Creative Politics means creative language too. Politicians and pundits are coining new phrases and words all the time–let’s make ours better.
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, most Democrats in high profile debates; less than ineffectual.
animystic — someone who draws on all points of view and respects the essential mystery of life, from animism (which holds that all living things have souls, and sometimes non-living entities like rivers and mountains too) 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, typically male, 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.
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, as opposed to their money.
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; our first attempt to come up with a word a level beyond “despicable,” since it’s pretty clear we need one.
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.
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 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)
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).
idiologue — an ideologue of any stripe, because all ideologues are idiots.
kasparov’s law — anything a machine can do, a machine + a human can do better; corollary: when/where this is not true, the machine should do the job (man should not be used as a machine).
libran — balanced in an elevated, even cosmic way, if not bipartisan.
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.
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.
projectionism, projectionist — A political ‘philosophy’ that attributes to its opponents actions that its own adherents are, in fact, carrying out, and motives that its adherents would have if they were in the same position that their opponents find themselves in. 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 are orange to the core, and their brains have turned to mush…but just as in Cinderella, it’s never too late to change back…
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, a la repo men, the professionals who take from the poor and give to the rich.
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.
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…
shivan — someone who seems intent on destroying the world or everything around him, from the Indian goddess Shiva, “the destroyer of worlds.”
sophistorific — someone who is highly knowledgeable and cosmopolitan yet surprisingly, notably bland and boring (cf sophisticated + soporific).
suicaust — when a whole people has gone down a path that will inevitably result in their own destruction, likely in the most horrific ways
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.
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.
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.
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…