Progressive Tactics: Unified Wordsmithing

The right wing in the USA has perfected the use of language to control the debate and public opinion. By shifting language—while retaining the same policies—and picking specific terms that resonate in debates, the right wing has framed their positions as favorable, while denigrating the other side.

For most areas of policy, the general public lacks knowledge of public policy past the memorization of simplified media coverage or partisan talking points. Due to the lack of knowledge surrounding the specifics of policy, different labels on identical policy choices often poll radically differently (ex. “entitlement cuts” are reviled while “entitlement reform” is acceptable to the American public).

The conservative movement has taken advantage of the American policy ignorance and susceptibility to this tactic in order to trick Americans into voting against their interests; unfortunately, the left has been much less effective in reframing the debate back onto favorable terms, and this is one area of politics that the Democrats must emulate the right wing’s tactics.

a

Conservative pollsters use focus groups to identify the ways of describing policy in a way that is favorable to conservatives. Once they isolate the best way of describing a policy, they then distribute these talking points to the rest of the conservative apparatus (politicians, fundraisers and activists) to be repeated ad nauseum. The specific words and phrases determined in the focus groups become the party line and no deviation is tolerated (ex. any Democratic immigration reform is “amnesty,” regardless of what it includes). Eventually, the American people begin to realize that they don’t like the policies that are being implemented, thus the cycle begins anew and the pollsters must begin finding new ways of describing their policies.

In many ways, the Republican policy platform is like a Hermit crab—it is the same ugly and mean interior that sheds its shell every couple years.

The Republican strategist Frank Luntz is the little known, but very effective, consultant who has driven much of the right wing wordsmithing for the past two decades. While he has largely stayed out of the limelight, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow obtained and posted a copy of Frank Luntz’s report, detailing the procedures of wordsmithing for the issue of the 2010 financial reform discussion. The following picture is the summery at the end of this report as to what the most effective messaging terms would be for the conservatives

b

This list of terms and sayings laid the groundwork for the entire 2010 conservative campaign to fight against the Democrats in their attempts to rein in the excesses of the big banks.

Progressives should immediately and widely begin utilizing the tactics of wordsmithing in order to push their agenda. This tactic has relatively little cost and essentially no risk to the progressive movement; it has been proven to be effective in swaying low-information voters and could be used to syphon them from the Republicans.

Using the model created by conservative studies and focus groups—as detailed in the reports which have been leaked—or simply hiring conservative defectors, progressives can reverse-engineer their methods and, hopefully, achieve similar results.

There is no downside to utilizing progressive wordsmithing and I predict one of three results to this tactic:

  • If Progressive Wordsmithing Works: There is a very real possibility that progressive wordsmithing could increase the number of low-information voters who support the progressive movement; these people are tricked into supporting conservative policy, against their own interests and the progressive use of wordsmithing can recapture them (essentially tricking them to actually want what is best for them, rather than what they think sounds best for them).
  • If Progressive Wordsmithing has a Negligible Effect: It is possible that conservative wordsmithing and progressive wordsmithing cancel each other out, thus leveling the playing field. As conservatives are already ahead in this game, the leveling of the playing field actually signifies a substantial gain to the progressive messaging attempt.
  • If Progressive Wordsmithing Provokes Increased Scrutiny: People interested in the competing phrasings of the same policy, as provoked by dueling wordsmithed terms, will likely research the subject in order to understand the conflict. As conservative policy is often not based upon facts, and the more educated people become, the more they tend towards progressivism, these people would likely become more receptive to the progressive viewpoint. A well educated population, making rational decisions, is the best friend of the progressive, and the worst enemy of the conservative.

Wordsmithing works best on low information voters, thus the remedy to its effects is education. Ideally, progressives would only utilize wordsmithing until they manage to truly educate the American people on the issues. Unfortunately, this is often a futile endeavor (people are busy and a lot of issues are complex) so, in reality, progressives wordsmithing will likely be necessary for a long time into the future.

20 thoughts on “Progressive Tactics: Unified Wordsmithing

  1. I like history over pure spin of words. So, I ask the reader is the Author just a toady of Putin, by looking through history

    How about:

    “we say labor laws” vs “they say abolishment slavery”

    1st quote by encourage by one of 2 anti-federalists (later to become Democrat Party) who helped framed the Constitution to make sure it got ratified by the remaining 43 anti-federalists not present.

