The Right-Wing Glossary: Translate the Language of Your Favorite GOP Lawmakers!

All glossaries matter

Politics Features Republicanism
The Right-Wing Glossary: Translate the Language of Your Favorite GOP Lawmakers!

Politicians in general tend to have complicated relationships with the truth, but Republicans in government have shown a special knack for talking their way around reality. They’re the ones who came up with the term “enhanced interrogation” to describe what most people just call torture, for example. Or look at the names they give to legislation: There’s the “Patriot Act,” which authorized such unpatriotic activities as warrantless searches and surveillance of American citizens. Or the proposed “Clear Skies Act” of 2003, a measure that would have reduced pollution controls. Just the other day, Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-Va.) said new rules in the House of Representatives gutting the Office of Congressional Ethics would strengthen the oversight body, before the GOP caved on the change. It’s doublespeak that would have made George Orwell proud, if he weren’t horrified at the bald-faced cynicism fueling it.

Doublespeak isn’t limited to politicians, either. In our new post-factual semblance of reality, right-wingers have embraced euphemistic ways of expressing some dark shit. As we slide into four years (at least) of rampant disinformation and outright propaganda, here’s a helpful—though by no means exhaustive—glossary matching what they say, with what they mean.

What They Say—What They Mean

All Lives Matter—Except black ones.

Black Lives Matter—Please, we’d never say that.

Alt-right—Racism, but with social media skills.

Capitalism—Making as much money as possible at your expense.

Climate change skepticism—Science is hard.

Conflict of interest—No such thing.

Drain the Swamp—Hire a bunch of super-rich white guys philosophically opposed to the missions of the federal agencies they’ll be running.

Electoral College—Bulwark of democracy for when Republican presidential candidates lose the popular vote.

Elites—Stuck-up eggheads who want to tell you how to live because think they know better than you. Not to be confused with free-market billionaires who want to tell you how to live because they think they know better than you.

Entitlement reform—Medicare? Social Security? Privatize ’em! Insurance companies never screw anybody over.

Fake news—Fact-based reporting that contradicts the right-wing worldview.

Judicial activism—Liberal judges.

Ku Klux Klan—“OK, until I found out they smoked pot,” in the words of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama).

Landslide victory—46th place out of 58 U.S. presidential elections.

Law and order—Keeping the 1-percent safe.

Make America Great Again—Putting, and keeping, people in their place.

Market-based—Capitalism for companies that can afford to lobby Congress for the corporate welfare Republicans decry.

Minimum wage—Job killer.

Obama, Barack Hussein—Kenyan Muslim socialist Nazi who hates white people, governs like he thinks he’s an emperor and is somehow also weak and ineffectual.

Patriotism—Agreeing with Trump.

Pro-life—Unless you’re not a fetus, and then you get the chair.

Putin, Vladimir—Helluva guy. Born leader.

Radical Islam—Islam.

Repeal and replace Obamacare—Repeal Obamacare.

Reproductive rights—Hahaha, you’re kidding, right?

School choice—Which religious schools can we fund with tax dollars?

Sharia law—Patriarchal system of religious law that undermines civil law and specifies strict punishments for blasphemy, uppity women and—hey, why didn’t we think of that?

Social Justice Warrior—Whiners who don’t see the humor in racism, misogyny or homophobia.

Tax reform—Squeeze the middle class harder; rich people need tax breaks.

Voter fraud—Not actually a problem, but an excellent excuse to disenfranchise segments of the electorate that lean Democratic.

Wikileaks—Threat to national security unless it’s posting Democrats’ hacked emails.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin