Read with great interest your summary articulation of Republican-party-speak as created by Frank Luntz. (The Great Equivocator, Vol. III, Issue 6).
I have recently, during the last several “take over” years, wondered how people from both parties could both start with the same facts, then use precisely the same language to describe the “facts” (at this point, sic, “facts”), then come up with diametrically opposite articulations, explanations, interpretations, conclusions, directives for future action, significance, principles involved, and so on, as communicated to and among their respective political parties.
In other words, your article nailed it — the usurping and preempting meanings of words and phrases from their normal sense and context into weird translation into (Republican) ideology-speak (Alan Keyes, the most word-vivid, principled-nonsense speaker I’ve ever heard apart from wacky, stupid or wily priests and preachers, salesmen, con artists, etc.)
So… can you get this printed, or offered to the opinion pages of the New York Times ?
Thanks for clarifying the provenance and technique of this Republican political speech style.
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Your admirer and fan,
In the March 2, 2005 issue of The L, Amir Modirzadeh took a satirical look at the Bush Administration’s proposals for a change to Social Security, in an op-ed entitled The Passion of the Bush (page 24). This piece received some interesting feedback, including a very heated rebuttal from someone using the inauspicious name of “Chris.” The full and aggressive exchange between the two continues, with the full, unexpurgated version on display at www.thelmagazine.com But here’s a sample of the latest invective: Amir to Chris — “Thanks again for enlightening me on the proud history of our country’s social programs and income levels, and showing me how to replace substance with the all caps button.” Chris to Amir — “Arrogance and sarcasm appear to be your stock-in-trade. If you knew a little more about how our government systems actually function, your attitude might not get in the way of the stand you’d like to take.” Ouch.