This page was last updated on April 3, 2005.
Liberals appear to understand the power of words better than conservatives. Where a conservative would call a widget a widget, a liberal would refer to a widget as ambrosia. A real world example is partial-birth abortion. Pro-abortion supporters claim there is no such procedure. That’s because they insist on calling this killing technique by its clinical name, Dilation and Extraction (D&X), because it doesn’t paint an ugly picture as does “partial-birth abortion.”
Liberals believe the dictionary is a living document, but not in the same way as you and I. Over time, we’ll add words to the dictionary and we’ll add some meanings to existing words. For example, cool also meaning “nice.” These things are OK. However, liberals like to change meanings completely. For example, when a liberal says choice, he means abortion. When he says liberal or progressive, he means either regressive or socialist depending on the context. When he says centrist or moderate, he means liberal. You get the idea.
The newest example is the Kerry “misery index.”
Because liberalism/socialism is based on negativity, liberals make extensive use of euphemisms to make their agenda marketable. They want to hide their true agenda behind appealing words. When referring to conservative ideals, liberals strive for euphemisms to make the idea unmarketable. Below are some of those euphemisms.
In summary, liberals rarely want you to know who they really are and what they are really up to, so they make extensive use of language camouflage.
While liberals like to use labels, liberals don’t like to be labeled. For example, Sen. John Kerry has no problem referring to President Bush as an extremist. When asked during a debate if he was a liberal, Kerry refused to answer saying only that political labels were silly.1 The only debate participant who willingly admitted he was a liberal was Rep. Dennis Kucinich.
AA is discrimination in favor of “protected” minorities. Liberals don’t like to admit this policy is racial discrimination, so they call it affirmative action in the hope they can pull the wool over the public’s eyes.
See Racist. Though bigot and racist have different dictionary definitions, liberals tend to use them as synonyms when accusing a white person of racial “insensitivity.”
When an individual or business exercises free speech and chooses not to publish or give airtime to liberal content, liberals cry censorship. Only the government can be guilty of censorship.
People who claim to be centrists tend to fall into two categories. They are either unsure of their beliefs or they are liberals trying to conceal their beliefs. In the latter case, centrist is a liberal code word for liberal. Regardless of how far “left” a person’s views, liberals will call him a centrist to make his views sound mainstream.
In the context of “Jane is anti-choice,” choice is a euphemism for abortion. Liberals tend to be pro-choice when choice means abortion. Liberals are anti-choice when choice really means choice, as in the ability to choose a school (vouchers) or the right to choose not to belong to a labor union to get or keep a job.
In the context of “black community,” “senior community,” “veteran community,” et cetera, community is liberalspeak for “victim group.” Liberals expect all community members to think and vote alike. I don’t know what they expect when a person belongs to multiple communities that have opposing agendas.
To liberals, compassion is the government taking money from those who earned it and giving it to those who didn’t. The idea is to make the process sound charitable. There’s nothing charitable about confiscating a person’s earnings and giving them away, however. Real compassion is an individual trait, not one of government.
Contribution is liberalspeak for tax. On his web site, a local candidate for public office actually refers to the Medicare and Socialist Security payroll taxes as contributions and donations! Though it’s technically correct to refer to a tax as a contribution, we tend to think of a contribution as a charitable or voluntary act.
Liberals define corporate greed as any action, legal or not, in which the good of the business comes first. Liberals believe business exists for two purposes.
After-tax profit is one example of corporate greed. Why else would after-tax profits (dividends) be taxed twice? Reinvesting in the company is another example of corporate greed unless the lack of investment will adversely affect items one and two above in the immediate future. In that case, a lack of reinvestment is an example of corporate greed.
Another example of corporate greed is supplying goods and services to customers for the lowest price. This is a popular complaint directed at Wal-Mart. When the topic of Wal-Mart’s relentless goal to provide goods to customers at the lowest prices comes up, critics call this corporate greed.
Confusing things a bit is the fact that liberals also refer to illegal business activities as corporate greed.
In general, liberals believe it’s corporate welfare when government makes broad cuts to taxes paid via businesses. The same is true for cutting undue regulation. Corporate welfare becomes “economic development” when politicians can target specific businesses, however. Once again, liberals have the definitions backwards.
In connection with diversity, critical mass is the new name for quota. The Michigan Law School claimed before the U.S. Supreme Court that critical mass for targeted victim groups (American Indians, blacks, Hispanics) was necessary so underrepresented minority students would not feel isolated or feel like spokespersons for their race. At the same time, the law school did not explain why the critical mass level was different for each minority. That is, why is the critical mass for blacks approximately 100 students per admission class while it’s only about 20 for American Indians? The answer? Critical mass is a euphemism for quota.
No one knows what this means as used by liberals, but it sounds bad so liberals like it. It’s frequently used by liberals in the context of, “I look out for the disenfranchised.” A derivative of disfranchise, disenfranchise used to mean to deny a person his right to vote.
Diversity is the second-generation name of affirmative action. Liberals turned to diversity when they realized affirmative action had been “outted.” Regardless of what you call it, discrimination is discrimination. With apologies to William Shakespeare, a skunk by any other name still stinks. Discrimination is bad on its own, but intolerable as government policy.
