Glossary: an anatomy of key memes, euphemisms, sneers, innuendos, and metanarratives in the Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories, Aug 8- 18, 2014

bulwark against evil:  Captain America, aka, “the lead actor on the world stage”. In a Manichean universe, there are no shades of gray, and “the axis of evil” is ever-present and ubiquitous.

calculating Clinton: when Hillary does or says anything, she is characterized as a calculating, power-hungry Machiavellian who will stop at nothing to attain absolute power and reign over Hillaryland. When GOP candidates speak, on the other hand,  they aren’t called “calculating”, but, rather, “thoughtful” (especially Paul Ryan) or “courageous” (especially Ted Cruz and Rand Paul).

the climate line: some concocted scare story made up by a cabal of left-wing scientists. Just plain malarkey.

dead-end bottom feeders: the Ferguson protestors;and now they have the temerity to want to register to vote!

getting ahead: the ultimate goal of human life, defined by struggle and striving. The Horatio Alger myth is alive and well, even if it means a Darwinian struggle for mastery and inevitable inequality, the antithesis of capitalism. Funny how the “goals” to be reached are all defined by the GOP: wealth, privilege, rugged individualism and an almost total absence of government regulation.

injecting race into the conversation: registering black voters.

the lead actor on the world stage: a rhetorical cousin of “American exceptionalism“.

the poor’s overseers: according to GOP rhetoric, the Dems are the ones who have been creating poverty and holding the poor back from “getting ahead”. In this rhetorical never-never land, satisfying the poor’s “needs” (heat, shelter, food, health care, education) is a a fool’s errand until and unless the poor get some ambition to “get ahead,” so the Republicans can finally help them “reach their goals”.

a true market: one that transparently runs on pure information and rational choices. In other words, a fairy tale. We won’t have true markets in the US until the kenyan socialist leaves office.

unimpeded evil: what  the world would be subject to without America, the only “bulwark against evil”.

the wealth effect: the magical thinking that spawned the “trickle down theory”: that all boats rise on a rising tide. Despite no lasting signs that this magical “effect” ever took hold or lasted for most Americans in any Republican administration, the myth persists. This persistence can perhaps be attributed to how well it has worked for the rich and privileged.

 

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