Glossary: Key memes, dog-whistles, canards, euphemisms, fake outrages and obsessions in the Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories, April 5-12, 2016

Clinton Foundation: the Brazilianization of US politics.

humiliation: A bedrock Trumpian narrative, invoking outrage, victimhood,  and revenge . This narrative of retaliation frames our refusal to exert force abroad as a pathological weakness,   and is fueled by the myth of American Exceptionalism to generate and inform a seething  emotional and philosophical seedbed of violence and retaliation. Singling out “the bad guys” (Mexicans, Muslims, etc.)  assigns blame for feelings of humiliation, vulnerability, and powerlessness. Trump Nation serves as both an audience and a humiliated protagonist who will do anything to reclaim agency and sovereignty. After all, the word humiliation’s Greek root has to do with dirt, subordination, a putting down, hierarchies–the very opposite rhetorical schema  as that of American Exceptionalism. 

This argument that humiliation lies at the roots of fascism was summed up nicely in 1995 by Umberto Eco, who argued that  fascists are a cult of “action for action’s sake,” where “thinking is a form of emasculation”; an intolerance of “analytical criticism,” where disagreement is condemned; a profound “fear of difference,” where leaders appeal against “intruders”; appeals to individual and social frustration and specifically a “frustrated middle class” suffering from “feelings of political humiliation and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups”; a nationalist identity set against internal and external enemies (an “obsession with a plot”); a feeling of humiliation by the “ostentatious wealth and force of their enemies”; a “popular elitism” where “every citizen belongs to the best people of the world” and underscored by contempt for the weak; and a celebration of aggressive (and often violent) masculinity.

legal thieves: government officials. Almost all taxation is over-taxation.

living Constitution: the Lib Dem rationale for limiting the rights of citizens and Congress through judges legislating from the bench.

moral relativism: the seeds of Al Qaeda and ISIS. Rooted in the moral nihilism of the Lib Dems.

“of course”, “no one is saying,” etc: The standard qualifier, designed to counter liberal charges of racism, sexism, etc.  This rhetorical ploy is a smokescreen designed to shift the conversation and reassure the faithful, as Fred Clark argues in his Slactivism blog:

The substance of the Standard Answer comes last because the substantial aspect — punish doctors, not women — isn’t coherent enough to bear the weight of a satisfactory answer. The load-bearing work is done prior to that insubstantial substance. The key component is the dismissive tone — all that “of course” and “no one is saying …” business that denies the legitimacy of the question and thus denies that any response needs to be substantial or logical or coherent. The boldness of this evasion is softened and diffused by the move from singular to plural and from the particular to a vague, undifferentiated “we.”

The Standard Answer, in other words, avoids engaging the question as “What do I think” by shifting the response to “What we say/think/believe is …” This may seem unimportant to the questioner, but it is vitally important to the answerer because, again, this is the primary function of the Standard Answer: reassuring oneself that an answer exists and that “we” have one, and that therefore I do not need to worry about it any further.

religious freedom:  The freedom to exercise your faith-based conscience, even if it means curtailing the freedom of others. The logic of this claim of “freedom” invariably leads to protecting bigots.

supple economy: one with low taxes and little or no regulation. A supple economy works best with a supine government. A well-functioning capitalist system relies on prices for guidance, not rules.

urban school children: victims of the pathology of black culture: absent fathers, drug addiction, hip-hop, etc. Notice how this meme pathologizes all black youth, who already face the high likelihood of prison, police stops, etc.


Glossary: Key memes, dog-whistles, canards, euphemisms, fake outrages and obsessions in the Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories, Feb 28-March 4, 2016

abortion exceptionalism: when women are denied access to abortion clinics because the clinics don’t meet health standards. Even if abortion clinics are far less likely to cause medical problems than, say, colonoscopy centers, they are being forced to meet higher health standards, thus placing an “undue burden” on women.

common American culture: Christian American culture.

freedom: to hate. As Chris Hedges, characterizing Trumpists, puts it:

These Americans want a kind of freedom—a freedom to hate. They want the freedom to use words like “nigger,” “kike,” “spic,” “chink,” “raghead” and “fag.” They want the freedom to idealize violence and the gun culture. They want the freedom to have enemies, to physically assault Muslims, undocumented workers, African-Americans, homosexuals and anyone who dares criticize their cryptofascism. They want the freedom to celebrate historical movements and figures that the college-educated elites condemn, including the Ku Klux Klan and the Confederacy. They want the freedom to ridicule and dismiss intellectuals, ideas, science and culture. They want the freedom to silence those who have been telling them how to behave. And they want the freedom to revel in hypermasculinity, racism, sexism and white patriarchy. These are the core sentiments of fascism. These sentiments are engendered by the collapse of the liberal state.

freedom of religion: letting Christians be Christians. “Freedom of religion” in this case clearly does not mean “freedom of religions, ” but freedom of only Christianity.

hate speech: criticism of Trump or the Tea Party. Libs’ self-righteousness makes them inherently and unfailingly intolerant.

immigrants: invaders.

individual responsibility: the cornerstone of the Social Darwinism that lies at the heart of Tea Party ideology. Dems tend to believe in social responsibility instead.

police abuse: abuse of the police, not by the police.

natural-born American citizens: the group of “legitimate” Americans most under threat from foreign “invaders”. Also chronically- unemployed or underemployed.

unelected judges: Tea Party criticism of any Supreme Court decision they don’t like: that it was the verdict of at least five unelected judges. When the decision goes their way, the judges are called “strict constructionists” instead.

Glossary: Key memes, dog-whistles, canards, euphemisms, fake outrages, and obsessions in the Wall Street Journal and other GOP language factories, Feb 5-9, 2016

attacks on the police: anything suggesting there should be restraints on the police’s ability to do whatever it is that needs to be done.

diplomacy: appeasement

Europhobia: the multiculturalism replacing the successful Euro-American culture with dysfunctional Third World cultures. Unwarranted hatred and fear of whites.

farrago of lies: anything that comes out of Hillary’s mouth.

identity politics: Progressives’ cover for their self-righteous will to power.

incivility and inexperience: political assets

Judeo-Bolshevism: Bernie Sanders.

pitting people against each other: bringing up alleged racial or religious discrimination or differences. aka, “cynical” and “playing the race card.” By the logic of this trope, Dems cannot mention racism or Islamophobia or sexism without themselves being called divisive, racist and sexist. Thus the accuser becomes the accused–a perfect circle of blame and deniability for the Tea Party.

racial spoils system: tribal careerist liberals’ attempts to falsely racialize a multiracial , intermarried society. The resulting set-asides, “affirmative action” and exclusonary politics impose a narrow,  rigid, racialized narrative that only legitimizes leftist ideologues.

religious freedom: forcing faith-based values on others.

screaming: Hillary’s default mode of discourse whenever she raises her voice an octave–aka, “hysterical, “loud” feisty”, “shrill”, “nagging” and “shouting.”When Bernie or Trump, Cruz, Christie or Rubi) get assertive and do the same, it’s called being “forceful.”

tolerance: not being able to criticize Islamic violence, misogyny, homophobia, child abuse, tyranny, antisemitism, bigotry against Christians, etc. The Dem brand of tolerance is thus intolerant and threatens free speech.