Glossary: Key memes, counterfactuals, dog whistles, canards, euphemisms, innuendoes, insinuations, fake outrages, and obsessions in The Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories and fever swamps, Jan. 3-6, 2017.


rhetorical claim: Donald Trump is only accountable to his supporters, who gave him his mandate.

rhetorical effect: Trump can do and say anything because his supporters are so fanatical and dismiss any critical reporting as “fake news.” Trump has never been accountable to anyone–shareholders, a board of directors, etc.–so why should he start now?



rhetorical claim: Liberals are so unhinged over Trump’s victory that they are caught up in a hysterical, irrational, ever-spiraling  anti-Putin campaign that does nothing but spread false fear. It is the equivalent of fake news, and spearheaded by the Washington Post.

rhetorical effect: makes any claim of Russian interference in US affairs sound cynical, panicky, and even dangerous. This could be another step toward making any veiled criticism of Trump dangerous and suspect. Calling news reporting fear-mongering suppresses free speech.


government watchdogs

rhetorical claim: So-called “government watchdogs” are really just progressives posing as lovers of transparency but actually only advancing their own agendas. They wage fact-free outrage campaigns.

rhetorical effect: marginalizes or even criminalizes dissent. Watchdogs and whistle blowers are considered traitors and will be muzzled at any cost. The foxes will be guarding the hen house.


wealth creation

rhetorical claim: Trump’s cabinet is the most promising in decades because almost all of them are already wealthy so won’t try and enrich themselves in office (and after they leave office) and so understand that wealth creation is the cornerstone of American society.

rhetorical effect:the American Dream of freedom, equality, and equal justice before the law gets reduced to wealth creation. In a society where everything is reduced to its cash value, there are no longer any moral or ethical values; or, to be more precise, morals and ethics are moot because you can’t price them. Americans’ morals and ethics get bought out by economic prosperity.

white genocide

rhetorical claim: according to the About White Genocide Project, White Genocide includes:

▪ Moving millions of non-White immigrants into traditionally White countries over a period of years. This alone is not genocide, but the next step makes it a part of genocide.

▪ Legally chasing down and forcing White areas to accept “diversity“.This is known as “Forced Assimilation“.

A combination of mass immigration (of different groups of people) plus forced assimilation would qualify as genocide, as defined by Article II, part (C) of the United Nations Genocide Conventions:“Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.

▪Government refusal to remove genocidal policiesthat are in place today. By keeping these policies in place, they ensure that the genocide is ongoing.

Society is widely aware that White people are becoming a minority in several countries, but anti-Whites don’t want us to bring an end to the policies which are turning us into a minority everywhere.

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has re-tweeted posts from this group.

rhetorical effect: whites get turned into the victims and everyone else, or anyone who speaks out against this hate group, is what Trump is now calling an  “enemy” and part of the anti-white conspiracy.



rhetorical claim: freedom can’t exist without inequality. When  Obama claims that his presidency  helped reverse inequality in America (“We’ve actually begun the long task of reversing inequality.”), he is being disingenuous. Reversing  inequality inevitably requires reversing freedom–as in all totalitarian countries.

rhetorical effect: intentionally conflates inevitable human difference with systematic prejudice, racism, and exploitation of the less-well-0ff. Claiming the inevitability of unequal outcomes does not axiomatically mean that we should cease all efforts to reverse inequality. In its most extreme form, this rhetorical ploy is the same as saying since we all are going to die, we may as well not use medicine.



rhetorical claim: the view that we should regard ourselves as having no greater obligations to fellow citizens than to foreigners.

rhetorical effect: enshrines “America first” as the cornerstone of our democracy–a historically dangerous and short-sighted view that will inevitably lead to displays of American strength in the form of wars or long-term foreign entanglements. Globalism should not always be a pejorative ter, especially when it refers to free trade, international canons of justice, universal human rights, etc.


politicized intelligence

rhetorical claim: The appointed leadership of the U.S. intelligence community, under Barack Obama in particular, has been politicizing intelligence (downplaying ISIS and Islamic terrorism generally, hyping the extent of al-Qaeda’s degradation, soft-peddling Iran’s intentions, etc.). Skepticism toward what they say on the way out the door is warranted (though perhaps not in the way Trump has expressed it). Even if Russia meddled in the election, Trump was legitimately elected.

rhetorical effect: makes it possible to Trump to cherry-pick intelligence reports that help him politically, and dismiss inconvenient ones as biased. There of course won’t be any inconvenient reports once he gets all his own people in control of all intelligence reports.


Obama as outsider

rhetorical claim: The Obama presidency has been different from any other administration in the last two centuries. From the start, he has gone out of his way to defy the very essence of the American Republic, our constitutional limits on the power of any single dictatorial individual. Under Obama, the US Congress and even the Supreme Court have failed to assert their constitutional independence, presumably out of fear of this president and the accusations of racism that followed opposition to him or his policies….For Obama, the US Constitution is just an obstacle to be circumvented or simply ignored.

rhetorical effect: Totally undercuts and delegitamizes any accomplishments of the Obama era. Calling Obama a jihadi Marxist may be over the top, but in more subtle ways Trump’s tweets really fall back on this point: that the liberal Dems are so outside the American mainstfream that the real Americans routed them in the election, even though they got three million more votes.

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 )

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s