This term is usually used in reference to employee benefits and taxes. In reality, there is no such thing. Employers determine the gross employee cost they can afford for your job. This includes items never seen by the employee like the cost of benefits (healthcare insurance, life insurance, et cetera), ½ of Medicare and Socialist Security taxes, unemployment insurance taxes, workers compensation premiums, et cetera. Thus, the box on your paycheck that says “gross pay,” “total pay,” et cetera is really your net pay. Without your knowledge, you already paid for the other items.
Liberals and politicians like to perpetuate the employer-paid myth because it hides the true cost of employment and makes employees think someone else is paying for these hidden costs.
Government handout. Liberals like to plant the thought that government handouts are constitutional rights.
Protectionism. Though “fair trade” sounds reasonable, deeper digging reveals liberals achieve “fair trade” by imposing tariffs on imports. The idea is usually to preserve jobs, though it never works. Why? Import tariffs result in retaliation by our trading partners, making our products less competitive in foreign markets. Nothing good ever comes from protectionism.
The best way to describe the liberal definition of fairness is by an example. To normal people, a fair race is one in which everyone starts the race at the same time from the same place and runs the same distance. To a liberal, a race is fair only if everyone crosses the finish line at the same time.
To liberals, all non-liberals fall into the “far right” category. For example, if you are not pro-abortion or do not support homosexual marriage, you are far right.
Formerly reserved for “extreme” conservatives – whatever that means, liberals now refer to all conservative positions as far right in an attempt to make the ideas sound irresponsible and radical.
Based on the definition used by liberals, the U.S. Constitution proves our Founding Fathers were far right extremists.
Liberals routinely refer to conservatives as fascists. The problem with this smear is that liberalism/progressivism, not conservatism, have most of the same characteristics as fascism. According to Encyclopædia Britannica, fascism is “a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.” Once again we have liberals trying to project their traits on conservatives. Conservatism and fascism are at opposite ends of the economic, political, and social spectra. Thus, the common liberal attack of “he’s a fascist right-winger” is self-contradictory.
A fill-in-the-blank American is along the lines of African American, Asian American, Native American, et cetera. The term Anglo also belongs in this group.
The origin of these euphemisms is the ongoing liberal (politically correct) desire to label groups without referring to physical characteristics. It’s an attempt to make race-based distinctions sound “enlightened.” These terms are used exclusively to refer to physical characteristics, however.2 As shown in the table below, these euphemisms simply don’t work. Identifying someone at a distance as a European American is like trying to identify someone at a distance as a Baptist, Catholic, Jew, Muslim, et cetera.
Proponents of fill-in-the-blank American labels claim the names are intended to refer to common cultures. That doesn’t work either, however. Regarding European Americans, do Swedes have the same culture as Greeks? Regarding African Americans, do Arabic, black, and white Africans share the same culture? For that matter, do all black Africans have the same culture? Regarding Asian Americans, do the Lebanese share a common culture with Koreans?
Need more proof these labels have nothing to do with culture? The only true African American student in a school is not eligible to win an award for the “Distinguished African American Student” because he is white! In addition, the school suspended the student for hanging his campaign posters.3, 4
During the summer of 2003, we heard Howard Dean (former Vermont governor) supporters refer to him as a fiscal conservative because he believed in a balanced budget. Dean supporters didn’t mention Vermont has the fifth highest per capita state/local taxes in the nation. To a liberal, you are fiscally conservative regardless of how much you spend and tax as long as the budget is balanced. That is, you could propose a 100% income tax and be considered fiscally conservative by liberals if you also presented a balanced budget.
For the children, for the elderly
As in, “We need to increase spending/taxes for the children, elderly, et cetera.” When you hear this claim, your BS sensors should go off.
Gay is a euphemism for homosexual, originating around 1953 according to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Technically the term refers to both male and female homosexuals, but it’s often used specifically for males, as in “gays and lesbians.”
The politically correct have replaced “sex” with “gender.” When I was in high school, I believe we used the term gender to describe parts of speech. For example, “she” is a feminine noun/pronoun and “he” is masculine. Then, gender could be feminine or masculine, and sex could be female or male. Even today, this appears to be the predominant usage in dictionaries and encyclopedias.
Good corporate citizen
To a liberal, “good” businesses put employees and government ahead of customers and owners. You become a good company by paying above-market wages, employing more workers than you need, providing full “employer-paid” benefits, contributing to liberal causes, and not looking for ways to minimize local, state, and federal tax obligations. Of course, in a competitive market, a “good” business – as defined by liberals – won’t stay in business for long.
The bottom-line? Liberals believe businesses should be non-profit social welfare organizations.
In general, liberals define greed as the desire for an individual to keep his earnings, savings, and possessions. Oddly, it’s not greedy for persons with lesser earnings and possessions to lay claim to earnings and possessions of others.
For example, if a person with an income tax rate of 38% thinks that’s a little confiscatory, he’s greedy. However, a person who pays no income tax is not greedy when he wants ever-greater tax “refunds.”
If you oppose any piece of the liberal social agenda, you are hateful. For example, if you oppose institutional discrimination (affirmative action/diversity), homosexual “marriage,” Medicare, et cetera, liberals brand you a hateful person.
