With fiendishly reckless government spending and a ballooning debt threatening to push the tottering American economy into the abyss, bad guys in the Mideast, the Far East, and in South America taking advantage of an inexperienced, reluctant commander-in-chief, and millions of normally-apolitical citizens profoundly disturbed by what their “progressive” elected officials are doing to them and to America, the perfect political storm is poised to blow through the upcoming midterm elections. You can hunker down and try to silently ride it out, or join in the cleansing effort by advising your friends and relatives how to help themselves and others by making intelligent choices in the polling booth.
This is the challenge of our time. Candidates of the left, bereft of any sensible ideas, do not want voters to make such choices, and are therefore resorting to personal attacks and political language intended, like a magician’s misdirection, to deceive and obfuscate. To define and clarify, right-thinking people need all the help they can get. In support of those efforts, I present the following lexicon for the 2010 midterm elections:
Accountable. An attribute that’s demanded of businessmen by the nation’s reigning political class, but is nearly extinct within their own ranks — particularly in Washington, D.C. and in larger, effectively-bankrupt states such as California, Illinois and New York — as a result of enduring, strenuous efforts on the part of big-spending officeholders to ensure the buck stops . . . somewhere else. See, e.g., “It’s George Bush’s fault,” below.
Backbone. What the Tea Party is contributing to the Republican Party.
The Constitution. Conservative meaning: The founding charter of the United States government that was ratified in 1788 and subsequently amended pursuant to its own Article V. Liberal meaning: A good first draft of an organizational document written by dead white guys that intelligent, broad-minded folks must continually edit, revise and re-interpret to reflect today’s modern sensibilities and rational enlightenment, and to ensure relevancy with the latest cultural fads and progressive ideology.
Constitutional. Conservative test: Does the law, activity or policy align with the clear meaning of the written words of the Constitution. Liberal test: Does the law, activity or policy promote freedom of expression? [Note: the word “expression” is not in the Constitution.]
Constructive Dialogue. 1. A pretense in foreign relations to describe verbal activities used in the absence of real leadership and effective policy; 2. Pleading with tyrannical thugs. See Appeasement and Neville Chamberlain.
Controlling the Message. 1. Political “spin.” 2. Propagandizing. 3. What Obama thinks his failing is, when he’s losing support. For example, the health care reform (see below) Democrats jammed down Americans’ throats would be more popular if only the President was able to better “control the message.”
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. A policy about the truth practiced by President Obama’s economic advisors who want to keep their job. See Summer of Recovery below.
Fascist bigots. Liberals’ synonym for the “Tea Party.”
Health Care Reform (also, Obamacare). Current usage: to subject a health care system that works pretty well for most Americans to more federal bureaucracy and regulation, thus making it more expensive and less competitive, effective and available.
Hearts and Minds. Use of the former instead of the latter resulted in the election of the current administration which, not surprisingly, shares its constituents’ irresponsible tendencies.
Imposing personal morality. An action a liberal politician pledges never to take. A typical formulation is: “I personally wouldn’t [bite the heads off newborn infants/marry my daughter/mind if convicted child-rapist-murderers were executed], but I won’t support or seek to enact laws that impose my personal morality on the public.” See Cop-out.
Investing in our future. 1. Appropriation of taxpayer dollars and government-borrowed funds to prettily-named projects that ultimately expand the government’s role in citizens’ lives and increase the nation’s debt. 2. A liberal rhetorical device intended to “guilt-trip” American taxpayers into relinquishing even more from their wallets, or divert their attention away from the current crumbling economy.
Investing in our infrastructure. Using tax dollars to curry the favor of labor unions by funding make-work projects in the public sector.
Islamism. Term used by conservatives to identify the Muslim-based ideology that seeks to destroy the West and impose a global caliphate; considered a profanity by anti-American multiculturalists and the Obama administration [which, many contend, is a redundant conjunctive]. See Radical Islam, below.
It’s George Bush’s fault. What Democrat politicians say when someone points out that their stale socialist policies are, predictably, failing miserably.
Mideast Peace Process. Israeli example: Destruction of the Egyptian Air Force by the Israeli Air Force in June 1967 that crippled the 20-year efforts of Egypt to “push Israel into the sea.” U.S. State Dept. example: None. Currently, a figment of the feverish machinations of political alchemists in the Western diplomatic community who imagine they can conjure up a meaningful peace with people who danced in the streets to celebrate the death and destruction of 9/11.
Multiculturalism. The liberal philosophy that all cultures, no matter how primitive, medieval or libertine, are to be admired above America’s self-reliant Judeo-Christian egalitarian culture.
Ninth and Tenth Amendments. The final two amendments of the Bill of Rights which reserve all rights to the people and the states not otherwise enumerated to the federal government; ignored by liberal politicians and effectively (but not constitutionally) repealed by liberal jurists.
Party of No. What Democrat politicians call the opposition when the Democrats’ stale socialist policies are, predictably, failing miserably.
Racist. Liberals’ presumption about anyone who articulates President Obama’s incompetence.
Radical Islam. According to the liberal establishment: an imaginary Muslim ideology cultivated by Islamophobic neo-conservatives.
Religious Tolerance. An ethical ideal as alien to Muslim clergy outside the West as it is demanded by them within the West. See Hypocrisy.
Summer of Recovery. A Soviet-esque term for the economic resurgence that the Obama administration predicted the nation would be enjoying the fruits of … right about now. Very smart people in the administration believed that if the government took your tax dollars, combined them with a boatload of borrowed funds, and then — after removing the government’s cut (very smart people don’t come cheap) — dispensed what it called the “stimulus” to certain favored recipients, the U.S. economy would be “jump-started” into recovery. The very smart people were surprised to discover — for the umpteenth time — that centralized decision-making and redistribution of income do not a successful economy make.
Tax Reform. Raising taxes.
Universal health care. Socialized health care. See Health Care Reform, above.
Samuel R. Lewis is an assistant general counsel for a global telecommunications company. He writes commentary on current, past, and future events based on his diverse experiences as a former U.S. Army officer, parent and participant in some of the most tumultuous events of the past 20 years in the business world.