    “No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.” ARTICLE IV, SECTION 2, CLAUSE 3

    http://www.heritage.org/constitution#!/search/labor/articles/4/essays/124/fugitive-slave-clause

    The quote above avoiding “slavery” by the Minority Party Federalist should be obvious their ideals of “Freedom” and in the excellent essay in the link of scaffolding a nation built around Slavery. The wolf was being held by the ears as Jefferson would write, and to keep the Union 1786 they had to accept slavery. It also keeps it only in the States and thus they system is in place to be fixed or War! Most presentism (history revisionist) use that even the abolitionist founders had slaves as an argument some how they were some hateful slave owners. Well this is dirty slippery slope by hateful and IGNORANT political people. Because this is a foreign cuture to us (Thankfully), in which far too many freed blacks by their masters passing on, took their new freedom and wealth and honored their masters tradition of Slavery themselves. Foreigners like British and other Europeans who started the Slave Trade would be wise to actually care about the Scourge they left behind (one would think). Let’s not go down such a nasty road of True History by such poor historians, shall we?

    The Federalist would most notable be the Wig Party and then Form the Republican party (GOP) under Abraham Lincoln. Thus out of a brutal war and not meaningless word games above, Abolishment of Slavery finally would occur:

    “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” 13th Amendment

    From there no party did squat for all intents and purposes. The Blacks mostly lived in the Democrats realm of the South still and those Blacks who didn’t move into safety harbor of big government for protection. This was urban areas which most notable was Washington D.C. which literally had hardly no population prior to the Civil War and Boomed after.

    Now people may go what does that have to do with today — everything. WWI was the redscare and Woodrow Wilson reinforced segregation in the whitehouse. A democrat president who surged the KKK to its peak and the Birth of a Nation was being seen in theaters. Worse, now US was a major power in the world and was not, “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” known to the world. Who was the Party to blame — Democrats.

    Who could change that, not Republicans. You can’t toss out the trash from other side of the aisle. Thus FROM WITHIN THE PARTY it Began.

    The Roosevelts and WWI to WWII is your flip in “White Leadership”. From there it is race between the Parties with this person above “thinking” he knows what his talking about — he does not. He likes to Shame USA like Stalin and Mao with Propaganda. That’s easy to piggy back on their historical legacy of shaming the USA (and rude considering the times right now).

    Teddy Roosevelt had the Bull Moose Party which was Socially progressive but it failed. His cousin, though a democrat, simply picked it up and ran with at the right time and thus the Dems got credit — Yeah! More important a letter was sent within Senate Party lines by Truman before this scolding them for not discouraging them for stopping Lynchings in the South (rusty here). This would latter be leaked and put in the press. Truman as president to be relected during his DNC would finally push the remnants of this people who disliked where the party were going out the party. When they protested he said tough and they formed “The State’s Rights Party”. <— Sound Familiar?

    Then we run into LBJ being very pro poor people, but a very racist, narcissist and most of hated the Kennedy family. He was bound not to have Kennedys get credit for the civil Rights legislation and thus amazingly got Civil Rights Act though (which was why he was amazing President in the right place and the right time for "this personality" if we look past his poor choice in Vietnam to get elected. His Civil Rights push gave the Republicans the South which is not something to blame on the Repulcians (I chuckle) as some sort of Racist agenda. (yes I have heard the tapes). It has sealed the deal for the far left for now like our author above that "Democrats are the Civil Rights party" and the "rhetoric" keeps looping. What is striking ironony by white liberals is how they scorn "Social Conservatives" and yet all these Civil Rights leaders of Blacks ARE Social Conservatives… sigh (e.g., MLK, jr., Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and the titles of the Church in which they lead?).

    Well, people migrate to party's based on self-interests vastly, and one may argue their party has a basic philosophy (mainly Republican has been historical true, but…). That does not make it clear what a "Party is", it just makes it what the party's have to do for strategy to maintain power. Which this author seems to have a clear bias on who he wants in power and as person from Britain I'm not sure I'm too fond of that.