Here’s a real life example. President Bush expressed support for a constitutional amendment to guarantee that marriage will continue to be solely between a man and a woman. One woman said, “I think the actions of the president are, in my opinion, the most vile and hateful words ever spoken by a sitting president. I am stunned and I’m horrified.”5
It’s interesting to note this person didn’t make a similar comment when President Clinton championed the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). According to the DOMA, “the word ‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word ‘spouse’ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.” I guess you can’t be “vile and hateful” if you have a (D) after your name. By April 2004, approximately 64% of Americans were vile and hateful.
If you oppose homosexual marriage or special consideration for homosexuals, liberals call you a homophobe or a homosexual basher. Many homosexuals oppose homosexual marriage. Are they homophobes and homosexual bashers? This is the same as being labeled a racist for opposing “affirmative action” programs.
Investment is liberalspeak for government spending of taxpayer wages. The intent is to make the spending of confiscated wages sound respectable. For example, “U.S. taxpayers need to invest $50,000 in a tattoo removal program in San Luis Obispo, CA.”6
“Liberal” is liberalspeak for communist/socialist. In the days of Thomas Jefferson, a liberal believed in individual liberty, free markets, and limited government. Being a conservative was what you would expect, support of the status quo, which was not individual liberty, free markets, and limited government in most of the world.
Sometime in the late 19th or early 20th century, proponents of big/central government and a less-than-free market decided to claim liberal for themselves. This move was equivalent of switching the definitions of good and evil. The liberalism of Jefferson’s day – today’s conservatism – is now referred to as classical liberalism.
Today’s liberalism is a mixture of socialism and communism.
“Living wage” is the second-generation form of minimum wage. Depending on the proponent, living wage can mean anything from the hourly wage required to keep a single person just above the poverty line all the way to a complete wage and benefit package to keep a family of four above the poverty line. What all living wage proponents seem to agree on is the living wage should apply to all jobs, regardless of their true value in the market. In other words, no matter how little economic value a job has for an employer, he should pay the employee enough in benefits and wages to support a family of four. Liberals now believe a single-earner family with children is an entitlement.
Whether you call it a living or minimum wage, the difference between the living/minimum wage and the market value of the job is welfare. Not only does the government force the private sector to disburse welfare, the government benefits via a greater take in Medicare and Socialist Security taxes.
Developed in the mid-1970s, the “misery index” is the sum of the inflation and unemployment rates. Historically a low misery index meant the economy was doing well. It was originally used by the 1976 Carter campaign.
Unfortunately for Democrats, the current misery index is low, which corroborates other economy measures. As of February 2004, it is significantly below the average for the first Clinton term and is closing in on the average for the second Clinton term. It is just a little lower than when President Bush took office. As a result, the Kerry campaign has redefined the misery index by throwing out the inflation and unemployment rates and cherry picking other statistics to make the economy look bad.
Consider the following. The average inflation rate for the last year (1980) of the Carter administration was an astronomical 13.6%. In February 2004, it was 1.7%. The unemployment rate for 1980 was 7.1% and rising. In March, it was 5.7%. By just about any measure, the economy of the late 1970s and early 1980s was miserable. Using the Kerry “misery index,” the Carter economy actually comes out better than the current economy! If you are old enough to remember the Carter years, which also included 16% mortgages and gas lines, does Kerry honestly believe we were better off then?
There is no economy you can’t make sound bad or good by cherry picking statistics. I could also select stats to make the Great Depression economy look good.
See RINO. The idea is to present a RINO as a reasonable Republican. Republicans are centrist/moderate only when they adopt liberal positions.
An excerpt from a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette op-ed piece confirms this belief. “Pennsylvania Republicans came to this pass via a widening rift between the party leadership, moderate and pragmatic, and its rank-and-file, conservative and uncompromising.”16 This quote tells us two things. First, party leadership is out of step with party membership. Second, conservative means uncompromising. How insulting to conservatives. It’s also worth noting that nowhere in the column did the author mention a need for “moderate and pragmatic” Democrats. That’s because liberals already consider themselves to be moderate and pragmatic. Not surprisingly, the liberal Pittsburgh Post-Gazette supports “moderate” Sen. Arlen Specter in the Republican primary.
Liberals believe the United States has moral authority only after Americans have been killed and then only when backed by the United Nations. This is the same United Nations that did nothing to stop the genocide in Kosovo (NATO eventually went into Kosovo) and Rwanda, appointed Libya to chair the U.N. Human Rights Commission, and appointed Iraq to chair a disarmament conference.
Liberals routinely refer to conservatives as Nazis. The problem with this smear is Nazis were liberals/progressives, not conservatives. Nazis were members of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Workers' Party), the party of Adolf Hitler. Thus, once again we have liberals trying to project their traits on conservatives.
Literally, neoconservative means “new conservative.” According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, a neoconservative is “a former liberal espousing political conservatism.” Not everyone has the same definition, however.17
Today, liberals tend to use the term in the context of “extreme right-wing conservative.” I say this because all of the people I’ve heard called neocons have been life-long conservatives. Two examples, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, have been Republicans working in Republican administrations since at least the 1960s, though I’d hardly call them extreme.
I also believe liberals like to use neocon because it sounds sinister.
