Imperialism is back, in a big way. Read more about Obama’s Imperial Presidency.
The Heritage Foundation’s Tumblr Editor Split My Head Open with an Axe
Awkwardly enough, words have meanings. Effective communication generally requires us to stick with the commonly accepted ones. And when you write about "imperialism" in a political or economic context, it generally refers use of hegemonic power to create or maintain an unequal economic, cultural, or territorial relationship, generally by a state actor.
When the Heritage Foundation uses it in reference to Obama’s decision not to prioritize the deportation of people Heritage apparently wants to deport, it’s using the word in a silly way. Yes, you can use word in unconventional or silly ways. There are no language police here. But it’s not generally considered helpful.
For example … actually, now would be a good time to clarify. When I use the phrase, “split my head open with an axe,” I’m using the phrase’s unconventional meaning of “wrote a blogpost I find distasteful and liable to induce a splitting headache.” I’m not accusing anybody of trying to murder anything except language.
My point is that words have meanings. If you use words to mean something unconventional and misleading, you either look really obnoxious (as in the above example with the axe) or really uninformed.
(On a side note, I understand that the Obama administration has had to exercise a lot of powers granted to it by previous Congresses in unconventional ways. There’s a very obvious reason for this. The executive branch and congress are supposed to be co-equal branches. If you have two co-equal legs and one of them is defective, you’re going to develop some weird muscles in the functioning leg. The Republicans have been almost uniformly uninterested in resolving these issues before they reach crisis level. Fortunately, Congress wasn’t always defective and the Obama administration has gotten by decently well on the fumes of decent legislation from past Congresses.)