A Lexicon of Conservative Invective

Let’s consign these words and concepts to the dustbin, STFU and start actually listening



They say the secret to bricks-and-mortar retail success is location, location, location. The secret to marketing success — and that includes the conservative marketing of bumper-stickers pretending to be actual thinking — is repetition, repetition, repetition.

Marketing is basically mind manipulation and to this end typically employs the cognitive bias known as the “availability heuristic” — our tendency to take the mental short-cut (heuristic) of reaching for the easiest-remembered, top of mind information.

This is merely annoying when you realize you’re buying Coke instead of Pepsi because you start humming I’d like to teach the world to sing as soon as you hit the soft-drinks aisle at Loblaws. It’s another thing altogether when you see POC in the same aisle and think “illegal immigrants collecting welfare.”

But, whiter laundry or whiter supremacy, the method is identical: positioning of the messaging as authoritative, then reinforcement of ideas that highjack all standards of logic, common sense and decency to further hidden and not-so-hidden agendas.

Donald Trump, say what you like about him, and if you don’t mind, I will, was and remains an evil marketing genius, cooking up hideous Franken-memes in his underground lab of relentlessly re-animated repetitions.

Remember? Never just “Hillary”, but “crooked Hillary.” Never just “news”, but “fake News”. “Stolen election”. “Enemy of the people.” Never once does he deviate or let up.

Repetition, repetition… From Trump’s very first speech, fear-mongering about “illegals”, “rapists”, “gangs”; constant obnoxious stereotyping to such a degree that his base, already simmering with resentment, latched onto this validation of their fears and in poll after poll still consistently over-estimate the number of undocumented immigrants present in the US by twenty percent.

We’re all vulnerable, we can all let our guards down. Marketing is the devil to resist, especially now that Trump is less obviously the centre of attention. We think we’re safe, but the disinformation is all around us.

Worn down by the onslaught of conservative dreck, we start to entertain right-wing tropes, a coffee date at first, just out of curiosity.

Soon the shocking becomes normalized and those sleazy tropes invite you up to their place, plying you with twisted logic as they nibble on your earlobes. Before you know it you’re waking up beside them, sick with regret, sobbing, “That Jordan Peterson lecture was a gateway video!”

Let’s be smarter. Let’s start pushing back. Let’s look through our heads and throw out anything dubious we’ve been hoarding.

It’s like that hideous Christmas sweater with the reindeer Uncle Herb gave you last year. You don’t just throw it out because you need the closet space.

You throw it out because one day you’re gonna break down and wear it.


A Lexicon of Conservative Invective


Politically Correct (PC)

: The granddaddy of them all.

The mostly conservative, but sometimes liberal, strategy of claiming victimhood (I was silenced on my channel with three hundred thousand subscribers!) but also courage (I spoke out on my channel to my three hundred thousand subscribers!) by taking isolated incidents of controversy out of context and magnifying / extrapolating them to society at large, in order to create a bogus enemy.

The purpose of this exercise is to shut down conversations that those in power would rather not have by placing such discussions beyond the pale and mocking the demands of marginalized groups that they be treated with respect and dignity.

No one has ever been able to establish what, precisely, is meant by this term, mainly because the stifling of discourse and censorship it claims to highlight never actually happened.

Interestingly, the earliest uses of this term were by left-wing activists and academics in the 60s and 70s, who used it ironically to point out when they felt their colleagues were being overly dogmatic. But once the term flew the coop, it was latched onto by those on the right to excoriate “Marxist” university professors and their “agenda”.

The term fell out of use in the aftermath of 9/11, but resurged during the later Obama years, with the appearance of Black Lives Matter. This time, however, rather than professors, it was students under attack, and by self-styled liberals, outraged that their students were being “coddled” by safe spaces, and “acting victimized” by “petty” microaggressions, thus playing into the tired trope that this generation is just a bunch of whiny narcissists unable to cope with the harsh realities of life.

I recently endured, sorry, watched, a discussion on YouTube, from 2019, moderated by Malcolm Gladwell, with Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, co-authors of “The Coddling of the American Mind”. Here’s the clickbait intro:

“…On college campuses across America, visiting speakers are disinvited, or even shouted down, while professors, students, and administrators are afraid to talk openly, for fear that someone will take offense…”

It sounds like East Berlin in the sixties, with children denouncing their parents to Stasi!

