At least until the draft comes, progressive Americans will not be fleeing en masse to Canada, despite the charming offer of so many compassionate Canadians to sacrifice their singlehood to save us from the “cowboy” Bush. (As the New Yorker‘s Hendrik Hertzberg says, the Canadians make us proud to be North Americans.)
After all, who is to say Canada is safe from a preemptive strike? Canada’s leaders are a bunch of socialists hostile to our president just like the Baathists were, Canada might have hidden stockpiles of WMD, it possesses a natural resource– cheap prescription drugs–critical to our people’s security, and historically-speaking it would be a really bad idea (see Quebec, Battle of; 1812, War of).
No, alas, we will stay and fight to retake our country from the forces of extremism, corruption, and incompetence that have set up shop in the White House, Capitol Hill, and K Street. Taking our cue from the venerable military strategist Sun-tzu, the first stage of this battle is to understand our opponents, who are as bold as they are devious.
Nowhere is their deception more in need of debunking than in the realm of political discourse, where they have over the last several decades created a veritable Orwellian Code of encrypted language. The key to their linguistic strategy is to use words, which sound moderate to us but mean something completely different to their base. Their tactics range from the childish use of antonyms, i.e., “clean” = “dirty” to the pseudo-academic use of prefixes–“neo” is a favorite–to the pernicious (and very expensive) rebranding of traditional political labels–“liberal”–as an insult.
We need to break the code by building a Republican dictionary. Here’s a small list I’ve put together to get us started. Please feel free to add your own contributions by clicking here. I’ll be publishing more examples in the coming weeks.
BI-PARTISANSHIP, n. When conservative Republicans work together with moderate Republicans to pass legislation Democrats hate.
CLARIFY, v. Repeating the same lie over and over again.
CLEAN, adj. The word used to modify any aspect of the environment Republican legislation allows corporations to pollute, poison, or destroy.
FAIRER, adj. Regressive.
FAITH, n. The stubborn belief that God approves of Republican moral values despite the preponderance of textual evidence to the contrary.
FAITH COMMUNITY, n. Evangelicals, because they are saved, and hawkish conservative Jews, because they are useful. Israel is the bait-on-the-hook just waiting for God to take that Rapturous bite.
FISCAL CONSERVATIVE, n. A Republican who is in the minority.
FREEDOM, n. What Arabs want but can’t achieve on their own without Western military intervention. It bears a striking resemblance to chaos.
GROWTH, n. The justification for tax cuts for the rich. What happens to the deficits when Republicans cut taxes on the rich.
HONESTY, n. Lies told in simple declarative sentences: “Freedom is on the march.”
HUMBLE FOREIGN POLICY, n. The invasion of any sovereign nation whose leadership Republicans don’t like.
HUMBLED adj. What a Republican says right after a close election and right before he governs in an arrogant manner.
MORAL VALUES, n. Hatred of homosexuals dressed up in Biblical language.
MANDATE, n. What a Republican claims to possess when only 49 percent of the voting public loathes him instead of 51 percent.
THE MEDIA, n. Immoral elitist liberally-biased traitors who should leave Republicans alone so they can complete God’s work on Earth in peace and quiet, behind closed doors.
PHILOSOPHY, n. Religion.
SIMPLIFY, tr. v. To cut the taxes of Republican donors.
SLAVE, n. A person without legal rights, e,g. a fetus.
BONUS DEFINITION: NEOCONSERVATIVES, n. Nerds with Napoleonic complexes.