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How to Speak Republican

Confused little girl.
No wonder she's confused. Her parents are right wing Republicans.

Learning a new language can be challenging. It’s especially difficult when your words have a different meaning when speaking to someone who has an alternative interpretation. Even though many of us believe we are speaking English, certain words and phrases can have a variety of nuanced definitions.

So it is with Republicans. They believe they are speaking English, but they have created an entire branch of the English language that often requires an interpreter to comprehend. Instead of following the norms of the English language, it is more akin to the doublespeak of George Orwell’s 1984.

Here is a handy guide to Speaking Republican,

Fake News: Facts

Anything that goes counter to a Republican’s interpretation of events is called “fake news”. Right wing media outlets have a slew of writers, primarily those who apparently specialize in writing fiction, who put their own twisted spin on facts. Whether it’s crowd size, election results or Climate Change, they will find a way to skew the information to their advantage, thus placating their gullible followers into believing their characterization of events.

Purveyors of fake news effectively convince their viewers that they are giving the true facts despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Because they only watch one news outlet, Republicans accept this as fact. They also confuse ratings with facts. They reason that, because they draw more viewers, they must be right in their assertions. They instead refer to those who report the facts as as “Lame stream media”.

So, the next time a Republican calls something “fake news”, replace it with “facts”. Or better yet, to use a common right wing refrain regarding COVID misinformation, “Do your own research”.

Rigged Election: Free and Fair Election

The biggest threat to democracy in America is believing that the 2020 presidential election was rigged. And yet, there are far too many willing to believe the Big Lie. Despite losing dozens of challenges, Trump and his associates continue to push the falsehood that the election was somehow rigged, and that Joe Biden’s presidency is illegitimate.

Numerous recounts have confirmed this is false, yet the Big Lie continues to have life. Except, they only wanted recounts in the Battleground States where Trump lost. And they only want to look at the votes for president. Congressional and gubernatorial election results aren’t being scrutinized. So, their claims of a rigged election ring hollow when they only focus on specific results.

The purpose of the recounts was to throw out the results of the races he lost or, in the case of Georgia, to “find” just enough votes to declare him the victor.

Using that logic, the Baltimore Orioles should be declared the champions of Major League Baseball. If you only count the runs your team scores, and throw out those scored by your opponents, the outcome is inevitable.

The Radical Left: Democrats

The term “radical left” is used to refer to the Progressive wing of the party. They were those who proposed such outlandish plans such as the Green New Deal; a proposal to combat Climate Change.

Since most Republicans deny Climate Change exists, or at least refuse to accept man’s role in accelerating the process, any federal dollars spent to counter this MUST be radical.

But, apparently the term wasn’t being applied broadly enough to please Conservatives. And so, EVERY Democrat was declared a radical leftist aimed at following a Socialist agenda that would ultimately result in America being driven into bankruptcy.

To be clear, the ideas proposed by the “radical left” would be considered centrist policies in the past. By labeling them as such, Republicans are creating a boogeyman of sorts to frighten their followers into opposing their ideas.

Woke Mob: Liberals

One of the more confusing terms in the Republican Lexicon of Lunacy is “woke mob”. Is “mob” meant to counter the description of those who stormed the Capitol on January 6th? Does “woke” imply that Democrats were somehow asleep at the switch when they were needed to take part in a functioning government?

Apparently it refers to Liberals who dare to challenge Republican policies. It’s readily used on right wing media to support numerous conspiracy theories by claiming those on the left need to wake up and accept whatever outlandish claims the far right is making.

When Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was confronted for lying about his vaccination status, he blamed the “woke mob” rather than owning up to the fact he had been deceiving the public, and putting his own teammates at risk.

So, the woke mob is nothing more than a convenient scapegoat. It’s a nameless, faceless entity that is somehow threatening Republicans’ lifestyles.

