Nel's New Day

September 9, 2015

What GOP Means When They Say …

Filed under: Elections — trp2011 @ 8:26 PM
Tags: , , , , ,

[From joelgp]

In conservative lexicon:

  • “small businesses” =  large corporation
  • “simpler tax” = more tax cuts for the wealthy
  • “secure medicare” = destroy it
  • “repair and replace obamacare” = destroy it
  • “secure the borders first” = treat Hispanics as second-classed citizens
  • “all lives matter” = we need to shut-up and take our murders like men
  • “horrified by planned parenthood” = I really need evangelicals in my camp
  • “take America back” = get them AAs out of our White House!
  • “the economy is in turmoil” = President Obama saved America from a great depression
  • “I won’t lead from behind” = I’m starting wars with Iran, Syria and maybe Russia too
  • “the party of the middle class” = no unions and no increase in minimum wage

Frank Luntz prides himself in tutoring conservatives on how selling their opinions through the use of emotion. In fact, he re-creates definitions for negative terms describing Republicans for a positive twist. One example is describing “Orwellian” as speaking “with absolute clarity” instead of the traditional definition from the novel, 1984, as destroying a free and open society. Luntz’s coining the term “Obamacare” was brilliant: for years almost twice as many people in Kentucky opposed Obamacare as the Affordable Care Act although they are identical.

Other conservative twisted terminology:

  • “government takeover” = health care reform
  • “energy exploration” = oil drilling
  • “freedom” = no government support
  • “tax relief” = lower taxes for corporations and the wealthy
  • “personal accounts” = privatizing Social Security
  • “babies” = fetuses
  • “immigration reform” = build walls and throw out all undocumented Hispanics in the U.S.
  • “UN reform” = get rid of the United Nations
  • “class action reform” = don’t allow this in courts
  • “war on terror” = attacking countries in the Middle East
  • “activist judges” = those who rule against conservative ideals
  • “class warfare” = opposition to extreme income inequality
  • “Fairness Doctrine” = removing public airways from regulations
  • “right-to-work laws” = lower salaries and no benefits
  • “reparative therapy” = telling LGBT people that they are unworthy and can change their biology
  • “dividing America” = any criticism of conservatives, the wealthy, or their policies
  • George W. Bush’s “Healthy Forests Initiative” = widespread logging
  • Bush’s “Clear Skies Initiative” = remove clean air standards
  • “the takers” = poor people
  • “accountability” = punishment for those who need help (instead of for the failed missile defense system)
  • “bipartisanship” = willingness for Democrats to follow Republicans
  • “deregulation” = letting big business do anything it wants
  • “discrimination” = asking white males to sharing of money and power with the poor, women, and other minorities
  • “disorderly conduct” = any legal protest including Freedom of Speech
  • “faith-based” = religious action that may violate the First Amendment
  • “family values” = justification for intolerance, fear, and bigotry
  • “routine military operation” = sneak attack by an overwhelmingly superior force
  • “special interest” = any citizen or group of citizens who express concerns to their government
  • “strict constructionist” = position taken by conservative judges to justify rulings that roll back progress on civil rights, women’s rights, environmental protections, and defense citizens from arbitrary government actions while simultaneously claiming to be “above politics.”
  • “unconstitutional” = anything not in keeping with conservative thought

And much more here.

Over the past 40 years, Republicans have put billions of dollars into creating this language. After Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell wrote in 1970 that the best students became anti-business because of the Vietnam War, wealthy conservatives set up professorships, institutes, and think tanks to change the viewpoint. By 2003, they had 1,500 conservative radio talk show hosts. Through this network, they established the GOP opposition to the progressive approach of “nurturing parent” assuming that the world is good and empathy will make it better. Most Democrats believe in helping people through a safety net, regulations, education, civil liberties, public service, and equal treatment for people.

