You've really got to hand it to the Republicans. They are masters of the English language. No, not in the way William F. Buckley, Jr. was. He was a habitually wrong Yale-educated intellectual with a working vocabulary that would have made Noah Webster or Peter Roget say, "What the fuck does that mean?" No, I'm talking about the way they are able to pervert it.
Republicans have learned that words are malleable. They also understand that their own base would have no idea what the word "malleable" means. So they keep it simple, as in third grade simple. And as Frank Luntz, the Republicans' favorite political analyst, conservative messaging whore and corrupter of democracy likes to put it, "It's not what you say. It's what people hear."
This is why on Fox you will hear the greedy pigs who have surpassed the fabled Robber Barons of old in deepening the chasm between the haves and have nots referred to as "job creators" and Obamacare casually called "a government takeover of health care." If you are not at this moment personally eyeing the inner workings of you own colon, you are aware that neither of these substitutions are honest.
But that's what Republicans do, and it's working. Of course their greatest achievement of Orwellian word-molestation is in completely dishonoring the word "liberal," a word that for centuries was the very definition of all things virtuous. So damaging has that label now become that many of us have timidly retreated to the comfortable safety of the word "progressive."
We can, however, fight back.
Yesterday I saw a graphic on Facebook with a picture of Rush Limbaugh. It asked the reader to describe him in one word. The results were as one would expect, as this was a Democrat's page: asshole, pig, heartless, misogynist, liar, stupid, racist, cigar-fellating junkie pedophile (which broke the one word rule), etc. I read through all the responses, and while they were certainly apt, there was one word that I felt was the embodiment of all of them: Republican. So I humbly suggest we use this word to our advantage.
For example, let's say you're at a trendy restaurant and you are given a particularly awful meal. The waiter arrives at your table.
"The scallops au gauche are pleasing, no?"
"No. This tastes like Republican!"
Or, your friend backs up into your car.
"Dude, what are you, Republican or something?"
Or your child misbehaves and needs a time out.
"Dakota, that was very Republican of you to hit your little sister like that."
Or your best friend hits on a woman you're talking with at the bar.
"Hey, Jason, stop Republican-blocking me, will ya?"
The possibilities are limitless. Just replace any negative word or phrase with "Republican." Eventually, people will prefer to be called just about anything else. Maybe even "liberal."
©2014 Kona Lowell
You can hear a reading of this blog every Sunday at 9 AM Central at Brass Knuckle Progressives Radio.