If today’s “neoconservatives” spoke in plain English and said right out loud what their real agenda is,
most of us would recoil in horror, and the Republicans wouldn’t be able to win an election for dog catcher for the next fifty years. The last right-winger who tried this was Barry Goldwater in the presidential election of 1964, and the voters handed him his butt by a landslide margin of two to one. So near and yet so far, eh, Republicans?
But the Repubs/Neocons are a crafty bunch, and to prevent this kind of embarrassment in the future they decided to modify – just a bit – the words they used to describe their vision for the U.S. and the world, to sort of, um, obscure their true intentions and meanings, while making sure “the base” can figure out what they are talking about. In fact, over the decades what they have done for all practical purposes is create a new language altogether, a language so twisted and arcane that it only seems like English.
For example, you may think you know what is meant by the phrase “class warfare.” Revolution, anarchy, cities burning, unwashed masses mindlessly slaughtering the wealthy with machetes and looting their homes, right? Uh-uh. The new meaning of class warfare is “…any attempt to raise the minimum wage.”
Since the neocons are in charge now and we have to listen to them and their new language all day on Fox, I looked up The Republican-to-English Dictionary on the internet, so I could keep up. This thing first started appearing in late 2001, as nearly as I can tell, back when Democrats/liberals/progressives still had a sense of humor. It exists all over the place in various permutations, and I take no credit for it.
Here are a few entries:
bipartisanship: Sometimes also seen as “spirit of compromise.” Willingness by Congressional Democratic leaders to support, accept or fail to oppose public policy proposals from President Bush and the Republican Congressional leaders despite the mutual understanding that the proposals are not supported by a clear majority of the American people. When used by Republican leaders this term is synonymous with capitulation.
big government: Any attempt by a duly constituted public authority to regulate or put limits on the power of private corporations or make them responsible for the consequences of their actions, with the exception of the gaming or entertainment industries.
compassionate conservatism: Consists of smiling while cheating women, minorities and the working class out of their share of the nation’s productive output. Replaces the term friendly fascism.
death tax: New Republican term used to replace the traditional term “estate tax,” one of the traditional mechanisms in a democracy to ensure that a self-perpetuating aristocracy is unable to establish itself then capture and subvert democratic institutions. Fully 98% of the U.S. population is unaffected by the estate tax, which primarily burdens the 200 families in the U.S. with a net worth greater than $1 billion.
fair and balanced: Republican term meaning archconservative news source serving as a tool of corporate interests while masquerading as impartial. Examples include Fox News, the Washington Times, the Wall Street Journal, etc.
get over it: Warning to the listener that questioning the legitimacy of George W. Bush’s claim to the presidency will not be tolerated as a topic for American citizens to discuss. As a threat it recognizes the vulnerability of the Bush regime to the growing popularity of the observation that Bush won fewer votes than his opponent in Florida as well as nationwide. Please note, you may also hear this idea expressed as “Stop your whining” and/or “Deal with it.” [Also, “We won. Shut up.” – Editor]
illegal vote: Any ballot in which the voter did not precisely follow the exact requirements as set forth in the voting instructions, and in the case where the voting instructions were erroneous or unclear any vote for a non-Republican. Note: this rule does not apply to military ballots. (See related term, legal vote.)
legal vote: Any ballot in which a Republican’s name can be interpreted as having been indicated by the voter. (See related term, illegal vote.)
liberal: Once commonly used to mean “one who is open minded,” Republicans have successfully redefined this word to mean dangerous, irresponsible and unpatriotic fanatic.
partisan: In common Republican usage is now defined as any mean-spirited, illegitimate and unpatriotic attempt by non-Republicans to question the current administration’s goals or methods, or to call for debate, or to ask for consideration of alternatives.
patriot: Anyone proud to be a Christian, God-fearing Republican, who believes strongly in the immutability of the status quo. See traitor.
property rights: Laws designed to protect the interests of the oil, timber, mining and livestock industries and enable them to exploit public lands to secure private profits.
special interest: Formerly this phrase was reserved for economic interests who sought special privilege. In common Republican usage however it has come to mean any citizen or group of citizens who petition their government to respond to their concerns.
traitor: Godless humanists who may either be domestic enemies of the state (Democrats) or foreign enemies (Communists), and who continuously question the legitimacy of the Bush presidency even after patriots have clearly instructed them to “Get Over It.” (Please see Get Over It.)
unconstitutional: Any action that is not favorable to the Republican agenda.
welfare reform: Forced reintroduction of uneducated and unskilled workers into the job force to exert downward pressure on wage demands, undercut job training programs and ensure that corporate lobbyists continue to call for an easing of immigration restrictions rather than for improved education and training for American citizens.
Oh, wait. We don’t have to watch Fox News all day, do we?
3 Replies to “Neospeak”
I emailed my senators & my rep today. I asked when they would impeach Bush. I pointed out that the “pre-emptive strike” in Iraq was not quite worthy of impeachment, and that I suppose staggering incompetence is unfortunately not impeachable, but the spying on American citizens–doesn’t that merit impeachment?
I wonder if any of them will reply. We watch and wait.
I doubt if there will be any impeaching going on, and really, would we want to have President Cheney? Still, I write the letters too, because I enjoy torturing Congress.
Glad you posted this.
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