I Made a New Word LX


Macrospeak (n.)

First, some background: I’m shamelessly borrowing from Orwell. From the SparkNotes…

Newspeak is engineered to remove even the possibility of rebellious thoughts–the words by which such thoughts might be articulated have been eliminated from the language. Newspeak contains no negative terms. For example, the only way to express the meaning of “bad” is through the word “ungood.” Something extremely bad is called “doubleplus ungood.”

Commenter severian came up with a good recommendation to follow, over at our new collaborative project Rotten Chestnuts:

Hit ‘em where they live.

Liberals are desperate to think of themselves as independent-minded deep thinking nonconformists. That’s why their first reaction to any unexpected stimulus is to run to their blogs and JournoLists, to see what all the other independent-minded deep thinking nonconformists have to say about it (see, for instance, this fascinating article from Mother Jones straight up instructing liberals how to think).

Use that. Mock them mercilessly. “Oh, it’s because I’m a racist, is it? Was it The Nation or Daily Kos who said that?” “Ah, so that’s the newest directive from Democratic Underground, eh?” “Yes, yes, I know – I get email updates from Organizing for America, too.” “Wow, I wonder how many F4 keys the New York Times has worn out with that macro.” &c.

For those who might protest — no, those who are leftward-of-leaning think much more independently than that, and you do not do them justice — right on cue, along comes Sen. Claire McCaskill:

“I feel almost sorry for John Boehner,” McCaskill said. “There is incredible pressure on him from a base of his party that is unreasonable about this. And he’s gotta decide, is his speakership more important, or is the country more important. And in some ways, he has got to deal with this base of the Republican Party, who Grover Norquist represents.”

Yes. It is quite “unreasonable” to question whether our government can spend our money better than we can…at a time when the Secretary of the Treasury is a tax cheat. No way in the world, is it reasonable to question the process in which we all have to skimp and scrimp and save to live within our means, so we can pay taxes to a government that is trying to repeal its own debt limit. That’s just so extreme and stuff.

Macrospeak is, therefore, speech disseminated from a lefty politician or power-broker, for consumption by lefty myrmidons, relying so much on hackneyed focus-group-tested codebook phrases that it veers away from the objective of forming or following any original content.

Cross-posted at House of Eratosthenes and Rotten Chestnuts.

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