Creative Politics means creative language too. Politicians and pundits are coining new phrases and words all the time–let’s make ours better.
allegendary — ref. an infamous, nefarious act that never occurred (cf allegedly + legendary), coupled with a belief in its occurence that cannot be extinguished no matter how times it’s debunked, e.g. Hillary Clinton arranging for the murder of Vince Foster or Seth Rich, Hillary orchestrating the handover of our domestic uranium assets to the Russians, Hillary selling State Department appointments, Hillary using her email server to disseminate state secrets, Hillary laughing (oh that laugh) at getting a rapist off without punishment, etc.
aluminum — a foil that reflects well on its supposed antagonist, e.g. Alan Colmes on Holmes & Hannity; Jim Acosta in White House press briefings; Sam Donaldson on This Week (for those with long memories); most Democrats in high profile debates; cf. less than ineffectual.
american (adj), americanize (v) — to comfortably hold multiple contradictory, even mutually exclusive, ideas in one’s head, pulling them out pragmatically as needed to address the problem at hand (what used to drive the rest of the world crazy about us); similarly, an unusual level of comfort with a diversity of views and cultures in the public square (obs.?).
anchor baby — someone who is childishly stuck in and rooted to the past, without the mature understanding of what our country is (and always has been) necessary to accept/support where we can and should go next.
animystic — someone who draws on all points of view and respects the essential mystery of life, cf. animism (which holds that all living things –and sometimes non-living entities, too–have souls) and mysticism.
arachnoid — spider-like, but inauthentic, as in a tangled web.
aunt janes — as in uncle toms, and janus, the two-faced god; gender traitors or handmaids-in-waiting who would rather serve men and enjoy race privilege, even in 21st century America, than stick up for their fellow women. Used in a sentence: “Women would rule the world if it weren’t for the aunt janes stabbing other women in the back all the time.”
barkalounger — someone who holds forth (often insufferably) from his tv chair, frequently shouting at the screen, instead of getting off his heinie and actually doing something productive about what’s upsetting him.
bear’s law, law of the bear — any situation or circumstance you don’t have to understand, as long as you understand it better than those around you, i.e. you are the one-eyed man.
boulanger’s axiom — the greatest creative freedom is found within boundaries, from the great 20th century French music teacher Nadia Boulanger.
capapie — not a new word (16th century, actually), but one we’re going to find ways to use, because we like it, and we don’t want you to have to spend as much as a nanosecond of your invaluable time looking up what it means (on someone else’s site). It means “head to toe,” btw…
chutzpocrisy — contraction/shorthand for ‘the height of,’ ‘breathtaking’, ‘the definition of chutzpah’ and other clicheed modifiers used to describe acts and statements of hypocrisy so brazen that the ordinary word seems inadequate. Hyperchutzocrisy is next.
chutzpocracy — a form of government marked by brazen disregard for truth, honesty, integrity, norms, and values, particularly those of the people who made the government possible with their votes, their service, their sacrifice, the sweat of their brows, and yes, their money.
common sense — formerly described something real, important, and quintessentially American, especially to conservatives. Now just means a just-so story pulled out of someone’s derriere to paper over or explain things that defy simplistic, reductionist explanation.
condultants — the political consultant class as a whole, which still ‘believes’ that television advertising is the most effective way to win elections because they get a substantial cut of every ad buy. They themselves aren’t dull, at least where their own short-term interests are concerned; they merely dull and demean everything else in politics, since campaign dollars are the main vehicle through which political communication takes place, and especially since, as ad “creators,” they generate “product” that even mailboys in the smallest, most boutique business advertising firms on any Madison Avenue in America would be ashamed to claim responsibility for. Not to be confused with insultants, whose modus is to tell clients that whatever they’re doing is all wrong, though there are plenty of those in the condultant class as well…
coprageous — outrageously fecal, or fecally outrageous; our first attempt to come up with a word beyond “despicable,” since it’s pretty clear we need one.
dawkins (v) — cf Richard Dawkins. To ‘dawkins’ is to take such an absolutist approach to an argument that you insist there’s an explanation consonant with your point of view for every data point, no matter how contrary it seems, and disregard even your own best ideas if they don’t fit with this preconcieved notion (as Dawkins did in discarding the idea of memes). Typically results in tautology (like religion, ironically) and/or what Gyro Gearloose called “building a house to solve the problems of a picnic.”