Most of us know what “personal attack” in normal English. Liberals tend to augment the traditional definition by including context. For example, using the normal definition, challenging a person's record is not a personal attack. However, if the context is a conservative challenging a liberal's record, liberals consider that to be a personal attack. For example, when the Republican National Committee published a document listing his votes and public statements he made about various issues, Sen. Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) called it a personal attack.
Here's another example of how the liberal definition differs from the normal definition. During Dr. Condoleezza Rice's confirmation hearings for Secretary of State, liberals didn't consider it a personal attack to constantly call Dr. Rice a liar, refer to her as “Aunt Jemima,” or for cartoonists to draw her using racist imagery straight out of the days of Jim Crow laws.
How often do you hear “profit” spoken by a liberal in such a way that you can hear contempt and disgust in the speaker’s voice? In the liberal’s mind, profit is the result of a business overcharging “the poor,” underpaying employees, and not paying its “fair share” of taxes.
Today’s liberals would find themselves at odds with Samuel Gompers, a father of the American labor movement, founder of the American Federation of Labor (AFL), and president of the AFL until his death. Gompers wrote, “The worst crime against working people is a company that fails to operate at a profit.”
Progressive is a synonym for liberal, communist, and socialist. The intent is to make people think liberal ideas are enlightened and fresh while all other views are old and backward. For example, income redistribution is progressive but self-reliance is not. With communist and socialist ideas discredited, liberals needed to find a new term and progressive was the winner.
Why abandon the term liberalism for progressivism? Liberals needed a new word because people figured out liberalism stood for communism and socialism.
Liberals also use progressive to describe graduated, or punitive, taxes.
How can anyone refer to as progressive a philosophy that calls for big/central government and its intrusion on the rights of individuals to be self-reliant? Isn’t big government (kings, pharaohs, queens, empires, monarchies, et cetera) what preceded the American Revolution for thousands of years?
If you are white and oppose any liberal programs that purport to help politically correct minority groups, liberals call you a racist. If you are black and oppose these programs, black liberals will call you a “house nigger” or an “Aunt Jemima.”7
A rich person is anyone who earns more income or has more possessions and savings than you.
Rich has a negative connotation to liberals unless the rich person is a liberal. Though most of us would like to be rich, many of us who are not tend to view the rich as “robber barons.” For many of us, it’s far easier to believe a rich person cheated his way to wealth or had it handed to him than it is to admit someone else is more talented and/or works harder. The belief of unearned wealth fuels the position that overtaxing the wealthy is righteous.
Consider the following excerpt from a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial. “Few of the rich actually deserve what they have; even if they do, their wealth is a trust and a responsibility, not an entitlement.”8
I am fortunate to know several persons whom most of us would consider wealthy. None of these persons had their wealth handed to them. They came from working class families, took full advantage of their education, good fortune, and talents, and worked very hard. They also generated hundreds of jobs. Oh yeah, they are honest too. Contrary to the Post-Gazette view, I believe this tends to be the norm, not the exception.
See Far right.
A recent editorial referred to some homophobic nuts in Tennessee as “right-wingers.”9 Given that liberals consider “right wing” to be synonymous with conservative and Republican, I wrote a letter to the editor protesting that the editorial “tied conservatives to homophobes, Nazis, and terrorists.”
The editorial page editor replied, “I’m sorry, but you’re the one who conflates right wingers with conservatives. The editorial specifically referred to right-wingers because principled conservatives don’t resort to hatred to make their points.” The editor also said he makes the same distinctions for “left-wingers and liberals.”
In my opinion, it’s naïve to believe today’s readers won’t associate right wing with conservative. Even a casual review of broadcast and print media will show the editor’s use is no longer the norm. For example, many Democrat leadership and Kerry campaign characterizations of the Bush administration include “extremist” and “right wing” despite the fact that President Bush has a Rockefeller Republican record. By no stretch of the imagination can you call President Bush a right-winger. The way many liberals throw around use of “right wing,” the average reader of the editorial will think “conservative” or “Republican” when they read right-winger, regardless of what the editorial writer intended.
Here’s a hypothetical example. Let’s assume I write a letter criticizing gay people for smiling too much. When I wrote the letter I meant happy people, but didn’t explain that in the letter. Which meaning do you think today’s readers would assume, happy or homosexual? Could I honestly get away with telling a complaining reader it was his misunderstanding and that my not using “homosexual” in the letter is proof that I meant happy?
I don’t like liberalspeak terms like liberal, progressive, et cetera. I use them when I have no real choice because I want to avoid reader confusion.
A lot of liberals draw an analogy between their policies and the actions of Robin Hood. There’s a problem with that analogy. As the legend goes, Robin Hood took from the ruling class and gave to the poor. What Robin Hood took from the ruling class were the confiscatory “taxes” extracted from the poor, however. Therefore, Robin Hood returned to the poor that which they earned and had been stolen by the government.
Liberal actions take money from those who earned it and give it to those who didn’t. Liberal actions resemble those of the Sheriff of Nottingham, not those of Robin Hood.
See Investment. Investment sounds too capitalistic for some liberals.
Addictive economic crutch. Safety nets include Medicaid, Medicare, Socialist Security, unemployment insurance, welfare, et cetera.