    Now, if anyone has made it this far something should be bothering them as to why "white men" had a change of heart about Blacks in the first place. I already alluded to why being the red scare and then the Cold War. Here's Stalin's favorite propaganda movie against US made in 1936 where an abusive husband tracks down love. She found refugee in the Marxist and very multicultural symbol that in US we can all agree upon — Circus. Please pay close attention to his anger is focused on and who the Russians embrace as their own, but bastard child not his own:

    So, I ask is our author just a toady for Putin today?

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    • Did you even read the article and, if so, do you have some sort of touretts that forces you to write tangential, nonsensical and insulting things? Wordsmithing is value-neutral and can be a very good thing if it is used to push the proper agenda (ex. civil rights) or a very bad thing if it is used to push evil.

      Currently, the right wing is using the tactic for evil and I simply argue that progressives must balance this out by using it for good. Putin certainly spins issues in his favor, but that is irrelevant because sharing a rhetorical tactic with a person doesn’t mean that your goals are even vaguely related–for example, Hitler, MLK, slave-owners and abolitionists all re-framed their ideals in religious Christian language in order to appeal to the cultures that they belonged to.

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      • “Currently, the right wing is using the tactic for evil” and your assumption is thus the “Left” is using their “wordsmithing” for good!

        Did you know part of Bin Laden’s explicit strategy was to divide US politically. Is this where I claim you “evil” or some such rubbish by being an ally of Al-Qaeda given how divisive that statement was. Also, you make it seem the US is not on path of Social Progress without your much needed help from across the pond. Meanwhile, 33 States in our Union have legalized same Sex Marriage. I hear in March of this year in Britain, you just had your first legal Same Sex Marriage — Congratulations. I gather you still have Scotland and Ireland for the UK and we can discuss the rest of the Commonwealth for Social Progressive needs where, imo, you would probably have a greater impact, no?

        I have a little clue for you… Those states in our Union, all have Republicans in them, shhhhh. It’s a secret. Your CV says you have the credentials to do this research and yet you source Infotainment who makes money off of emotional and uninformed people. MSNBC is the “Evil” to Fox’s “Evil” dividing this nation. I’m sorry, but you really appear to be part of problem as I outlined above and I will source below. It’s not healthy and people actually buy into thinking you are an authority because Britains are “more worldly” — which is true on average. However, it does not make you an authority or make you get to misrepresent what is real “social progress” or get reinforce the misconstrued “liberal agenda” as “social progress” by Democrats.

        Example, the more porous Mexican Border with a highly corrupt and violent Nation under the control of Cartels in NOT Socially Progressive. Cartels who pump illegal drugs into the US = Violence. We will bypass the solutions because Demand = the drugs will be here regardless which is where the Right is problem (or in your words, evil). The Cartels cannot use the US currency where they are at which means it is then used to bribe our system (e.g., Democrats) and invest in US corporations, Stock Markets and local business to launder said Drug Money. Who does it harm the most, inner city Blacks followed by all poor which is mostly minorities. These lower SES especially inner city Blacks see no hope through the “legal white man’s system”. Who can blame them and the temptation of quicker money. So they get power through dealing drugs and guns which you attack the 2nd amendment in your other blog. How Socially Progressive of you. Even though these high crime areas already have gun control just like the Cartels have in Mexico. Meanwhile, Democrats look like “social Progressives” to the Mexicans, Latino, Haitian, etc, voters who are fastest growing voter base. They typically have large extended family members. Thus, they support the no deportation or less border control. Who again is the Evil Party and how is the Democrats exactly the “Social Progressive” party.

        Meanwhile, back at MSNBC and Fox. The almost 90% black Fergusons demographic in one survey I read almost reached 70% (67% iirc) that the news media made things worse. MSNBC is whom you sourced as “social progressives” — lovely. You need to source actual academics.

        What seems to escape you is not even Republicans today reach 50% against Gay Marriage — huge social progress! Democrats are still 20% in which minorities being higher rate of “social conservatives” than whites and heavily favoring the democratic party, I’ll let you finally start do real research. Hint: you may look up the history of Civil Rights leaders and their Titles. This may escape typical Brits, but if you are going to tell USAians what to do you should know what the hell is going on. Because, USA politics is much complicated than you appear to know and yet you say, “Evil” — REALLY? I must admit now thinking about it. It is rather ironic you would use such a term.

