Political Sense
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Political Sense

Image from NY Daily News

Do words matter anymore to the Right?

Or is politics all just sarcastic, nihilist, gaslighting, moneymaking joke entertainment performative theater?

Jeffrey Denny

We know the Left takes words seriously.

That’s why the libs are being called out for calling out words: hateful words, hurtful words, inciteful words, knucklehead words, dog-whistled words, obvious human-whistled words for Neanderthals too stupid to hear dog whistles, and verbal aggression words both macro and micro, once known as insults.

Do words matter on the Right? They used to.

Growing up in a Republican household, I was taught by the taste of Ivory soap that my words mattered.

In my lifetime, Republicans traditionally have respected the meaning of the words of our leaders.

When Reagan said, “government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem,” Republicans set forth to destroy government to prove it’s bad.

When GHW Bush said, “Read my lips: No new taxes,” his words helped elect him and then later hurt him when his lips read: Yes new taxes.

When Clinton said, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” Republicans who back then were shocked, shocked and offended by an immoral and lying president gasped, clutched pearls, grasped for smelling salts, lurched for fainting divans, and impeached Clinton not for his deeds but for his words.

When GW Bush used his words to claim nonexistent WMDs existed to send America to war in Iraq, we gladly wasted our blood and treasure there and then regretted it.

When Obama said, “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan,” but some couldn’t, his words along with his Blackness helped Republicans elect Trump, and only the proudest deplorables don’t regret it.

At that point, words seemingly stopped mattering to Republicans as Trump captivated his MAGAs, their media, the GOP and America with his mean, nasty, ugly words.

Pity. Republicans once stood fast and firm for solid American values of honesty, respect and decency against the godless anti-American liberals who were determined to destroy our culture, including meaning of words.

Unlike the Democrat liberal quibbling quislings and their post-modern liberal arts professors who brainwashed weak minds to question words — the text, subtext and racist White Western dominance of words — Republicans were traditionalists when it came to words.

Words meant exactly what Webster’s said they meant. A cigar is just a cigar. Words are black or white, like zoning rules that “preserve” communities.

From the Pilgrims to the original patriots to the flinty frontier pioneers, to be American meant you’re as good as your word, and only as good as your word. You want to be taken for your word. You word is your bond. You say what you mean and you mean what you say, and you stand behind your words.

When you use fightin’ words, you either have the guts to say what you’re saying directly, own up, and take your lumps, or you take back your words and apologize like you mean it.

You don’t go strategically victim, weasel out with dodgy what-abouts, cowardly hide behind online avatars, or bully-gaslight with “well, that’s what people are saying” or “don’t be such a snowflake.” Or smirk that it’s all a joke, you’re stupid if you don’t get that it’s all just fun sarcasm.

The plainspoken Great Plains, Real American tradition has been: What we say, we mean, and we stand behind it, come hell or high water.

Does the meaning of words still matter on the Right?

· No, Fox News lawyers say in defending Tucker Carlson’s smug, bald-faced and shrilly cackling lies as “not statements of fact” but mere exaggeration and non-literal commentary, and reasonable viewers know that. Even though Carlson fans are proudly not reasonable viewers and take his word as gospel.

· No, say swampy lawyers for Sidney Powell, who falsely claimed Dominion voting machines were rigged against Trump. “No reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact,” her defense says, insulting both her and her believers, but they don’t notice or care.

· No, words don’t matter, said President Trump virtually every day as he lied, attacked, smeared, sneered and inspired his poor MAGAs with ugly words, who in turn parroted his ugly words. When his and their words incited the deadly deeds on January 6 and ongoing domestic violent racist terrorist acts, they shrug that they were only words, just sayin’.

· No, words don’t matter, say the swampy lawyers defending the Trumpy Capitol rioters and their online co-conspirators and fellow travelers who helped goad, plan, fund and carry out the attack with their online words.

For instance, the lawyer defending the neo-Nazi Trump supporter who posted a video two days after the Capitol attack titled, “KILL YOUR SENATORS: Slaughter them all” said those words don’t matter.

While the threats “were specific, they were scary and they were violent,” the federal prosecutor told the jury, his lawyer scoffed that his client was just working out his comedy club open-mike material: “He’s like [SNL comedian] Pete Davidson but not as good.”

· No, words don’t matter, say Trump supporters filling the campaign coffers of the Republican Insurrection Caucus that voted to reject the will of the people and overturn the 2020 election, even as major corporations have shunned the caucus and its money-grubbing.

Note that the Insurrection Caucus voted to censure Maxine Waters for her insurrectional words. Also, Republican states pandering to idiots are trying to roll back the First Amendment to punish free speech and assembly they don’t like. And Trumpy staunch defenders of their First Amendment rights attack the free press they don’t like and demand freedom from any accountability for their words.

· Whatever, words don’t matter, say Trumpy online conspiracy mongers and trolls, doxers and harassers who — with the powerful courage of anonymity — post death threats to Dr. Anthony Fauci for trying to save our lives and violent rape threats to women who trigger their delicate sensibilities.

· No, words don’t matter, say Trumpy Covid-deniers and anti-vaxxers as they spread misinformation, disinformation, disease and death.

The words “I can’t breathe” that George Floyd uttered more than 20 times meant nothing to convicted murderer Derek Chauvin.

Nor do those words mean anything to Tucker Carlson and the right-wing Chauvinists who still defend him, blame the victim, and smear the jury that did its utmost citizen duty, heard and considered the overwhelming evidence and found the bad cop guilty on all charges.

But I’m wasting my words here. You can’t reason with the unreasonable, or shame the shameless. As they say in the South, bless their hearts. They don’t know what they’re sayin’.

Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer.



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Jeffrey Denny

Jeffrey Denny

A Pullet Surprise-winning writer who always appreciates free chicken.