If you are a male and believe there are some things women are not suited for, liberals will call you a sexist. For example, if you believe it makes no sense for a 5’4”, 105-lb. woman to be in combat, you are a sexist. Liberals don’t get that equal rights don’t change the fact that females and males have mental and physical differences that no amount of politically correct indoctrination can change.
Social liberal, fiscal conservative
Liberals know they have a tax-and-spend reputation. Therefore, they invented the myth of the socially liberal but fiscally conservative liberal. Of course, you can’t be socially liberal AND fiscally conservative. The money for government social programs has to come from someone and that someone is the taxpayer.
Supporters of Howard Dean addressed this contradiction with a very narrow definition of fiscal conservatism. To them, a balanced budget meant you were a fiscal conservative. By this definition, a liberal could spend as much as he wanted and remain “fiscally conservative” as long as he raised taxes to balance the budget.
To be fair, it is technically possible to be somewhat socially liberal and fiscally conservative. For example, you could be pro-abortion or believe in diversity programs yet oppose programs like Socialist Security, welfare, et cetera. That said, I don’t know if such politicians exist.
The people who use this terminology would like us to believe “tax modernization” differs from tax shifting. In fact, they are one in the same. Modernization just sounds better than shifting to these folks. Though I’ve seen no explicit definition of tax modernization, the context of its use usually implies it means at least partially shifting the local property tax to the statewide income tax and possibly the sales tax. Dumping local responsibilities on the state or federal government – also known as big/central government – is a typical liberal position and generally leads to greater spending and higher overall taxes.
Illegal alien. “Undocumented worker” sounds more benign than illegal alien. In fact, most illegal aliens do have documentation, as in forged driver’s licenses, forged birth certificates, forged Socialist Security cards, et cetera. While most illegal aliens probably only want work, we must understand they represent a tremendous security risk. Legal immigration is desirable; illegal immigration is intolerable. Regardless of their intent, illegal aliens are criminals and should not be afforded the same rights as legal immigrants and citizens.
If you support legal immigration but believe we need to address illegal immigration, liberals will call you a bigot or racist.
When the feds and states enact laws but do not provide the funding, liberals cry “unfunded mandate.” This is a red herring to increase spending and taxes at the federal and state levels.
The world is full of unfunded mandates. The state mandates that you must pay for a driver’s license, purchase car insurance, get your car inspected, et cetera. Do you get a check from the state to pay for these items?
In many cases, though, there is no mandate. For example, most liberals complain the federal No Child Left Behind Act imposes unfunded mandates on school districts. These people ignore that the feds cannot enforce their education acts unless schools accept federal tax dollars. When a school district does not accept federal tax dollars, it does not have to follow federal education laws. Therefore, there is no mandate.
When a U.S. led coalition doesn’t include liberal-approved countries or doesn’t have a “permission slip” from the United Nations, liberals refer to the coalition as unilateral.
Regardless of the circumstances, liberals refer to the United States as a warmonger. Liberals see no circumstances under which the United States should use its military to defend itself or allies. I suspect this position would be different if the attacking/threatening country was a capitalist democracy or republic, but democracies don’t attack peaceful countries.
The way liberals use the phrase “working family,” only poor families work. If your family is fortunate enough to be considered middle- or upper-income, you are not a working family no matter how hard your family works. It’s not clear if working family includes families whose head of household is retired.
An activist judge considers the state and U.S. constitutions to be “living documents.” When asked what he’d look for in judicial nominees, former Vice President Al Gore said, “I would look for justices of the Supreme Court who understand that our Constitution is a living and breathing document, that it was intended by our founders to be interpreted in the light of the constantly evolving experience of the American people.” In contrast, conservatives tend to believe constitutions clearly express the intent of their authors and don’t require a lot of reading between the lines.
In effect, activist judges turn themselves into legislators by “interpreting” constitutions to say what they want constitutions to say. Liberals like activist judges because the judges can enact policies that lawmakers and voters would never support. When liberals can’t set a policy via legislation, they go around the people and go to the judiciary. That’s why Democrats work so hard to pack courts with activist judges. Activist judges ensure liberal power even when voters vote liberals out of office.
You might ask, “what’s the difference between packing a court with conservatives and liberals?” The difference is, conservatives true to their beliefs interpret a constitution based on what it says. Liberals true to their beliefs interpret a constitution based on what they wish it said.
I added this entry after I read a piece by Barbra Streisand about the “myth of big government.” Her “proof” big government is a myth was President Bush promising emergency services help to Hurricane Isabel victims. Essentially, Ms. Streisand claimed conservatives like big government when it suits their purposes. Of course, the problem is most, if not all, conservatives believe emergency services are a legitimate government function. It is clear Ms. Streisand doesn’t understand the concept of big government.
Face it, the combination of local, state, and federal governments in a country of nearly 300 million people will be big even with minimal government services.
What then is big government?
I believe there are three components of big government.
Bipartisan used to mean broad support for a proposal from both sides of an issue. Today, supporters of a winning proposal claim bipartisan support even if only a handful of opposition party members vote for the proposal. If someone claims there is bipartisan support for a measure, ask for numbers to confirm the claim.