        Source:

        For nine of the 10 items in the ideological consistency scale, the partisan gap has grown wider over the last 20 years. The sole exception is in views of homosexuality: Both Democrats and Republicans have become more liberal on this question over the years, as fewer now say that “homosexuality should be discouraged (rather than accepted) by society.” However, the current 21-point partisan gap on this question is only slightly wider than the 16 point gap in 1994.

        http://www.people-press.org/2014/06/12/section-1-growing-ideological-consistency/

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      • I am American, not British, and have a perfectly clear grasp of our civil rights history.

        The “liberal agenda” for the last few decades in the USA has been one of increasing civil rights for minorities, ensuring that the poor are taken care of, and not getting into stupid wars–conversely, the right wing has been united in fighting these civil rights, dismantling anti-poverty programs, and starting wars. Given this, I don’t think that anybody can rationally argue that the sides are equal.

        P.S. A vast majority of drug trafficking is done by citizens, people with visas, or other individuals who can cross the border without causing suspicion. The idea that undocumented immigrants bring these drugs across the border is simply a myth. Additionally, conservative drug prohibition and incarceration has exacerbated the drug problem in black communities by locking huge numbers of people up and tarring them with a criminal record rather than pursuing treatment (as has proven effective in social democratic European nations). Finally, if you actually look at the source of crime-guns, you will see that most of the ones trafficked across state lines are from southern states with poor gun controls. Gun control doesn’t work as well in northern states when the dumb southern conservatives make it easy to buy guns that can be brought up north at little risk to turn a profit.

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      • Hi Deb Meeker,

        The Southern Strategy is very good example for those who support the Democrats in the debate. As an academic, I am neutral. Keep in mind when presented with only one side of a debate it will appear I’m an opposition representing the other side. In addition, I’m not going to do all the work for you. Feel free and go for it. I brought neutrality to the forefront and how silly such divisive (i.e., not socially progressive) is regarding such topics. To claim otherwise is to only look at specific issues a person cares about as if the whole world should stop for him/her. Also, it ignores if people in power don’t want to keep power through how they manipulate the narrative.

        The author here is clearly biased on who is evil and thus who is good. The real issue for social progress is voter reform (e.g, alternative vote, super pac, etc.). That way the 2/3 who are disenfranchised feel more likely their vote can make a difference. As is the Democrats or Republicans don’t want that (see: Apathy which is associated with the greatest health problem is something we can all get behind. But instead you have “we are right and they are wrong” polarization reinforced which = learned helplessness = depressing = drop out = lower productivity <— you guys getting the idea as our "Parents argue" and instead the kids pick side or worry about "how they argue" — REALLY?

        Which, is odd the author proclaims to have BS in political science when it comes to supporting only one "party" of a two-party system. The reason being is there is very little to no ideology to Liberals or Conservatives. Instead, there are self-interests groups, basic value appeal, and way too much "idealism". Neither of the Parties are an ideology really and that's how these two dominant parties survive (and switch). Think about it. What is Liberal for you may be conservative for me. What is considered liberal for the nation as whole today may be conservative tomorrow. Afterall, Eugenics was Liberal in the beginning of the 20th Century. Yet, because of WWII and learning how Hitler envied US's advanced Eugenics program we stopped. Now Eugenics is shamed on Republicans and worse "social conservatives" as "Radical Right Wing" — Wordsmithing! Most absurd thing when the Far Right wing is fighting Eugenics form day one including abortion. Then another clever trick is Hitler was Rightwing Fascist. Well it is true he was on the right in GERMANY, but not as FAR right as US Democrats like to think. The reality is Europe back then for SURE, and somewhat like today, is much farther left in general than the USA. Oh, is this where I enter anti-atheists (often left and political activists) who project Hitler as some self-identifying Catholic even though he OBVIOUSLY prescribed to Twisted Darwinism in the 1930s. Let alone hated and started the Catholic Church or killed over 300k Catholics…