I listened with increasing impatience, but when Haidt declared that “ gays (and all those coddled students, I assume) should just learn to suck it up” I all but hurled the monitor across the room.

Gay people and today’s youth are not “coddled”. We’re just not going to put up with your smug superiority and your disrespect anymore.

The web has also made the new generation a little expectant of instant gratification, big deal, and when that’s wanting instant gratification for a greener planet and more justice, bring it on.

Today’s youth are just not willing to sit down and shut up, despite what their wise elders command. Young women will not put up with the misogynist crap their mothers put up with; LGBTQ2+ demand an end to demeaning treatment as second-class citizens; Black Americans played the game, and found the game was stacked and unwinnable, and are no longer playing nice in order to soothe the tender feelings of white oppressors.

And as for gay men: gay men, in fact all same-sex, transgender and gender-non conforming people are among the least coddled on the planet, because we’ve lived, and still live, our lives waging constant battle for our dignity and equality, even acknowledgement that we exist. We eat rock-hard shit for breakfast then go dancing backwards in high heels. So kindly put the lid on the condescending lectures on “sucking it up” and “being coddled.”

You know who’s coddled?

Privileged, heterosexual white men who want to say anything they want and suffer no consequences and listen to no criticisms, then go wringing their hands about it on YouTube so they can sell their inane books about their non-existent problems.


Cancel Culture

: The strategy of claiming there should be no consequences to anything you do or say, regardless of how obnoxious or insensitive it may be, and that anyone who takes offense is just part of a liberal conspiracy.

The best way to deal with this is to point out that everyone’s free to say or do pretty much whatever they want, good taste, bad taste or no taste at all, and this includes the people who leave your show, protest outside your lecture hall or comedy club, heckle you, fire you, cancel your contract, or otherwise exercise exactly the same rights as you.

You’ll just start another YouTube channel anyway, so what are you moaning about? Hurrah for ideological silos, long may you stay in yours!


Social Justice Warrior

: Once widely used, this term has fallen off the map recently, possibly because it’s challenging to explain to people why they should feel ashamed of fighting for social justice, and conservatives just don’t like to think that hard.


Snowflake

: an infantilizing and (if directed at a male) emasculating term, implying that any kind of push back to being demeaned or bullied proves you’re just over-sensitive, not like tough conservatives! But remember: not only are individual snowflakes unique, perfectly symmetrical miracles of nature, you can get together with lots of other snowflakes to create an awesome blizzard that can blast a conservative’s gas-guzzling stretch Hummer into a ditch.


Mainstream Media (MSM)

: in this subtle bit of semantic drift, “mainstream” no longer means

  • the established media outlets which everyone in the world has come to trust because, on balance, they’ve not just told the truth but spoken truth to power over decades, sometimes centuries, of dedication to high standards of journalism, all of which is easily verifiable by examining their history.

Through conservative alchemy, “mainstream” is now code for

  • the big broadsheet newspapers and long-established media outlets who are just agents of the deep state in the service of shadowy agendas and cannot ever be trusted to tell the truth. In fact, whatever they state to be the truth is the opposite of the truth. That their truth does actually appear to be the truth is simply a measure of their deviousness.

This is opposed to completely trustworthy, rock-solid media such as Fox News (the propaganda arm of the Trump administration); virtual fringe publications like Breitbart which conflate facts with opinions and make no pretense to objectivity; and completely cracker-jack bulletin boards like 4chan promulgating conspiracy theories, racism, and antisemitism, and lacking any kind of transparency or accountability.

I mean, all that being the case, who would trust the mainstream media, right?


N**i, He Who Should Not Be Named, Holocaust Denial

: The go-to slurs for conservatives who are either tone-deaf to the tastelessness of appropriating the Holocaust for slanging matches and political ammunition, or who are quite aware of the tastelessness and revel in it. Another example of, invariably, white people taking it for granted that anything, even genocide, is theirs to trivialize and plunder for personal gain.

Are you Jewish? No? Then none of these words should ever issue from your stupid white face.