Cancel Culture: Denial

Cancel Culture is a pejorative thrown at Liberals when they object to anything related to the Conservative agenda. It’s been applied when publishers of Dr. Seuss’s books made the decision to cease the sales of six titles because of racist imagery. Republicans blamed the Democrats for “cancelling” The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham, despite the fact they had nothing to do with the decision, and these books were not among the titles involved.

When Donald Trump was kicked off Facebook and Twitter, his sons, Don Jr. and Eric immediately blamed Democrats and Cancel Culture. And yet the decision was a corporate one, and not a politically motivated method of revenge.

Qanon kook Marjorie Taylor Greene(R-Ga) screamed Cancel Culture when she was removed from her committees due to her history of inflammatory comments. Democrats were forced to take the unusual step of taking action when those in her own party, in particular House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca), refused to discipline her for her remarks.

Yet, the Republicans are not without their sense of irony. While decrying Cancel Culture, they are doing their best to cancel anyone or anything that disagrees with them. They wanted to cancel NFL players who took to one knee to protest systemic racism in law enforcement.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo) blamed Cancel Culture, and not his outrageous behavior on January 6th, for his book deal being cancelled.

And even though they named the ultra- Conservative CPAC convention “America Un-Cancelled”, they made a point of disinviting Big Bird and Bert & Ernie due to Sesame Street’s pro-vaccine programming.

Cancel Culture is just another whiny Republican label for things they don’t like.

Mask/Vaccine Mandates: Public Health Measures to Combat COVID

The primary reason the coronavirus continues to run rampant is due to those who stubbornly remain unvaccinated. Each breath they exhale threatens to further spread the infection. Despite this, they continue to rely on ignorance, fake “cures” and misinformation. Even the Supreme Court got in on the controversy when the Conservative justices joined forces to block President Biden’s vaccine mandate.

GOP members of Congress have repeatedly downplayed the seriousness of the coronavirus, comparing it to the flu or even the common cold. Meanwhile, they are comparing COVID restrictions to the Holocaust. They are calling the imposition of mandates a huge overreach by the Federal government, in particular those in the White House.

Meanwhile, you have angry parents who are threatening school board members over vaccine mandates while demanding that schools reopen so they can return to work. They fail to see the contradiction in opposing these mandates and sending their child into a potentially dangerous environment.

Right wing media has contributed to the spread of COVID by calling it a hoax, promoting fake cures and speaking out against vaccine and mask mandates. On their nightly propaganda shows they regularly downplay COVID deaths by claiming the deceased has underlying conditions unrelated to the virus, or that the government was falsely inflating the numbers while vilifying infectious disease experts Dr. Anthony Fauci and others who are struggling to stay ahead of the latest strain.

In their never-ending quest to “own the libs”, Republicans are purposely allowing the virus to spread to deny President Biden the ability to claim victory over COVID. Yes, they would rather die than admit Democrats did something right.

The hypocrisy is astounding!

Critical Race Theory: American History

Speaking of angry parents, if they aren’t arguing about their opposition to mask and vaccine mandates, they are screaming about having their child taught Critical Race Theory in public schools. Except, according to teachers, it isn’t being taught there.

Critical Race Theory is a subject for higher level educational institutions. It explores the legal ramifications of racist policies and how it prevented numerous Blacks from taking advantage of economic opportunities afforded to White Americans. As a legal process, it is related to reparations and how much Blacks should receive for their ancestors years of enslavement.

So, it’s definitely not a subject that is relatable to the average public school student.

That hasn’t stopped right wing conspiracies about its being widely taught. They falsely claim that their children are being taught to be ashamed of being White because of the focus on treatment of Blacks throughout history. This has a wide appeal to White Supremacy groups who are trying to promote their own version of events, which means excluding the contributions of Black Americans to our society.

It has become a flashpoint that certain states are passing laws that specifically prohibit the teaching of Critical Race Theory in public schools. They are calling it a re-writing of the history of America in such a way as to minimize the contributions of White Americans by promoting the history of Black America.