        Two key factors make Hitler on the right. The most notable is his opposing party really can't get any farther left as they were Communists. Hitler could and almost did run everything of the right of them — Socialism and Nationalism. To even think Hitler was Right of Center to USA standards back then is mind boggling ignorant. The other factor for Hitler being Right of Center is those in power (i.e., oligopoly) then backed Hitler. But, that's not the worst when comes to Fascism = Right wing with this "Wordsmithing". Because…

        Fascism originated from Italy within Left Spectrum of Socialism. "Everything in the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state" — Mussolini. The truth is there has been a bias in Humanities because of pro left reason such as "Civil Rights Issues", and to be fair an angst from McCarthyism. <— Huge topic which fits above (go for it). This has created gaps (e.g., omission, selection bias) in regards to what has been taught from teachers and Professors ever since. Creating often weird myths like, "we won the Civil War" or "We fought the Civil War to free the Slaves", "Grant ordered holocaust of Native Americans" when the same methods (though different enemy*) was used on the Southern "White" Confederates by Sherman <—— What? This is such anti-social progress today I cannot even begin to start = "wordsmithing".

        If I was lying or wholely didn't know what I was talking about, the author or others could rip me apart easily. As is, you can poke holes, chip, divert, but that will be likely most (and welcomed). Your other two are minor quips that the left uses to shame the right. If the two were so bad for Democrats the left wouldn't be repeating them so much, would they ;-).

        http://www.newrepublic.com/article/114127/science-not-enemy-humanities

        The next topic? Homelessness in the 80s?

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    • Damn, your writing is so obviously convoluted it’s clear you are trying to convince people that your intellect makes you worth reading. Alas, a truly keen intellectual learns how to write in a clear, concise manner so she can reach a broader audience.
      I suggest you do a Fogg index on your writing and learn how to write clearly– without the stick up your ass.

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  2. I have to ask, why do you allow some people to spew their nonsense all over? I have always wondered why Democrats / Progressives are so terrible at Wordsmithing. You make a great argument for why they need to get better at it.

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  3. Honestly, growing up in a conservative household, I had to understand in political debates the importance of word usage. At the very least, got tons and tons of stalemates, which my father would then he had “won” (logic is incredibly helpful, too).

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  4. “The “liberal agenda” for the last few decades in the USA has been one of increasing civil rights for minorities, ensuring that the poor are taken care of, and not getting into stupid wars–conversely”. And you learned this in what history course? The Carter Doctrine in order to “look tough on USSR” as “Invaders” in Afghanistan to help boost his approval ratings IS a tipping point in what you call “stupid wars”. Carter consequently created CIA operations to support Mujahideen in Afghanistan and for the record both operations that were used illegally in conjunction by the Reagan Administration. Did I mention I History is very important to this discussion over political biased lenses?

    Here’s Carter which this is just one of many:

    The next big factor if you actually research what has PULLED the US into a global war of terrorism by Muslim radicals is GH Bush’s putting Troops on Holly Land on the Saudi Peninsula regarding Kuwait. Most everyone besides Muslims of the Arab world agree GH Bush handled that conflict well (except the Iraqi Kurds). Either way, the Decision you blame on “The Right” there would still be a huge conflict there today as Clinton faced escalation (e.g., Operation Desert Fox).

    Speaking of Clinton, he entered office with an eerily same event — an attack on WTC Tower. It just so happens it was a very important warning of what was to come.

    His failure was not to adapt the Military from a “Cold War” to our new world we see today (Richard A. Clarke, 2003). What he did do, but fail drastically was focus on peace in the middle-east. You may be thinking how can that be failure. Well if your read up, to the very end he left the door open to peace agreements between Isreal and Palestine Leadership. What he never shut the door on despite the now known 8 opportunities to kill and 2 opportunities to capture is Bin Laden (Micheal Scheuer, 2005). This is even more poignant now we know that in 1998 Bin Laden tried to lure US into war by failed assassination of Clinton. So, Kudos for Bill Clinton’s goal, but you can’t tell me Clinton is so ignorant not knowing what the gambles were. You also can’t tell me that any President would not face Impeachment after the high emotion for revenge from 9/11 and Taliban’s Sharia Law going “do you have 4 male witnesses you saw him do this?”. Yeah, like that was going to fly even among the most multicultural sensitive types. Bin Laden played the US like a fiddle. He was a Saudi Prince and thus a huge tension for an Assassination for ally — Saudi Arabia. Worse, Bin Ladin was a Robin Hood to the Muslims especially in Palestine. Together, I’m sure this is why Clinton stonewalled all 10 CIA opportunities. <— Bin Laden out played Bill Clinton — Hate to break the news to you (sincerely). Thus is why I feels strongly you are wrong and I hope you can see part of the problem by just "Blaming" the right. It's not healthy.