demobbing — actions taken to stop piling on in social media or to defend or give support to those who are being attacked in this way.
deserving poor–in the rest of the world, those who deserve to be helped; in America, those who deserve to be poor, namely the poor.
eifrigstoren — the pleasure one gets when matter-of-factly pointing out the contradictions in the point of view of the strategically or blindly pious, the pompous, the self-righteous, the rigidly idiological–or observing someone else do so–and watching the ground crumble beneath their brain stems and their heads explode. Like schadenfreude, but more elevated and noble, though still with a whiff of naughtiness.
einstein (v) — To take an idea or a premise to its logical extreme to see what other ideas or deeper truths might fall out, e.g. the special theory of relativity, in which the premise (that the speed of light must always remain the same as observed by all observers in any state of motion) results in the conclusion that as velocity increases, distances shorten, mass increases, and time slows down. Einstein called special relativity God’s “great cosmic joke,” because of the resemblance between how he reached his conclusions and the way a typical comedy routine plays out. Ironically, Einstein didn’t get the punchline of his own joke when he attacked quantum mechanics (i.e. all particles are intertwined with others and there are an infinite number of universes).
eurochik — as in apparatchik, someone who has a reflexively positive (or euroflex) reaction to all European government programs and ideas, always comparing them favorably to our own, without realizing they would not be possible without the twin engines of the American and Chinese economies or, in some cases, stacked decks that don’t apply anywhere else.
fabriot — a follower of fabricism, meaning someone who values cloth over Constitution, often unaware that only autocrats compel their citizens to stand for flags.
fact-blind — an individual or group of people who don’t know things they should through no real fault of their own (a la snow blindness), due to a substandard foundational education and the blizzard of information and misinformation they are now exposed to on a daily basis, which leaves them feeling unable to trust anything but their ‘gut’ about what’s true and right, much like a soldier does in the chaos of battle. In general, we want to assume that people who appear to be “willfully ignorant” are just fact-blind, not veriphobes (see below)
fetushists (fee-tus-shists) — cf. fetishists, people with an obsession with protecting the lives of the unborn that they aren’t willing to apply to the children and others who are already with us.
going postal — Not new, but Somnium wants it known that he believes he coined it (in an environment where he can make this assertion pseudo-anonymously without patently revealing himself to be grandiose or absurd in front of everyone he knows). The earliest official recorded use of the term is in a North Carolina newspaper in 1994; however Somnium used in in an AOL Stratus SYSOLM, a page on the AOL service, and AOL email in 1991, all on the eve of the invasion of Kuwait. If anyone has a reference that pre-dates this, let us know. Otherwise, we ask everyone consider the story above symbolic of the power of the medium, not just the egoistical indulgence it probably is.
gordian — a once-in-a-lifetime, otherwise impossibly simple solution to a complex problem, after the Gordian knot, which was said to grant rule over the world to anyone who could untie it, which Alexander the Great achieved by taking his sword and slicing through it.
green thumb, green-thumbed — traditionally, someone who can make anything grow. In politics, someone who can make the economy grow under any condition; more specifically, someone who takes as first principle that we must have both a strong economy and a clean environment, that we can’t have one without the other, and who, ideally, has skills to help make this happen (which we all do, if we think about it)
grenouille — from the French word for frog leg, someone who has allowed themselves to normalize and numb themselves to each new outrage of the times, like a frog slowly being boiled to death because it refuses to jump out of a pot of water as the temperature rises.
grenouillist — references a time and place, like the 1930s in Germany or America today, when incrementally ‘moving the goalposts’ to methodically crush opposition, without alarming opponents to the point of active resistance, is employed as a continuous governing strategy. Compare, for example, the daily stream of laws against the Jews under Hitler with the daily stream of actions against immigrants or the environment today, or the ways the current administration has so far successfully unspooled revelations about its criminality.
hamleting — a polite, more elevated way of saying “dithering.” We need more words like this that give the benefit of the doubt to the people we’re (rightly) criticizing, that accept that doing otherwise may not be as easy for them as it sounds (nor would it be for us, if we were truly in their shoes), things we can say with a wry smile instead of spitting out in anger, words that roll off the tongue, unlike the stilted language of the politically correct. Seriously, PC needs a few more words like splunge…
hemingway’s law — originally applied to bankruptcy and how it happens–first gradually, then all at once–now seems to be all around us, in some cases we hope (so).
hippocrat — a Democrat suffering from political Type 2 obesity, typically as a result of years of consuming excessive sugar from their 1% daddies; flabby and weak (see Clinton, Bill; Congress 2009-10), betraying their core principles (like hypocrites, bigly), intoning phraseology like “first, do no harm” as an excuse for careerist cowardice, and turning bipartisanship into a dirty-word synonym for Republican-lite.
