Many of the more vocal elements on the right claim the left has hijacked vocabulary by transforming words to further their agenda.
There's no doubt this has and is happening, but those on the right are just as guilty.
It has become fashionable for some to call sensible conservatives — the kind who want to ensure the Republican Party looks and talks like the America of the second decade of the 21st century — a RINO, the endangered creature otherwise known as a Republican-in-name-only.
Focusing on the left, real liberals hate the label and tend to refer to themselves as progressive.
This in and of itself is sufficient evidence for an indictment against the left for hijacking language.
By calling themselves progressive the left seeks to portray conservatives as a bunch of pre-evolutionary Neanderthals set on turning the clock back to a bygone era. If this narrative sounds familiar it should because President Barack Obama and top Democratic surrogates effectively used it against Republican challenger Mitt Romney and the GOP ticket.
Of course, it didn't help when those on the right gleefully went along with the left's trap.
Even after losing many have yet to learn words matter. Republicans must stop allowing the left to define the terms of engagement.
Progress, which in terms of public policy is largely apolitical quality of life issues, cannot be relegated to the left.
Unfortunately, conservatives too often represent themselves as reactionaries against everyone and everything. If this continues, conservatism — and more broadly Republicanism — will be irrelevant for a generation or more.
Between F.D.R.'s New Deal and L.B.J.'s Great Society, a liberal consensus dominated American society until a conservative reformation with the likes of Russell Kirk and William F. Buckley Jr. providing the intellectual backing to a political insurrection led by an actor-turned-politician named Ronald Reagan.
Kirk, Buckley and Reagan, along with countless others, understood conservatism had to mean something besides opposition to the left.
However, the movement they took from counter-culture to the establishment of the 1980s and 1990s has been without an overarching leader for many years now.
This void at the helm of conservatism grew even larger with Obama's election and then re-election to the presidency.
Conservatives now find themselves not only lacking any position of national power or influence, but also lost in the political wilderness without a map to guide them to a renewed national majority.
This has resulted in neo-Know Nothings infiltrating a party and a movement that would have once defrocked and excommunicated them.
Instead some are unwilling to stand up to this small, but highly vocal, element whose militant rhetoric against not only government but accepted aspects of modern society not only turns off sensible conservatives but isolates swaths of the electorate that are otherwise inclined to support policy until they learn Republicans propose it.
A day of reckoning is coming between those who continue to deny there is a problem and those who realize what is ahead if major changes aren't undertaken.
Hopefully, this day of reckoning will come sooner rather than later.