    Which leads to this "word smithing" comment and how WE NEED TO ALL CALL OUT such terrible rhetoric:

    "A vast majority of drug trafficking is done by citizens, people with visas, or other individuals who can cross the border without causing suspicion."

    You meant:

    "A vast majority of drug trafficking is done by people."

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    • Junto, if you believe President Carter was a failure, you have lost the battle. True wordsmithing has to fall on intelligent ears (the only criticism I have of this piece) to be appreciated. Republican rhetoric isn’t wordsmithing – it’s simply lying with a smile on their face. Take any legislative bill that the right wing produces, especially those written by ALEC, and you don’t read wordsmithing, so much as wording that spells out the exact opposite of what the legislation intends. eg. H.R. 2273 “Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act” merely allows unregulated coal ash dumping. Wordsmiths? No. Sociopathic liars? Yes.

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      • Hi Solodm,

        You reply with, “Junto, if you believe President Carter was a failure, you have lost the battle.” What battle and why would I believe that? Carter is an average President which is a GOOD president. We don’t need and we especially don’t want anymore great presidents. Executive powers tend not to shrink — you know?

        What is interesting with “Historians” rating presidents vs. Liberals assuming them is GW bush. He has had an * by his name and Liberals assume he is the “Worst Ever!” No, it means: 1) the “key” intelligence for the invasion of Iraq given to the House was given is still redacted. Keep in mind that the entire Representative Branch was nearly unanimous in support. Especially important is the staunch support of Hilary Clinton who is very connected to the prior administration of Bill Clinton and without a doubt has extraordinary social capital in and throughout the world to double check any intelligence. 2) The fall out of GW Bush responses to 9/11 is still undetermined. It will be heavily weighed with what options were available and ever so complicated in shifting landscapes during his terms and forever after. So many social sciences will have to be weighed (e.g., behavioral economics). I cannot fathom how difficult this will be for Historians to tackle, and when? GW Bush joking about George Washington still having books written about him IS no joke when it comes to Foreign policy. Put is this way, think of these regions in context of preWWI, WWI, WWII and the terrible system of having tyrants for stability — Eish! It could be, and I know this terrible — a roll of the dice because the current system is failing everyone. If so, are you going to be mad as a tax payer and “social digress” that Bush invaded Iraq to push the “reset” button?

        I can see it now, but ISIS. And what if Bush had clear contingency plan of pulling Iran into war and Obama didn’t follow it. Instead, Obama went all “manifest Destiny” of War Against Women, “They hate how we treat our women” to make sure he got elected in 2012? I say the “Manifest Destiny” because prior it was GW’s “They Hate our Freedom”. Making both parties have their war hoop of an effective foreign policy to kill POC — Yeah!!!!

        What is happening is the more we learn is Bill Clinton is dropping in standing and the Democrats have doing EVERYTHING to hide it and amazingly Ignore it. How is that Social Progress — Please!

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    • Junto, you should practice the art of economizing words. I suggest you write your replies first on Microsoft Word. When finished, do a word count and challenge yourself to edit it down to half as many words. Once that’s been accomplished, cut that copy down to half as many words. The art of clear communication is to make your point fast and clear. Your writing style comes from the JibberJabber School of Bloviating. Less is more. Get it?

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  5. Junto,
    You write “We don’t need and we especially don’t want anymore great presidents. Executive powers tend not to shrink — you know?” What the hell does that mean?
    Sounds like the Grover Norquist pronouncement “All we have to do is replace Obama. … We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don’t need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget. … We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don’t need someone to think it up or design it. The leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the House and the Senate. […]
    Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States. This is a change for Republicans: the House and Senate doing the work with the president signing bills. His job is to be captain of the team, to sign the legislation that has already been prepared.”