IDED, ideds — improvised democracy-exploding devices, cf. unusually corrosive arguments, claims, or catchphrases recklessly deployed without concern over what elements of our system of government or way of life might be shredded by the lovingly handpacked intellectual and emotional shrapnel they contain in the process. Examples: “deep state,” “fake news.” The weapon of choice for political terrorists who, like others of their ilk, are nothing but self-absorbed egotists pretending to be about a cause.
idiologue — an ideologue of any stripe, because all ideologues are idiots.
ill duce — Il Duce (“The Leader”) was the name the last great authoritarian strutter, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. Ill Duce is one of the names we give the latest greatest authoritarian strutter, in honor of his claimed affinity with hip-hop moguls (aka “the blacks”) and mental health.
imgrate — someone unwilling or unable to see and appreciate all the good immigrants have done and are doing for them (and for our country).
imperify, imperifists — people who impute to government powers of the gods, believing either that government can solve all problems or that government is the source of all woe, from the Latin imperium, meaning government, dating from a time–the Roman Empire–when governments were a lot more powerful than they are today, though not as powerful as our governments want us to believe they are so as to keep us underfoot.
kasparov’s law — anything a machine can do, a machine + a human can do better (as he proved after his unfair loss to Deep Blue by teaming up with computers to crush all comers, carbon or silicon); corollary: when/where this is not true, the machine should do the job (i.e. man should not be used as a machine).
libran — balanced in an elevated, even cosmic way, if not bipartisan.
limbo — The state an increasing proportion of Americans find themselves in, not wanting to live, but not wanting to die.
mwalimu, walimu — a political leader who prioritizes an informed electorate, seeking to explain and educate his/her constituents in a non-partisan way about policies and process so that voters can come to their own, well-founded conclusions, from the Swahili word for teacher, which is often applied to leaders in East Africa as well. Also an adjective to describe a leader with these qualities.
nazdar — akin to gaydar, referring to an unusual capacity to accurately detect incipient authoritarianism, a capability possessed solely by those who have actually lived under totalitarian regimes. Everyone else? Should just shut up and listen.
over window — the inverse of the Overton window, which defines the boundaries of political discourse at any given time; the over window refers to those times in our history when pretty much anything goes and the nation is subject to profound changes, for better or worse, cf. “that’s so over” or “over the top;” a pivot point or “interesting times” on steroids…
“people are saying” — a euphemism/synonym for “I hear voices.” Also a corruption of the name of Podunk, CT’s most famous resident, L.R. Sayin, also known as L.R. or “Pip” (short for “pipsqueak”), who is believed to have been alive since pre-Revolutionary times and may originally have been an advance scout for the Roswell landing. In other words, a tortured, fantastical lie.
pity — something you can say you feel for someone you would hate with extreme prejudice if your faith or personal beliefs didn’t prohibit it. Pity them coldly if you don’t believe they or everyone is capable of redemption; pity them hotly if you do…
polistatic — an adjective describing a political party, idea, or practice that, like a metastatic cancer, has no purpose other than its own preservation and propagation, winning for the sake of winning, mindlessly growing, even if at great harm to the body politic that hosts it. The modern Republican Party is in a state of polistasis.
pragmatic — dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations. This is actually the current dictionary definition of the word. We just want to be clear that as far as we’re concerned, it continues to be the correct definition, even though many politicians and their followers seem to believe that it’s now a synonym for “doing nothing.”
preback — opinions offered about a news or research piece before or without having actually read it (cf. feedback).