“We must hate – hatred is the basis of Communism. Children must be taught to hate their parents if they are not Communists.” – Vladimir Lenin in a speech to the Commissars of Education (1923)
According to Encyclopædia Britannica, communism is a “system of political and economic organization in which property is owned by the state or community and all citizens share in the common wealth, more or less according to their need.” Quoting Karl Marx, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” Today’s liberal interpretation of Marx’s quote is, “from each according to his ability, success, or wealth, to each according to his needs and wants.”
If you believe communist ideas aren’t alive and well in the United States, consider the following statement by a Pennsylvania state representative, “In the commonwealth and in all other states, we share the wealth.”10 At the federal level, the graduated, punitive income tax, Medicaid, Socialist Security, and welfare are only several examples.
Comparative campaigning is when you outline your platform and that of your competitor and highlight the differences. The target of comparative campaign material generally – but incorrectly – calls this negative campaigning. Just as comparative marketing can be devastating in the private sector, comparative campaigning can be devastating to the candidate on the wrong side of the issues.
According to a profile on Fox News Sunday (January 25, 2004), Karen Hughes (former counselor to President Bush) coined compassionate conservative. This phrase should never have been allowed out of the barn.
I dislike this expression because it denigrates conservatives by implying traditional conservative beliefs are inherently without compassion. Nothing could be further from the truth. This expression is an example of being defensive and letting the opposition define you.
Real compassion is a human trait, not one of economic or political philosophy.
President Bush is a Rockefeller Republican, not a compassionate conservative. No traditional conservative would approve of President Bush’s domestic spending.
Conservatives tend to believe in individual liberty, free markets, limited government, and rule of law. As with all groups, though, probably no two conservatives have exactly the same opinions on every issue.
A pure democracy is a form of government in which voters have ultimate power and exercise that power by voting on all legislation. More generally, we tend to use the term to describe pure democracies and republics. The United States is a republic.
A Democrat is a member of the Democrat Party.11 Democrats have liberal economic, political, and social beliefs. Other political parties may attract liberals, but the Democrat Party is the major party used by liberals to turn their beliefs into political power.
Democrats like to refer to the Democrat Party as the party of Thomas Jefferson. Don’t believe it. Jefferson, or John F. Kennedy for that matter, wouldn’t recognize today’s Democrats. Jefferson would no more be a member of today’s Democrat Party than would Ronald Reagan.
Draconian means cruel or severe. Draco, or Dracon, was an Athenian lawgiver whose legal code was considered harsh. Liberals tend to refer to all cuts to social program spending (as if this ever happens) as draconian. On the other hand, liberals tend to refer to cuts to true government responsibilities (defense, roads, security, et cetera) as cutting waste.
When it’s useful, a draft dodger now appears to mean any draft-age male who did not see active duty in Vietnam. As I remember it, a draft dodger was someone who fled the United States, falsified physical examination results, fraudulently claimed to be a conscientious objector, et cetera to evade the draft.
30 years later, even those men who served in the Coast Guard, National Guard, et cetera are called draft dodgers if their politics offend the accuser. President Bush served in the Texas Air National Guard, yet Democrat National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe said, “George Bush never served in our military in our country.”12 Even John Kerry said, “I’ve never made any judgments about any choice somebody made about avoiding the draft, about going to Canada, going to jail, being a conscientious objector, going into the National Guard.”13 Serving in the National Guard is the same as evading service by fleeing to Canada?! Do Democrats really believe the National Guard is not part of the military? I’m sure those who serve in the National Guard would disagree, as would their families.
At the time, we understood that a way to reduce your likelihood of seeing combat was to enlist instead of waiting to be drafted. Using the Democrat logic documented above, was John Kerry really a “draft dodger” with bad luck? Of course not and neither was anyone who served in the armed services.
According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, an ideologue is an impractical idealist or a blindly partisan advocate of a particular ideology. In today’s world of unbridled hyperbole, anyone holding an opposing view is cast as an ideologue.
At times this web site will refer to inappropriate government programs. This means programs in which government should not be involved. Some examples are farm welfare, protectionist import tariffs, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Public Radio, the Public Broadcasting Service, the National Endowment for the Arts, welfare, Medicaid, Socialist Security, Medicare, the U.S. Department of Education, et cetera.
It’s also inappropriate for one level of government to fund the responsibilities of another government level. Public education is an example. The U.S. Constitution grants the federal government no authority over education. According to the 10th amendment, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved for the States respectively, or to the people.” This makes education a state, community, and individual responsibility. Because it has no constitutional power to enforce education legislation, Congress can exercise control only via financial coercion, as in “Follow my rules if you want your tax dollars back.” As a result, we don’t have to follow federal rules when we don’t accept federal dollars. Check the various education acts if you have doubts. Other examples include federal or commonwealth “grants” for local mass transit, law enforcement, water and sewer service, et cetera.
On this web site, income redistribution (IR) refers to government IR. IR occurs when government takes income from one group of taxpayers and gives it to another. The liberal euphemism for IR is “compassion.” Proportional and progressive (punitive) taxes result in IR. IR is both hidden and visible.
The visible forms of IR include welfare, Socialist Security, Medicare, Medicaid, farm welfare, et cetera. Visible IR usually results in the government “sending a check” to the taker or to a vendor on behalf of the taker.