Because it isn’t being taught in public schools, school boards are understandably exasperated at being attacked over what should be a non-issue. While they certainly have much more pressing details to attend to, they nonetheless are forced to address these true examples of fake news in order to get anything done.

And teachers are equally frustrated at being challenged for simply doing their jobs, part of which is the teaching of American History as dictated by a school board approved curriculum.

Election Reform: Voter Suppression

Following Donald Trump’s loss in the 2020 presidential election, several states took measures to change their voting laws. Using the questionable excuse of election irregularities, states enacted legislation that placed restrictions on the ability to vote. These restrictions unfairly targeted minorities and have been largely panned as a means of suppressing the very population that voted for President Biden.

States justified these changes by making claims, without evidence, that they want to prevent voter fraud in future elections. This is in line with Trump’s Big Lie about a “rigged election”. Georgia and Texas have instituted the most restrictive voting requirements, with other states following suit. They are restricting mail-in ballots, limit voting hours, permit “poll watchers” and even make it illegal to give water to those who may be waiting in line for hours.

President Biden is attempting to pass Federal voting rights legislation, but is being stymied by both Republicans who refuse to even consider such actions, and members of his own party, who won’t allow a change in the filibuster to permit the passage of these protections. Among these proposed protections is elimination of gerrymandering, ensuring everyone receives a mail-in ballot and making Election Day a national holiday.

Republicans are arguing that voting laws should be left to the individual states. With their control of a majority of statehouses, they can use gerrymandering to ensure they will remain in power for the next decade. So, those in Congress have no interest in election reform, and are more focused on suppressing what should be the most treasured right of a democracy: the right to vote.

Government Overreach: Checks & Balances

Whether it is voting reform, addressing climate change or instituting mask mandates, Republicans are sure to cry government overreach if it’s presented by Democrats. Yet, they reserve their most critical comments about government overreach to the Select Committee Investigating January 6th. With claims of Executive Privilege to asserting the committee serves no legislative purpose, they are refusing to cooperate to get to the bottom of the insurrection.

Except, built into the Constitution is the system of Checks and Balances. Known as the Separation of Powers clause, each branch of government is supposed to act as an equal and is therefore empowered to oversee the other branches. Therefore, the committee is entirely with its right to investigate the Executive branch and its role in the events on and around January 6th.

During Trump’s time in office, Republicans adopted the attitude of “whatever Trump wants”. They even adopted this as their “platform” for the 2020 presidential election, declaring that Trump would make his goals known during his future acceptance speech.

It never happened and Republicans ceded their Constitutional obligation to serve as a check on Executive power. They permitted Trump to destroy any semblance of being an equal. This was obvious with repeated violations of the Hatch Act, disregard of the Emoluments Clause and issuing proclamations via Twitter, Republicans repeatedly allowed Trump free reign to ignore the Separation of Powers and serve in an almost dictatorial capacity.

The semi-incestuous relationship between Trump and Republicans in Congress was obvious prior to Trump’s first impeachment when then House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes was seen leaving the White House after information was unearthed that would ultimately lead to Trump’s impeachment.

Given this history, it’s entirely reasonable to surmise that Trump had allies in Congress who wanted to assist him in his quest to remain in office. Therefore, Republicans' claim of “no legislative purpose” rings hollow.

And yet somehow Republicans have re-discovered their Constitutional duty to be a check on the Executive branch. Their complaints of government overreach would be more believable if they had exercised them during the previous administration.

Patriots: Insurrectionists

Those who stormed the Capitol on January 6th have been called many things. They’ve been referred to as “tourists”, rioters, Antifa and even members of the FBI. The one thing many of them believed, and some continue to believe, is that they took part in the events of January 6th out of a deluded sense of patriotism. They bought into the Big Lie and believed they were defending democracy by preventing the certification of Joe Biden as the next president. They believed they were acting on Donald Trump’s orders.

Republicans refused to call the events of January 6th an insurrection, insisting no one has been charged with anything related to attempting to overthrow the government, that is until this week. After a year of investigations, the Justice Department finally charged leaders of the Oath Keepers with seditious conspiracy in relation to their role on and about January 6th.