process crime — when someone gets away with something that either is, or should be, illegal as a result of flaws in the process or system, example: Donald Trump not paying taxes on $400M with no consequences, or Jeffrey Epstein getting a slap on the wrist for trafficking and assaulting underage girls, dozens of them, or not prosecuting obstruction because the underlying crime has not been proven (even when it’s clear the obstruction is what prevented the proof from coming to light). Often misunderstood as a synonym for obstruction–e.g. for acts such as lying to authorities, destroying evidence, intimidating witnesses, dangling pardons, etc.–with the intent of minimizing its seriousness. But obstruction of justice is, by definition, an effort to obscure or hide the truth; if obstruction is considered a “process crime” and “process crimes” are of minimal significance, than all crimes are of minimal significance and should not be prosecuted, since all crimes involve an effort on the part of the defendent to obscure or hide the truth. Think about it.
projectionism, projectionist — a political ‘philosophy’ that attributes to its opponents’ actions that its own adherents are, in fact, carrying out themselves, reflecting motives its supporters would have if they were in the same position. Often easy to detect at its absurd extremes, for example, claims that “bad polls are the real voter suppression,” or incoherences such as “no puppet you puppet you puppet.”
pumpkinheads — the ‘lock her up, CNN sucks’ contingent at Trump rallies, those who have drunken in so much of the man in their idolatry they’ve turned orange to the core, with their brains turned into mush…but, hey just as in Cinderella, it’s never too late to change back…
redpilling — addiction to a medication that, like cancer, is particularly dangerous and insidious because it turns your own body and mind against you. While both are a product of civilization, unlike cancer, the primary cause of red pill addiction is informational rather than chemical. Arguably an epidemic that dwards opiates in its severity and scope.
red tuna, straw herring — an especially disingenuous argument, much bigger than a red herring, or dizzyingly confusing, even mutanical, as a cross between a red herring and a straw man can be.
repo, repos — the real Republicans In Name Only, who have sold out the bedrock principles of Republicanism to game/gain the benefits of an unholy alliance with crony capitalists and religious zealots, cf. repo men, the professionals who take from the poor and give to the rich.
reversican — a Republican who tries to use lame duck legislation or legal ation to undo the will of the people as expressed at the ballot box. Reversicans are part of a broader class of so-called and self-proclaimed Republicans known as perversicans, who pervert or betray core values that made theirs the Grand Old Party, in pursuit of political and financial gain, typically both in tandem.
sadim — someone who ruins everything and everyone he touches or comes in contact with, as in the opposite of midas (not our creation, but never seemed as useful as it does today).
saladspeak — the 2018 version of 1984’s doublespeak, in honor of our word salad-spouting would-be dictator; a poor imitation of the original.
santa zone — a belief that requires overlooking as many counterfactuals as the idea that one man on a sleigh can deliver packages to every home on earth in a single night. Three beliefs rapidly approaching the santa zone, if they aren’t already there: that man-made climate change is a hoax, that there was no collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, and the validity of the economic underpinnings supporting the ever-expanding (and increasingly Soviet grey) Green New Deal.
scarebait — headlines designed to frighten and alarm, ostensibly to get clicks, but because most Americans don’t read beyond headlines, contributing to division and despair instead…
selection — any “election” where anything other than the votes of the majority of those who went to the polls determines the result.
sequoias, stacks — sequoias are people or machines with negative carbon footprints, i.e. they reduce carbon emissions more than they emit, standing tall; stacks (as in smokestacks) do the reverse.
shivan — someone who seems intent on destroying the world or everything around him, from the Indian goddess Shiva, “the destroyer of worlds.”
slainte, salud, sante, etc. — we have all kinds of things to say when someone sneezes, but what do we say when they cough, which could well indicate a wide variety of more serious conditions? “Slainte,” “sante,” “salud,” and their equivalents in other languages are typically used as toasts when people are drinking, but they mean “health,” which is only true in moderation. In a nation where more and more of our fellow citizens, especially in the vast swaths of our country that have been left behind economically, are using alcohol and other substances in a desperate and tragic attempt to escape the conditions they live in, in a nation whose bases on both sides of the aisle have concluded that we all need to be in this together, at least where health is concerned, wouldn’t it make more sense to wish “slainte,” “salud” or “sante” to our fellows as they’re trying to ward off the slings and arrows of our century in the air they breathe than as they prepare to descend into oblivion?
somnium’s law — the greatest gains per economic unit invested are achieved when what’s spent is expended on those with the least among us.
sophistorific — someone who is highly knowledgeable and cosmopolitan yet surprisingly, notably bland and boring (cf sophisticated + soporific).
