Language is a whore, willing to sell her services to the highest bidder. And like a whore, she wanders the corridors of power, looking for well-heeled Johns. She is welcome in there because the Johns have much to hide.
It is there that language glorifies violence, concealing the gore-drenched blade with the velvet prose of God, freedom and glory. She gives a moral cache to evil and corruption. She sees the shinning torch of destiny in the running sores of society. In her delicate fingers, slime becomes a silver thread, evil becomes sophistication, and stupidity becomes down-home earthiness.
Language is the duct tape that muzzles the cries of the victims; she is the venal perfume that fills the air when policy farts.
But, the wise leader must beware! Like any whore, language will be as quick to slice you as to fuck you. Allow language to slip the collar of “that’s the way things are” and she turns deadly. She creates manifestos that enflame the masses. She can loosen the tongue of the Goddess and spread the contagion of love and compassion. She can cast her burning spotlight on the suffering of strangers.
Socrates knew what he was talking about when he condemned the poets and artists, for they can destroy a “just” society. The only way to deal with them is to flood them with grants. Then, if they get out of hand, threaten to cut off their funding. It worked beautifully with PBS.