Glossary: an anatomy of key memes, phrases, canards, shibboleths and obsessions in the Wall Street Journal and other GOTP language factories, March 1-8, 2015

21st-century skills: docility, giving up privacy, respecting authority, taking orders, settling, putting economic security above civic engagement, critical thinking, or social and moral values and goals. This is one of he main GOTP/Scott Walker rhetorical wedges into decimating higher education and reducing it to vocational training.

consumer-centered (or market-driven): the gauzy, panacea-like connotation of these terms masks the very real possibility that consumers will get–and eventually settle for– limited choices and monopoly pricing. (See the US cable industry for example.)  To use Elizabeth Warren’s term, almost all markets are”rigged”, and consumers are never driving the car. Just because something is “consumer centered” doesn’t mean the consumer isn’t getting screwed. Aren’t most businesses business ultimately “consumer centered”?

conversation about race: always a guarantee that nothing will change; the conversation is for and about itself, a self-congratulatory way of maintaining the status quo. As the saying goes, if you’re in an oppressed  or marginalized group, when you hear about one of these, hold onto your wallets, so to speak.

envy economics: Paul Ryan-speak for wage disparity  or economic inequality.

globalized economy: corporatist, GOTP AND neo-liberal buzzword for recruiting unthinking, docile worker bees, and reducing mankind to homo economicus. See “21st-century skills,” above.

operatives: anyone working for a Dem; aka, hangers-on. Called staffers or campaign workers when working for a GOTP candidate.

plantation: any Dem social safety net/welfare program. Government assistance is now likened to “slavery” and “dependency.” This position combines radical laissez-faire policy with the most austere and indifferent version of Social Darwinism. And never mind that lots of folks working in the vaunted “global economy” feel oppressed and unable to exercise any control over their miserable existences.

strong: in foreign policy terms, this adjective is always equated with aggression, military force (or the threat of it), even occupation. However, there is no reason that a “strong” foreign policy couldn’t include mutual respect, nation-building, championing civil society, free speech and human rights, encouraging human potential, etc. You know, leading from beneath. Oh, wait, that is the Obama foreign policy in relation to Iran, for example.

taking race off the table: in GOTP terms, this means that race should no longer even be a topic of conversation, let alone public policy. In reality, it means sweeping race under the rug after taking it off the table, and serves the double rhetorical purpose of avoiding awkward conversations about growing social inequality and even stigmatizing anyone engaged in such conversations as “racist”.

voting rights: voter suppression, all in the name of “protecting” the rights of voters against fictional “voter fraud.”

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