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A Short Guide to Republican Doublespeak

Dog whistles without the cuteness of the 🐶

Alternative Facts

What they mean: “We really don’t like what’s happening now, so we’re going to pretend our eyes don’t see, our ears don’t listen, our noses don’t smell, and focus on what we believe inside our little hearts.”

Captains of Industry

What they mean: “Now that we’ve given billionaires permission to spend as much as they want on campaign financing, we might as well flatter them with some fancy, military-sounding titles to fumble their egos and make them feel powerful.”

Compassionate Conservatives

Definition: Their existence is, one must use the proper words once in a while, an alternative fact.

Corporate Personhood

Definition: The brilliant idea that corporations’ speech is protected under the First Amendment and that corporations can exercise their right through spending copious amounts of money on campaign financing.

Family Values

What they mean: “We really take offence to the fact that two people of the same sex could love each other and affectionately raise children, but we can’t say it outright. So instead we’re really going to focus our narrative on the family as we divorce our spouses who are battling cancer or, more simple, as we cheat on them repeatedly.”

Fiscal Responsibility

What they mean: “By cutting all welfare programmes and all taxes on the rich, we reduce the spending and reward our friends, the Captains of Industry, who benefitted tremendously from Corporate Personhood. We sure are responsible for an improvement of their fiscal positions. Fiscally responsible!”

Law & Order

What they mean: “How can we convince racists that we are racists too without saying it outright to win the non-racist vote still? Let’s tell them it’s all about security and order!”

Moral Majority

What they mean: “Let brand ourselves as true moral Christians to pander to the Evangelicals, and let’s phrase it in such a way as to make it look like we represent the true will of the people.”


Definition: A great marketing coup that appropriated life and, to a certain extent, the American way of life (“Live free or die”) in opposition to Roe and women rights in general. Hard-to-argue-with argument (who’s against life) whose proponents also opposed, successfully, the Equal Rights Amendment.

States’ Rights

What they mean: “The best way we’ve found yet to talk about white supremacy and segregation. It’s worked since 1861!”

Trickle Down

Definition: Corollary to Fiscal Responsibility and, by extension, States’ rights.

Will of the People

See: Corporate Personhood.

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Entrepreneur, CFO, advisor. I write about fundraising, startup finance, and business strategy here and in my newsletter:

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