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A Short Guide to Republican Doublespeak

Dog whistles without the cuteness of the 🐶

Alternative Facts

Important note: was not invented by Trump but by Reagan who said:

A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions tell me that’s true, but the facts and evidence tell me it is not.

Captains of Industry

See: Corporate Personhood.

Compassionate Conservatives

See: Alternative Fact

Corporate Personhood

Synonym: “No more taxes!”

Family Values

Fiscal Responsibility

Also: A way to tell racists that the party endorses racism without saying it out loud, as explained in 1981 by GOP strategist Lee Atwater

Y’all don’t quote me on this. You start out in 1954 by saying, “N****r, n****r, n****r”. By 1968 you can’t say “n****r” — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, “We want to cut this”, is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “N****r, n****r”. So, any way you look at it, race is coming on the back-burner.

Law & Order

Also: quoting Nixon’s Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman:

Nixon’s advisers recognized that they could not appeal directly to voters on issues of white supremacy or racism. White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman noted that Nixon “emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognized this while not appearing to”. With the aid of Harry Dent and South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond, who had switched to the Republican Party in 1964, Nixon ran his 1968 campaign on states’ rights and “law and order”. Liberal Northern Democrats accused Nixon of pandering to Southern whites, especially with regard to his “states’ rights” and “law and order” positions, which were widely understood by black leaders to symbolize Southern resistance to civil rights. Wikipedia

Moral Majority

Also: A way to tell racists that the party endorses racism without saying it out loud, as explained in 1990 by conservative activist Paul Weyrich:

Weyrich tried to make a point to his Religious Right brethren (no women attended the conference, as I recall). “Let’s remember,” he said animatedly, “that the Religious Right did not come together in response to the Roe decision. No, Weyrich insisted, what got us going as a political movement was the attempt on the part of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to rescind the tax-exempt status of Bob Jones University because of its racially discriminatory policies.”

Pro-Life

States’ Rights

See: Law & Order

Trickle Down

What they mean: How can we convince the poor of this country that they shouldn’t unionise, shouldn’t ask for decent minimum wages, and overall let us deal with our Captains of Industry friends? I know, let’s have them believe than when the rich get richer, the poor somehow get richer by association! Brilliant!”

Will of the People

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

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