The authoritarian parent model followed by the GOP takes the position that the world is dangerous and children, born bad, must be made good. The strict parent is the moral authority who tells his family what to do, often through painful punishment. Children who don’t become independent as adults must be freed with no support. The only purposes of the government are to maintain order, conduct business in an orderly fashion, and punish people. Actions are carried out without permission or discussion with force and authority.

Conservatives have a number of code words for racism that would be benign on the surface but are actually triggers for hate. “Illegal aliens” refers only to Hispanics coming across the nation’s southern border, and “states rights” legitimizes racism, sexism, and homophobia. Rep. Paul Ryan used “inner cities” to denigrate blacks, and “Sharia law” evokes a sense of fear not created by “Christian law,” although both are unconstitutional. Ian Haney López, author of Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class, writes about how a speaker can use racist language and still deny that any reference to race.

Sometimes terminology suffers a fast death among conservative politicians. For example, GOP presidential candidates started using the term “anchor babies”—legally born infants in the U.S. becoming citizens—after Donald Trump began the trend. The massive criticism across the nation for people like Jeb Bush quickly closed down the usage.

In 1996, Newt Gingrich wrote a memo about how language is “a key mechanism of control.” It lists the words to be used by politicians to strengthen their message and the ones to be used for opponents. “Cheat,” “lie,” “stagnant,” and “status quo” are just a few of these.

Over a year ago, Bill Maher discussed the GOP success with language:

“Being a Republican means starting with a bedrock principle, like rich people shouldn’t pay taxes, or black people shouldn’t vote.  And then, figuring out how to sell it to low-information voters, otherwise known as Americans.  Did I say ‘don’t tax rich people’?  I meant ‘encourage the job creators.’ Did I say ‘don’t let black people vote’?  I meant ‘clamp down on voter fraud.’ Did I say ‘bring back slavery’?  I meant ‘phase out race-based freedom quotas.’”

It’s time for Democrats to increase its own messaging. Here’s a start:

Republicans are legislating a Daddy State: Conservative state and federal legislators reach into all parts of personal life—restricting access to health care, giving employers the right to snoop into personal medical records, regulating women’s health care, controlling our choice of marriage partners, etc. In the words of Rep. Steve King (R-IA), this is a gross violation of the freedoms and liberties that we love about living in the United States. We need to stop “the man of the family” from setting the rules and punishing us when they think that we’re “bad.”

Republicans are the Party of Gut and Spend: Conservatives gamble with wars to increase income for the wealthy and then gut services to the poor and needy. Gut and Spend takes money from hard-working families, decimating the middle class, and gives it to the rich and powerful. Low-income families suffer deep cuts while no entitlements for the wealthy are eliminated. The program is a Path to Poverty and bad for America.

Republicans are the Party of Large Corporate Government: Instead of a smaller government, the GOP wants an Unelected Corporate Government that takes away the rights for people to have a say in education, prisons, and the military. Turning our government over to Unelected Corporations is anti-Democratic and un-American.

People who control language control the agenda. As George Orwell’s 1984 inquisitor, O’Brien, said, “The whole aim of Newspeak [precursor to “doublespeak”] is to narrow the range of thought. In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.”

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2 Comments »

  1. I think this translation of what republicans are really saying is great and right on!! I was just reading your blog about Yemen which is no longer available. I am probably one of the few people who read it and the BBC article on this subject in 2012. There is a better more update piece that can be found in the Economist published 9/9/15. The first paragraph backs my thinking that this is a proxy war between Saudia Arabia (Sunnis), our ally and Iran (Shia).

    This is the first paragraph: “But there is another country in the region where a sectarian civil war, with an international dimension, is wreaking major damage to religious and architectural treasures, and that conflict is getting much less international attention. The country is Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition of Sunni Arab states has been waging war by air and land against the Houthis, a Shia rebel group who control the capital, Sana’a, and are denounced by their foes as a proxy for Iran.”

    Like

    Comment by Gronda Morin — September 10, 2015 @ 4:34 AM | Reply

    • Thanks. I enjoy your comments.

      Like

      Comment by trp2011 — September 10, 2015 @ 12:09 PM | Reply


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