Republicans have been uncharacteristically silent about the arrests. While they continue to resist cooperating with the January 6th committee, they have stopped claiming it wasn’t an insurrection. As more details of the case against the Oath Keepers are released, one thing is abundantly clear. They weren’t acting as patriots.

Defund the Police: Black Lives Matter

When George Floyd was murdered at the hands of law enforcement people took to the streets in protest. Many were members of the Black Lives Matter movement, or at least supported their efforts to recognize systemic racism by the police. Some even espoused an effort to defund the police in favor or a more community-based form of law enforcement.

Republicans have tried to claim that all Democrats are behind the effort to defund the police and have tried to demonize the Black Lives Matter movement as a violent effort to overthrow the government. They have even tried to claim that those who stormed the Capitol on January 6th were not Trump supporters, but Black Lives Matter infiltrators who sparked the violence. They also have tried to compare the Capitol siege to the Black Lives Matter protests.

Apart from the television series of the same name, the term “law and order” has typically referred to a form of law enforcement that targets minorities. So, when some BLM protesters said they wanted to defund the police, Republicans quickly jumped on this to paint all Democrats with the same broad label. Of course, the faithful believed it despite any attempts by Democrats to distance themselves from this issue.

As a result, instead of addressing systemic racism in law enforcement, Republicans have tried to delegitimize the Black Lives Matter movement and dismiss it as a violent effort to destroy police forces nationwide.

Nothing can be further from the truth.

Pro Life: Anti-Abortion

Republicans have always claimed to be pro life. The contradiction here is they are also pro death penalty and pro Second Amendment. So, when they march on Planned Parenthood with a Bible in one hand and a shotgun in the other, they ignore their own hypocrisy.

At the moment, Roe-v-Wade remains the law of the land concerning a woman’s right to choose. But there are multiple states that are seeking to ban this right should the Conservative-minded justices on the Supreme Court overturn the law. Many don’t even have a provision if a child is conceived via rape or incest and would force the woman to have the baby anyway.

After a child is born, Republicans lose interest. They decry the Socialist agenda that provides assistance to struggling families, adequate healthcare, funds public education, pre-K and libraries, and generally looks out for the welfare of the less fortunate.

When it comes to those on the right, they do have their own warped idea of how to help the young. The conspiracy-minded QAnon has this wild depiction of Democrats as a blood-thirsty cabal of pedophiles. They have co-opted the United Nations organization Save the Children and adopted it as a mantra to condemn those on the left.

So, when someone on the right claims to be pro-life, ask them for how long?

Antifa: ??

When it comes to Antifa there really is no Liberal alternative. Because Antifa is neither a group nor a movement. Instead it is a set of shared beliefs that run counter to everything the right espouses. Those who identify with Antifa are anti-nationalism, oppose homophobia, xenophobia, racism and White supremacy.

However, if you listened to those on the right, Antifa is a highly organized terrorist organization that wants to destroy the American way of life and replace it with open borders, riots in the street and general chaos. Antifa is the “deep state”. Antifa is the boogeyman.

In essence, Antifa is a scapegoat that the right uses to frighten their supporters with an imaginary version of what could happen if Democrats are allowed to run the government.

The thing is, Democrats have control of both Houses of Congress and the White House. And yet, the world hasn’t ended. Other than January 6th, we haven’t seen chaos in the streets.

So, who will Republicans blame now?

As for Antifa itself, it stands for anti-fascist. We fought a war to defeat that very thing. So, the real question is, why aren’t you Antifa?

So, as you can see, speaking Republican is like learning another language where up is down, right is wrong and nothing is as it appears. It’s a trip down the rabbit hole, ladies and gentlemen. And it’s one trip our country may never recover from.

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1 comentario

I love the George Orwell analogy! We aren't where we have been, and we are not where we are going - a friend recently said he thinks we are living in an alternate reality.

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