Glossary: Key memes, dog-whistles, canards, euphemisms, fake outrages and obsessions in the Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories, March 17-23, 2016

Alinski playground: what the American streets will turn into this summer as Trump gets nominated. Bill Ayers will be rumored to showing up everywhere.

“bad things would happen” and “there would be riots”: Trump’s thinly-veiled threats to unleash his attack dogs if he doesn’t get the GOP nomination. A brilliant rhetorical move, speaking in the third person and passive voice, while all the while saying he himself wouldn’t condone any such violence. Like Henry II asking “Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?”,  or Shakespeare’s Mark Antony, washing his hands of the very violence he is inciting. These rhetorical moves are a variant on his earlier threat to ban all Muslims from entering the US “until we know what’s going on”: simultaneously open-ended, justificatory and direly threatening.

hacks: any Obama administration official, especially in the Justice Department– ultra-partisans, by definition.

justice: getting even with those responsible for the malaise, for America “always losing.” What to do with the people with whom something needed to be done? Justice/revenge as the sees of brutality and supremacism.

overwhelming force: the Trump Doctrine. Crush all “enemies” with violent militarism, torture, and intimidation. Thus violence becomes not a means to an end but an end in itself–as seen on TV.

political correctness: the primary cause of terrorist attacks.

the pc glass ceiling: the schoolmarms’ restraints on free speech that Donald Trump has shattered. The end of moral relativism. Everyone is now entitled to be as offensive and racist as they wish.

populism: the driving force behind Trumpism. The voice of the will of the people. This glib characterization effectively glosses over the fact that most of Trump’s positions—across-the-board tax cuts for corporations, small businesses and individuals,  reducing the capital gains tax, , hamstringing the IRS, gutting federal regulatory oversight, ending state regulation of the insurance industry, etc– will only help the very wealthy. Call it pluto-populism: popular with the plutocracy.

protests: at Trump rallies, criminal acts perpetuated by Marxist agitators/ISIS sympathizers and anarchists.

white working class: the most reviled and disadvantaged Americans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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