If the pen is a weapon, words are the ammunition. Politics is marketing, and marketing is a war of words. In both realms, the goal is to sway public opinion with ideas. A good tactic for undermining the opponent’s position is to poison the language they use to identify themselves.
For decades, whenever a leader wishes to be resolute about a cause, they declare a war as a call to arms. We have seen the war on drugs, war on crime, war on poverty, war on AIDS, war on terror, and now even a war on obesity. The indiscriminate use of war parallels the prosecution of indiscriminate wars in Bosnia, Iraq, and Libya. This enables the term “war on” to become vulnerable to poisoning, so that future use of this term becomes toxic. Furthermore, “war on” is conveniently similar to “moron”, which makes for a perfect nexus of ideas (superficial and with substance) for contaminating the term “war on”. We can now apply “war on” as a derogatory adjective; for example, should the President declare another war on something, he can properly be identified as yet another war-on President. War-on decisions become acts of foolishness and symbols of an ignorance of unintended consequences.