Glossary: Key memes, counterfactuals, dog whistles, canards, euphemisms, innuendoes, insinuations, fake outrages and obsessions in the Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories, Sept. 7-9, 2016

blood: character, which explains why Afro-Americans lacking character and the work ethic, have let their culture degenerate into the law of jungle, and why Hispanics have so many rapists and murderers.  As Chauncey Devega argues in Salon,  these racial slurs are part of Trump’s white supremacist pseudoscience, and the mainstreaming of white racism.

economic opportunity: the tide that will lift all boats in a Trump administration, and the reason African-Americans and Hispanics should vote GOP. This magical myth of sudden upward mobility for the left behind is a key Tea Party/GOP ploy, designed to cover over the economic realities of their positions. As Chauncey Devega argues in Salon,

The Republican Party’s policy proposals for dealing with inner-city poverty, “race relations” and “civil rights” are tired and tedious. They consist of vague promises about “economic opportunity” that fail to address wealth and income inequality, and neglect to mention how right-wing policies created many of the problems that afflict poor and working-class American communities on both sides of the color line. Republicans — and too many Democrats who have also been bitten by the neoliberalism bug — believe that charter schools, privatization and “choice” will provide a path to economic uplift through improved public education. Like most right-wing economic policies, this too is a lie. Charter schools often provide worse educational outcomes compared to public schools and exist mostly to transfer increasingly scarce public resources away from the commons and into the coffers of rich elites. Most importantly, Republicans also hold onto the delusion that by ignoring structural and institutional white supremacy the specific problems it causes can be magically cured.

enemies of the police: blacks and Latinos, according to Maine Governor Paul LePage.

investments: to liberals, any government spending

leadership:  the heart of Trump’s strategy: appear to be a natural leader. As Frank Rich explains:

the strategy of Trump’s candidacy: that by acting the role of commander-in-chief with alpha-dog bluster and cartoonish command, he can bamboozle voters into believing that there is some content to go with his performance of “leadership.”

Hillary needs to say something like this:

the oval office is no place for foreign policy apprentices, let alone swaggering braggarts whose approach to diplomacy seems akin to that of a pugnacious 12-year old boy: crush Isis in the first hour of the presidency, make Putin back down, tear up  the Iranian agreement, take all the Iraqis’ oil, abrogate all trade agreements and all US pledges to NATO, allow Japan and South Korea to get nuclear weapons,  punch the Mexicans and Chinese in the nose, etc.  In fact, Donald, if you were applying for a State Department internship, you would be rejected–not only because of your callow ignorance of the nuances or even the facts of international diplomacy and your total ignorance of how the machine of power actually works, but also because of your arrogant certainty that you know more than people who have spent their entire careers grappling with these nuances.

obstructionists: Congress, to Obama.

paranoia: to the Tea Party, any opposition to Trump, which is all based on distortions of his character and an unjustified fear of his leadership qualities. In truth, the real paranoids are Trump’s supporters, who see this election as the last chance to save America from a looming apocalypse and have no conception of how the world works. As Richard Hofstader explained in his 1964 work, The Paranoid Style In American Politics,

The situation becomes worse when the representatives of a particular social interest — perhaps because of the very unrealistic and unrealizable nature of its demands — are shut out of the political process. Having no access to political bargaining or the making of decisions, they find their original conception that the world of power is sinister and malicious fully confirmed. They see only the consequences of power — and this through distorting lenses — and have no chance to observe its actual machinery. A distinguished historian has said that one of the most valuable things about history is that it teaches us how things do not happen. It is precisely this kind of awareness that the paranoid fails to develop. He has a special resistance of his own, of course, to developing such awareness, but circumstances often deprive him of exposure to events that might enlighten him — and in any case he resists enlightenment.

questioning: giving Trump the chance to be Trump. Never asking follow-up questions or probing for details.

stakeholders:  In Clintonland, campaign donors.

to the victor belongs the spoils: the heart of Trump’s foreign policy. Neocolonialism in its purist form.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s