The hidden forms of IR, such as income tax deductions, exemptions, and loopholes, usually don’t result in a cash payment to the taker. The mortgage interest deduction is an example of hidden IR. In this case, income is transferred to mortgage holders via a lower income tax liability. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is another example of IR hidden in the income tax code. The EITC can result in a payment to a low-income tax filer even if the individual or family has no taxable income after deductions and exemptions. The EITC payment is over and above a legitimate tax refund. The EITC is welfare hidden in the income tax code.
Even if government didn’t engage in IR, legitimate IR would occur by market forces. The market transfers income to persons who earn it. Therefore, IR isn’t inherently bad. IR is bad only when perpetrated by government. Unearned IR occurs when government feels it can redistribute income better than consumers can via their choices. In other words, government knows better how to allocate income than the individuals it serves.
Most of us define a lie as “an assertion of something known or believed by the speaker to be untrue with intent to deceive,” one of the definitions in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. A more expansive Webster’s definition is “something that misleads or deceives.” With this definition, simply being wrong can be called lying. For example, let’s say to the best of my knowledge an ice cream cone costs $1 and I tell you it costs $1. If the price changes and you end up paying $0.90, I lied, I was not wrong.
Members of all political persuasions tend to equate “he lied” with “he was wrong” when speaking about the opposition. The opposition is never wrong; they always lie.
Here’s a real world example. Every significant intelligence agency in the world, including those of socialist darlings France, Germany, and Russia, reported Iraq had WMD. The U.N. Security Council unanimously agreed. All members, both Democrats and Republicans, of the intelligence oversight committees in Congress saw the same reports as President Bush and agreed. The Clinton administration also made this claim and Mr. Clinton reiterated this position in mid- and late-2003. Opponents of the Iraqi War call President Bush a liar because WMD haven’t been found, however.
Thanks to ever escalating hyperbole, when we hear/see “lie” we now must always ask ourselves if it means lie or is partisan hyperbole for wrong.
According to the U.S. Senate web site, mandatory spending is “Spending (budget authority and outlays) controlled by laws other than annual appropriations acts.”
Here are the definitions of discretionary and mandatory spending according to the U.S. Government Printing Office web site.
In reality, ALL government spending is discretionary.
That said, it’s telling to see the government considers spending on perhaps the most important constitutional responsibility – national defense – to be discretionary and food stamps to be mandatory.
Used by members of all political persuasions, militant usually means active opposition. In other words, you are militant if you try to convince nonbelievers your position is correct. Being militant used to mean resorting to violence.
I remember (I think) when negative campaigning meant bringing up embarrassing personal issues instead of sticking to relevant topics. For example, beating up former President Carter because his brother was a character.
Today, many consider negative campaigning to include mention of a candidate’s political record. For example, if a candidate consistently votes against appropriate national security issues or consistently votes for pork barrel spending, it’s “negative” for his opponent to mention these facts. In John Kerry’s eyes, it’s not only negative to criticize his national security positions while a senator, it’s also an attack on his patriotism.
I view partisanship as “If you support widgets, I must oppose them even if I like them.” It's not based on any core beliefs other than if the other team likes something, it must be bad.
A real world example of partisanship is the Medicare prescription drug benefit. For years, Republicans opposed the addition because they believed it would be a budget buster. Democrats, good socialists that they are, pushed for the benefit for just as long. However, President Bush and fellow Republicans decided to add the benefit for what I believe to be purely political, or partisan, reasons. Republicans wanted to buy senior votes. Were Democrats happy because they were finally getting a Medicare drug benefit? No, instead they were furious. Rather than accept the addition as a “foot in the door,” they opposed the bill claiming the reasons were not enough help for seniors, it’s a sell-out to drug companies, et cetera. I believe Democrats would have opposed the bill even if it met every one of their philosophical requirements just so a Republican president would not get “credit” for the benefit. While Democrats were right to oppose the bill, they did so for the wrong reason, partisanship.
Pork is spending added to a bill by a representative or senator. Pork is funding not requested by a government entity. For example, let’s say a local U.S. representative included funding for a new bridge not requested by the U.S. Department of Transportation. That’s pork.
For a lot more information about pork, check out the Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) web site.
Pork’s reason for being is to buy votes. According to the CAGW, the U.S. 2003 budget contains approximately $20 billion of pork. This is approximately $215 per income tax filer with a non-zero liability.
Both Democrats and Republicans participate in pork barrel spending.
Pragmatic means practical as apposed to idealistic. There’s no question we all need to compromise from time to time or nothing would ever get done. However, we need to recognize there are things we can compromise on and things we can’t. When Republicans cave in to Democrats, even on fundamental conservative beliefs, they call themselves pragmatic. I call it lack of conviction.
When I refer to President Bush, I mean George W. Bush (43rd president) unless otherwise noted.
A republic is a form of government in which voters have the ultimate power but elect representatives to exercise that power. The United States is a republic.
A Republican is a member of the Republican Party. Historically, the Republican Party represented conservative economic, political, and social beliefs. Other political parties may attract conservatives, but the Republican Party was the major party used by conservatives to turn their beliefs into political power.
Today, though, elected Republicans, as a group, are not very conservative. While some Republicans are true conservatives, too many simply believe Democrats and Republicans have the same basic beliefs except Republicans want to spend a little less than Democrats. Below are some items I use to support this position.