In fact, let’s start thinking of “N**i” as the other n-word.


Socialism

: the concept that government funds or tax cuts given to rich white executives, corporations, or homeowners is a well-deserved entitlement, but that any funds given to the poor or disadvantaged is a handout.

Capitalism, one of the great laws of the universe — and goldarn that Sir Isaac Newton for neglecting to goose-quill it down in his Moleskin notebook — is so perfect in its outcomes it invariably rewards the hardworking and punishes the lazy, so if you’re poor or homeless, it must be your fault. Because poor people are such a drain on the economy we need to control their rapaciousness by making it so difficult to claim benefits that they eventually give up in frustration.

The hysterical cry of “socialism” is the smack-down for any attempt to discuss universal health care in the US.

Insurance always involves mandatory premiums, that is, pooling money which is then available for use by members of the insured group. People don’t tend to complain, “I’m not paying for your carburetor replacement!” So what is the mental barrier to health insurance?

The answer, of course, is race. And the elephant in the room is that no way are white people gonna stand back and see Black people get the same benefits as them.

If people bring up the spectre of “socialism” you could try to explain that the “National Socialists” were no more socialist than the “People’s Republic” is a republic of the people, and good luck to you on that one.


Shameless Appropriation

: the conservative practice of appropriating liberal concepts they’ve scoffed at previously and using them in a way that reverses their true meaning.

Thus, males who would gladly bomb an abortion clinic, and who profess hatred of feminists, will not hesitate to join an anti-vaxx protest carrying a sign saying, “My body, my choice!”

“Religious freedom” means “the right to force Christianity into public life whether the public wants it or not.” But this doesn’t work both ways: “freedom” is this context actually means restriction on the freedom of others, because if you’re atheist, or gay, this will cause offense and therefore a limitation on their “freedom”. Freedom really means an insistence on not being offended, and the onus is on you to keep yourself in line.

“Liberty” means the absolute right to do or say, or not do or not say, anything at any time to anyone for any reason and in any way, without any consequences, and without considering anything but what the liberty-desiring individual wishes.

Liberty thus only refers to oneself, regardless of any harm caused to others, because others effectively don’t exist. There is no one more important than oneself, and it’s a zero-sum game.

All Lives Matter! cries the White establishment in their best hurt tone, disingenuously implying that they don’t get it, that Black people want more than they deserve, when a five-year-old could understand that the message is Black Lives Matter, So Start Acting Like They Do.

(see also N**i, above)


Progressive Stockholm Syndrome

: The contrary tendency with some progressives to get ornery and argue against progressive concepts possibly because they make us uncomfortable or trigger our unexamined biases.

The social scientists who came up with concepts such as microaggressions, critical race theory, white fragility, didn’t do so just to get on the news or to annoy you. Their intent, like any scientist, was to find explanations for what actually happens.

“Microaggressions” is not an idea snatched out of the air and then justified post hoc by cherry picking data. It was the name given to a daily experience of disrespect and verbal / physical abuse based on white supremacy / heteronormative assumptions / misogyny, indicated by the data.

In other words, the reality and the experience came first; then the label.

In science, your study whose results seem to contradict the consensus of a worldwide body of scientists who’ve all converged on the same good explanation is without question wrong. Check your data.

Your out-of-hand rejection of any new paradigms — microaggressions; white fragility — that aren’t within your lived experience is not a sign that you are a feisty renegade who can tear holes in arguments made by people who have experienced these things.

It’s a sign you need to STFU and listen.


Sheeple, Herd Mentality.

: the libertarian concept that anyone who takes advice from scientists or defers to authority in any way, even when anyone can see, in real time, that their advice is correct, is a gullible moron.

Taking horse de-wormer, believing that the 2020 election was stolen, or thinking that Hillary eats babies on her pizza, none of which concepts have a shred of evidence to offer and thus actually do make you a gullible moron, are never called being a Sheeple—because all those millions of gullible morons doing exactly the same thing are proud, independent thinkers.

The best way for you to counter this is to go ahead and be a sheeple, get vaccinated, and not die so you can be on duty in the ICU when the gullible morons are admitted.

They’ll appreciate someone with empathy being there to hold their hand.

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