    Your verbosity notwithstanding, everything you or I write here is an opinion. Yes, labels become confused with ideology, and are interchanged the through decades and centuries. Basically labels are only useful in political rhetoric to keep tribes reacting according to the needs of the time. For example, the trigger words “Pro Life” have been made synonymous with “anti abortion”. Nothing could be further from the truth;in fact it’s again -opposite to reality). “Pro life” factions in the modern vernacular equate themselves with protecting human cells in the womb – that’s it. The majority of those same factions, also disdain providing life sustaining support for those same human cells once born into poverty.

    Since you don’t have the time or inclination to research the terms I suggested, you probably won’t have the same to read documented historical evidence that when political leaders ( those you would label Social Progressives) were in “power”, there was a semblance of social leveling, and prosperity. (Horrors!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Deb Meeker,

      You are welcome to fact check me anything I have said. However, please don’t don’t start with a quote, and then drift in political assumptions about me as if they are mere opinions. I am challenging wordsmithing”, remember? For example, you start with “Your verbosity notwithstanding, everything you or I write here is an opinion.” Interesting, I did not know “history” was just opinions. Too many REAL historians have worked dillengently to give us an ever clearer view of the past, not an opinion. they use as many research methods and the best have to be aware of all the socials sciences to bring to bear on their topic.

      Your lead introduction with: “The majority of those same faction (pro-life), also (sic) disdain providing life sustaining support for those same human cells once born into poverty.” I take it you just took the time to discuss politics which had nothing to do with anything I wrote Because, I will give a striking example “in US history”. It appears, first I must apologize by saying, “caution Trigger Word” of your chosen political topic. Because, the two below consecutive Presidents are quite a puzzle for me because of you crafty “wordsmithing”.

      Carter:

      Reagan:

      Signed the McKinney–Vento Homeless Assistance Act which was the most Federal response ever of its kind to homelessness.

      Regarding your quote you addressed, “We don’t need and we especially don’t want anymore great presidents. Executive powers tend not to shrink — you know?” ‘What the hell does that mean?’

      Well that means we don’t need large crises calling for expansive executive powers by horrible or great presidents. The prior “Greats” to be given a chance to expand the executive powers such as FDR and Abraham Lincoln. FDR had intern camps for Japanese American citizens and pushed very hard to revamp the supreme court. Abraham Lincoln actually is who set legal precedent for Gitmo detainee precedent today as I type. Both are considered to be two of our greatest president ever in History. This “expanse” in our system in government and all is one of the reasons for the 2nd amendment. It gets overlooked with this blind eye by many that assumes the status quo of the here and now will remain. There is nothing in history that supports this whatsoever, and it is frankly an idealism that democracy is now the forever norm. Yet, even as I type we know this isn’t true from Hong Kong, Ukraine, Middle East and what Greece has been facing.1 I hope you can understand my comment now and here is a source which the author and maybe with wordplay in search you can find something relevant on NPR, History.org, pbs, etc.

      http://www.amazon.com/The-End-Greatness-America-President-ebook/dp/B00JTIRUO8/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

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  6. Pingback: Progressive Tactics: Unified Wordsmithing Part II | The Progressive Cynic

  7. I have no assumptions about your personal political beliefs, and other than that, I have no idea what you are trying to say in your comments above. We can all have our own opinions I’m sure. My opinion happens to be that the term ‘wordsmithing’ relates to good usage or bad. I happened to choose examples of what I consider to be bad wordsmithing; those being ” Pro-
    Life”, and “Small Government”. Both terms are used with intent to hide the fact, that those using them – mean the exact opposite of the words. In the case of your quote about not needing anymore great presidents, again, I see that as a cop out of major proportions. The ‘wordsmithing’ there suggests, a person wants no great presidents – of the opposite political view from theirs.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Deb, I salute your patience in trying to comprehend, much less reason with this blioviating bore. His philosophy is, “Why say in 25 words what can be said in 2,500?”

    Like

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