I manifestly dislike trendy jargon in all of it’s manifestations. Especially in politics.
For example, some years ago, suddenly it became all the rage to refer to public spending reductions as “taking a hair-cut“. Everybody from Chris Dodd to the detestable Dame Pelosi were talking about “hair-cuts”. I started to feel like I was in some vast federal Barber Shop. Of course, who can forget Barack Obama’s Tourettes-like non-stop parroting of “a balanced approach“. Soon, everyone was talking about “balanced approaches”.
Now, where I come from, an “approach” can mean everything from an “8-iron shot” to a “drive-way” to “walking slowly”. Likewise, “balanced” can mean everything from “this side equaling that” to “being sane”. Of course, Barack Obama was speaking about none of this when he was prattling on about Balanced Approaches, and everyone knew it; he was speaking in chic, up-to-minute political jargonese for “tax increases”. No matter, –anybody who was anybody was suddenly referring to “tax increases” as “a balanced approach“.
“Fighting for Working Families” is another hit on the Hot 100 List of unctuous political jargon. It really means “iron-fisted union control“. “Reproductive rights” means “the ability to kill your offspring”.
One must be careful not to use political jargon after it’s Sell-By Date. Nothing is so passe and transitory as Trendy Political Jargon: When was the last time, for example, that anyone sought to “woo the Perot Voter“? And yet, this exact term was uttered dozens of times during the Presidential Debates in 1992.
Political Jargon is a lazy way of communicating in a weird, hip-hoppy shorthand to provoke a visceral response amongst the In-Crowd. To use a bit of, well —jargonese— Political Jargon is a “dog-whistle”. It is supposed to be a substitute for critical analysis and thoughtfulness. Barack Obama is masterful in his use of Political Jargon. And, with good reason: It at once makes him sound intelligent and chic all at the same time, when he is, in fact, neither.
But, no matter. It is a weapon conservatives can weild against the authoritarian left with deadly effect, if it chooses to deploy it.
When the C-PAC was meeting for only the fourth time in the bitter snows of early 1977, Ronald Reagan spoke to them of a “New Republican Party”. The term “New Republican Party” thus entered the vernacular, and it became an effective tool for him to describe what he sought to do in only three words: Keep the muscle, the sinew and bone of the existing Party, but reshape the party into a new, fighting force for the American people.
Hence a “New Republican Party“.
It resonated very effectively. I offer another verbal short-cut to communicate in a similar fashion. Some savvy Republican operators would be wise to start referring to “Republican: The American Citizen’s Party“. Given the recent public revulsion to the term “Republican”, it might be wise to drop the “Republican” entirely at whiles, and refer simply to “Our American Citizen’s Party”.
“Republicanism” seems to conjure images of country-club locker-rooms, and badly-coiffed student organizations that meet in the community rooms of the Comfort Inn and Suites. “Republican” has been so befogged by the political maestros that the name is now a mish-mash in the public mind: A faceless political bureaucracy that stand for everything — and nothing, at the same time.
In this simple word path-way –the American Citizens Party–, we are saying: We stand for the average Citizen. Not only that, we highly esteem “citizenship” and guard against any assault on the bedrock American principle of citizenship. We are the political home for the Average Joe, the Average Citizen. Citizenship has deep roots in American antiquity, and we cherish these roots. We are not part of a collective, but are a gathering of Citizens that adore our American Heritage, our cultural traditions.
We must stop communicating in the short-hand jargon-laden gibberish of the Left, and start adopting our own vernacular. Words are very powerful. One of the first things Winston Churchill (one of the greatest wordsmiths of the twentieth century) did when he became Prime Minister was change the name of the Domestic Defence Bureau to the Home Guard. Let’s take a page from Winston’s book:
Republican: The American Citizen’s Party.