A Republican In Name Only, a RINO is a Republican whose views and voting records are more closely aligned with liberals than with traditional Republicans. RINOs are dangerous to the Republican Party because they hurt the credibility of traditional Republicans. For example, a hallmark of traditional Republicans is fiscal responsibility. However, when RINOs vote for liberal packages, they send the message that there is little difference between Democrats and Republicans. Pennsylvania has this problem.
Though it flies in the face of conventional thought, I’d rather have a Democrat in office than a RINO. It’s tough enough running for office without needing to overcome the credibility problems RINOs cause for real Republicans.
Rockefeller Republicans and Scoop Jackson Democrats are very similar. Nelson Rockefeller was Republican governor of New York for 16 years (1958 – 1974) and Vice President for two years (1974 - 1977). Rockefeller was strong on national defense and security but liberal when it came to domestic policy. Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson was a Democrat representative and senator from Washington for nearly 43 years (1941 – 1983). Jackson had socialist economic beliefs but was strong on national defense and security.
According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, socialism is “any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods” and services. The dictionary also defines socialism as “a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done.”
Just two examples of socialism in Pennsylvania are mass transit, like the Beaver County Transit Authority and the Port Authority of Allegheny County, the state monopoly on the sale of liquor and wine, and the state numbers monopoly (a.k.a. the state lottery). Examples at the federal level are Amtrak and the U.S. Postal Service.
Perhaps even worse, socialists tend to apply their underlying beliefs to culture and thought. That is, socialists define “appropriate” culture and thought. Individual thought is discouraged.
A special interest group is any advocacy group with which you disagree. For example, if you’re pro-abortion, anti-abortion groups are special interest groups but Planned Parenthood is not.
When a politician doesn’t vote the way someone wants, the losers always claim it’s because of special interest groups. The implication is that “disenfranchised” virtuous individuals supported one side and only evil special interest groups supported the other position. Of course, both individuals and special interest groups support every side.
Today, when a politician of any political party claims there will be a spending or funding cut, he more than likely means the spending increase will be less than originally planned. This used to be solely a liberal deception to get evermore spending for pet projects. Today, RINOs also use this approach in an attempt to deceive conservative constituents who expect fiscal responsibility.
Many sources that claim to be unbiased are lying.
For example, Media Whores Online claims to take “an unbiased, in-depth look at the vast myriad of whores who call themselves ‘journalists’.” Most, and perhaps all, of the “media whores” listed or attacked on the web site have conservative leanings, however. At the end of one issue they advertised a bumper sticker saying “Support Our Troops – Defeat Bush.” Does this sound like an unbiased web site? In practice, sites like MWO help their opposition.15
I’m not picking on liberals. Some obviously conservative sources also claim to be unbiased.
Lenin coined this term to describe blind apologists living in Western democracies who could always justify Soviet totalitarianism. Mass murder? Didn’t happen. Famine? Didn’t happen. No civil rights? Who needs them? You get the idea.
Today, many of us use the term to describe members of the “blame America first” gang. Whatever is bad in the world, it’s America’s fault. 9/11? It was America’s fault because we didn’t make murderous terrorists like us enough.
As in Lenin’s time, today’s useful idiots are predominantly socialists. That is, Democrats.
A partisan Democrat. I believe this term has its origins during the 1928 election. It comes from, “I’d vote for a yellow dog if he ran on the Democrat ticket.”
2. Actresses Halle Berry and Jennifer Beals are examples. Though her mother is white and her father is black, most people refer to Ms. Berry as “African American” solely because of her skin color. Ms. Beals also has a black father and a white mother, but she is referred to as white because of her skin color.
3. Westside twins say their posters lampooned race-based awards; Michaela Saunders and Paul Goodsell; Omaha World-Herald; January 23, 2004.
6. Believe it or not, the fiscal 2002 budget earmarked $50,000 for the Liberty Tattoo Program in San Luis Obispo, California. According to its congressional sponsor, this program would work with people to remove tattoos and the social stigma associated with tattoos. Source: Citizens Against Government Waste
7. Belafonte won't back down from Powell House Nigger reference; Sinclere Lee; blacknewsweekly.com; October 2002.
11. Though not technically correct, I refer to the Democratic Party as the Democrat Party. Why? Because the party has socialism at its core, and socialism conflicts with democracy.
12. McAuliffe on ‘This Week with George Stephanopoulos’; transcript of interview on ABC News; The New York Times; February 1, 2004.
13. “Buoyant Kerry Embraces Role Of Frontrunner”; Nick Anderson; Los Angeles Times; February 4, 2004.
15. I also found evidence of outright lying. In one issue, MWO attributed racist remarks to Rush Limbaugh. It happened that I listened to the show allegedly quoted. The MWO claimed Limbaugh said, “blacks and Hispanics were ‘too stupid’ to vote anyway” when discussing the ACLU objection to the use of punch ballots in the California recall vote. Limbaugh was lampooning the unsupported ACLU claim that minorities had more difficulties with punch ballots than whites. In fact, it was the ACLU that claimed minorities were “too dumb” to vote using punch cards.
© 2004 Robert W. Cox, all rights reserved.