sophistricate — someone expert in the latest, most sophisticated forms of sophistry in making their cases–Byron York, for example.
suicaust — when a whole people has gone down a path that will inevitably result in their own destruction, likely in the most horrific ways. Evangelicals who are thrilled with Trump and disinclined to do anything about climate change because they’re eager to hasten The Rapture had better hope that the Lord doesn’t take the same attitude towards suicausts as they believe He/She does where individual suicides are concerned.
terrorist — synonym for egotist or narcissist. Some of us don’t believe at all in synonyms, but in cases like this, we’re willing to make exceptions for the common good.
thanatotic — someone who behaves as if they have a death wish, for themselves or for everyone around them, from thanatos, the Greek word for death.
tds — aka Trump derangement syndrome, a condition characterized by amusement, delight, or righteous satisfaction every time something he says or does angers or upsets more than half of one’s fellow citizens (or 90%+ of the human race), especially if their outrage is the source of joy.
tweedledeedum — the status or adjective aptly used to describe our government in the last half century, in which our indistinguishable elected millionaires and billionaires stage WWE-like controversies to cover for the fact that they are doing nothing but allowing income inequality to increase and power to become more concentrated, cf. the African proverb: “when elephants fight, only the grass suffers”
the vote — formerly known as the “popular” vote, now given the same name as it’s given in every country with any pretense to be a democracy, a republic, or a constitutional republic, and as it should be in the nation that has held itself up and been held up all over the world as father of same.
troll — a one-dimensional simulacrum of a human being.
trr — tanned, rested, and ready.
true net worth — measured not in how much money you have vs your debts but what your net impact has been on the world. By this standard, a teacher, social worker, or drug counselor, for example, could have a much higher true net worth than someone claiming to be a billionaire who has made his ‘fortune’ building casinos (which ruin people lives), cheating the government of tax revenues (which the rest of us have to make up for, either in taxes or deficit interest), fronting crime syndicates and terrorist organizations, stiffing investors and contractors, defrauding customers, and using the tiny charitable foundation he has created as a personal piggyback, with all attendant ripple effects. Just for example.
trumpist, trumpian — someone who not only has a Dunning-Kruger level of unwarranted confidence in their knowledge and abilities, but believes their knowledge, understanding, and capabilities in most, if not all, domains exceeds that of all individuals who have dedicated their lives to becoming expert in these areas, always ‘following their gut’ even if it’s only leading to a burger chain. As a necessary consequence, they also continually fabricate facts to bend reality to their beliefs.
vengeance — the first resort of autocrats.
veriphobic, veriphobes — someone who is opposed to science and enlightenment or any effort to objectively seek the truth, rather than just rely on their “gut,” what they believe, or “common sense,” from veritas, meaning truth. Hostile to education, educating oneself, knowledge and/or expertise, as well as hostile to those who are educated, intellectual, knowledgeable, or expert. The existing words to describe this quality, e.g. anti-intellectual or philistine, sound effete, elitist, words that could be worn with pride (like “stubborn”). By contrast, veriphobe and veriphobic are ugly and demeaning words, as such behavior deserves to be treated, and cannot be spun positively in any way–what can or should be positive about being afraid of or opposing the search for truth?
velocicog, velocicogging, velocicoggers — another ugly, clearly negative word to describe another ugly, negative behavior that seems to be in vogue today, namely fast, shallow, lazy thinking (per Kahnemann) when it’s not appropriate or necessary, jumping to conclusions; easily duped as a result. From velocity (speed) + cognition (thinking), with a little extinct savagery thrown in.
vicioma — a runaway cancer of the brain caused by an obsession with winning, at all costs.
waac — win at all costs.
whoville — the state or place we’re in when facing WWII-level challenges like climate change that will require ‘every Who in Whoville’ ro overcome, cf. the Dr. Seuss classic, Horton Hears A Who.
worthless(-) — someone who is not merely worthless, but whose net impact on the world has been negative to date (there’s always hope); the superlative form is (worthless(-))^n, i.e. a negative worth to the nth power, someone whose impact on the world has been extremely net negative. Because nearly all humans have significant redeeming qualities, there are very few such people in the world; we can only think of one in the US.
Have words you’d like to add? Mods on the ones we have? Tell us in comments below…