Glossary: Key memes, dog-whistles, canards, euphemisms and obsessions in the Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories, July 21-25, 2015

all lives matter: a rhetorical way of dismissing #blacklivesmatter.

America’s best interests: not an Obama priority.

apocalypse: the inevitable outcome of the Iranian nuclear deal. Ted Cruz says millions of Americans, Israelis and Europeans  will die as a result, and typical Tea Party bloviation blithely intersperses references to Munich, Hitler, Stalin, and Armageddon. Of course, the really embarrassing moment comes the day after the predicted Armageddon, when the doomsayers have to ‘splain themselves.

austerity: the belief that starving people will make them healthy. Aka, the dog chasing its tail, because as budgets are cut, people laid off, and the social safety net eviscerated, human misery increases and GDP declines.

badgering moralizing: any policy speech or principled political stance by anyone opposed to any Tea Party position

decisive leadership: starting a new war against Iran, Russia and/or ISIS on Day One in the White House

deserved benefits: Social Security and Medicare. Everything else, from food stamps to Medicare–is undeserved, and thus a “handout.”

heritage: in the case of the South (the Old Confederacy), shorthand for slavery–That Which Cannot be Mentioned. Use of this term is a perfect example of so called “empty rhetoric,” which is all symbol and no actual content. Of course, rhetoric is never “empty,” since it always serves a purpose. In this case, the purpose is continued reverence toward a slavery-based society.

limited government and individual freedom: presuppose (rest upon a foundation of) religious faith and traditional values..

the patient: the unborn baby, not the mother.

productive workers: lower-paid, no minimum wage, reduced or abandoned workplace safety and labor standards.The only way the Tea party can meet its impossible dream of a  4% growth rate is through massive changes to labor, tax, welfare, trade and social safety net laws and expenditures. This reductionist, Gradgrindian notion of productivity reduces workers to being cogs in a machine, and doesn’t take any human welfare issues into account. Moreover, as Paul Krugman argues, Jeb Bush’s recent call for American workers to work more is a dog-whistle call to the “makers” (the so-called “job creators”), to take back the nation from the “takers”–the lazy Americans who make up Obama Nation:

You see this laziness dogma everywhere on the right. It was the hidden background to Mitt Romney’s infamous 47 percent remark. It underlay the furious attacks on unemployment benefits at a time of mass unemployment and on food stamps when they provided a vital lifeline for tens of millions of Americans. It drives claims that many, if not most, workers receiving disability payments are malingerers — “Over half of the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts,” says Senator Rand Paul.

It all adds up to a vision of the world in which the biggest problem facing America is that we’re too nice to fellow citizens facing hardship. And the appeal of this vision to conservatives is obvious: it gives them another reason to do what they want to do anyway, namely slash aid to the less fortunate while cutting taxes on the rich.

scripted talk: the insincere, boilerplate language liberals use to pretend they care about black lives, when all they actually care about is political gain and waving the bloody flag of racism. Thus any Dem talk about preserving the family, the need for education, the avoidance of illegitimacy and drug use–all the real hallmarks of black culture–are smokescreens.

thuggery: any organized opposition to the Tea Party

traditional morality: the only way to both limit government (challenge the Leviathan) and make individuals take moral responsibility for their own well-being.

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