I have said it before many times: Republicans are really, really fantastic at framing. They take an issue, and put it in such a way that if you try to disagree, you put yourself into a verbal noose that can’t be untied. One example is the phrase ,”I support the troops!” That is an essentially innocuous statement, but when KKKarl Rove gets a hold of it, it becomes, “I support the war in Iraq, and George W. Bush, and if you don’t, then why do you hate America?”
I had an interesting exchange with my online frenemy, “Republican in Seattle,” on my recent post “On Consciences, and Rules.” (I swear we’ll do karaoke someday, Republican!) Her tactics were most interesting. She tried to redefine the words “pro-choice” as meaning, “pro-EVERYONE’s choice.” This was her logic: If you’re REALLY pro-choice, you’ll support the choice of the pharmacist to deny a woman emergency contraception or birth control based on conscience.
Uh-uh. That’s not what “pro-choice” means. “Pro-choice” means pro – the woman’s choice. It means the woman’s choice is the most important when it comes to reproductive issues. How could it not be – it’s her life, her body, and her baby (or not).
The idea that my pro-choice position means I have to give a pharmacist power over my body is classic Republican doublethink. I expected her next to tell me that “some animals are more equal than others,” or that “we have always been at war with East Asia.”
But you see what she did there? If you’re not paying attention, these types of word games could really sway you into thinking that “pro-choice” means…well, its exact opposite.
Another example of this manipulation is what has been done to the word “liberal.” After decades of demonization, a liberal is now a cartoon character who would rather save the spotted marmoset than the economy; who would rather give a terrorist a scholarship to Yale and three virgins than to punish him for his crimes; and who actually thinks inflating your tires is a real strategy for saving the planet. (That last one was even kind of true if you go by Barack Obama’s example!) So who the hell would want to be one of those people?
I would. Because liberal does not mean that, never has and never will.
But quite a few of our Obaman brethren and sistren decided, a few years ago, that the word “progressive” was so much nicer and carried so much less baggage than the word “liberal”, which was ooky. So they all took up the “progressive” banner. (We PUMAs tend to call them “fauxgressives” because they threw all their principles away by supporting the Great Pretender.)
Notice what’s happening now, though? The word “liberal” is coming back into vogue, and they’re using it to define supporters of Barack Obama.
This phenomenon is most curious, and distressing. Because when Barack Obama crashes and burns, the word “liberal” will once again be associated with people who haven’t the first clue as to how to vote, or govern.
My advice? If this applies to you (and I know that for some, it does not!), on your blogs, in your comments and whenever you find a sympathetic ear, say words something like this: “I didn’t vote for Barack Obama because I’m a liberal, and he’s not.” If they argue, just tell them Barack Obama himself said he wasn’t a liberal. Okey-doke?
It’s the ultimate irony that the Republicans listened to him, and the “progressives” didn’t.