encourage “social unrest” with help from a Hearst inspired “opinion” main stream media.
Will the 2018 vote add more POTUS supporters to roll back “social progress” and promote “conspicuous consumption”?
Or does 2018 mean the return of the progressives to limit constitutional guarantees for those who aren’t “socially progressive”?
Regardless, the "contextual" words redefined for 2018 will depend on whether history may have back stepped, or leapt ahead.
*America A Narrative History Volume Two by David Emery Shi and George Brown Tindall, published by W. W. Norton, page 1030