Thought of the day

Human beings are more important than the abstract ethical principle of liberty.

Conservative definitions

There is a lot of political rhetoric out there; it comes from all areas of the political spectrum and it isn’t used to bolster the effectiveness of any given argument. It is the argument. That said, the biggest offenders are conservatives. Much of the rhetoric they use is meant to elicit an emotional, knee-jerk reaction: ‘If I say these words, people will make this tenuous connection to what I really mean.’ For instance, “Tea Party” is meant to evoke a righteous fight for liberty, especially from taxation without representation (forget that all these Teabaggers use public roads to drive to their rallies). But all rational people know that isn’t what it means at all. It may superficially reference the Boston Tea Party and manage to get sympathetic conservatives to emotionally connect the current ‘movement‘ to that historic moment, but down deeper it’s simply a code for Racist Republican.

But that isn’t the end of the list, not by a long shot. There is a lot more conservative code floating around out there, so I think it would be appropriate for me to try and clear some of it up right now. Here’s a list of words conservatives frequently use followed by what they really mean.

Science – Something to be rejected if it conflicts with my previously held beliefs
“The science behind global warming is doubtful…oh, and we should loosen pollution restrictions on big business.”

Tax & Spend Liberal – A Democrat with the same economic policies as Republicans
“Obama is just another tax & spend liberal…even though Bush’s last budget deficit was greater than Obama’s first.”

Atheism – Religious faith
“Atheism requires just as much faith as Christianity…nevermind that I don’t think I have faith that unicorns don’t exist.”

Religious Faith – A virtuous position
“Remember Doubting Thomas? Even though he didn’t believe until he had evidence, Jesus (inexplicably) declared that he had faith and that faith was a good thing…oh, and forget that I’ve already shit all over the idea of faith to bring you down to my level of infantile thinking; faith is good when it’s my faith. And by ‘my’, I probably mean the faith my parents told me to have.”

Patriot – A conservative
“John McCain is a patriot for serving his country…just pretend like I’m not a fundamentally dishonest hypocrite when I smear John Kerry’s record.”

Working Class – Whites
“We need to strengthen the power of the working class…and the strength of my deadbolt – I saw a minority in my neighborhood today!”

People on Welfare – Minorities
“People on welfare are just mooching off the working class…excuse me while I buy this fresh Maine lobster with my food stamps.”

Liberal Media – Anything that isn’t FOX Noise
“The liberal media is just trying to take Christine O’Donnell down because they’re afraid of change in Washington…can we just forget that she doesn’t know anything about the First Amendment? Bringing that up is liberal bias.”

Liberty – Economic greed
“The government is taking away my liberty with all these taxes…I just wish they would fix all the potholes so I have a more comfortable ride when I take my kids to public school.”

Small Business Interests – Big business interests
“It’s a small business interest to cut taxes for those making over $250,000…because businesses create jobs purely based upon lower taxes, not anything to do with demand, right? And tax cuts don’t hurt and increase the deficit, right?”

Activist Judge – A judge who made a decision with which I disagree
“I can’t stand those activist judges who ruled that anti-sodomy laws are illegal…excuse me while I poke my wife in the pooper – it’s not sodomy if it’s with a woman, right?”

Elitist – Someone who is smarter than I am
“Atheists only scored higher on that religious quiz because they’re so elitist…who knew Martin Luther started the Protestant Reformation? Wasn’t he that black guy? He was probably on welfare.”

Open-minded – Agreeing with me
“You don’t find ‘intelligent design’ convincing? You just aren’t open-minded…huh? Oh. No, I won’t bother to study evolution before I reject it. That leads to bad things.

Muslim – Terrorist
“I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”