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3/18/2018 8:49 am  #1

Do Words Mean Anything Anymore?

I have recently read some news articles about Republican Senator Jeff Flake considering entering the Presidential race in 2020. (My interest here is not in the race itself). The reaction of Trump supporters was interesting.
One wrote that electing Flake would be "Like electing a democrat". Another Referred to Flake as a RINO (Republican in name only).

A quick review of the facts would show that Flake, in fact, has impeccable conservative credentials.
During his tenure in the House Flake was one of eight reps to get a 100% approval rating from the American Conservative Union. He's pro-life, opposes same sex marriage. And his views are longstanding.

In summation, Flake was a conservative back when Donald Trump was writing checks to Chuck Schumer and supporting late term abortions.

So, what gives? Well, terms such as liberal, conservative, RINO, etc are still in active use by the supporters of Donald Trump, but they have been stripped of all meaning. The supporters of Donald Trump are not conservatives as I understand the term. They have jettisoned conservative ideology for a cult of personality. What ideology Trump supporters do have could be charitably described as white national populism.

So, RINO, Democrat, Liberal have become rather meaningless slurs, while conservative has become an equally meaningless term of praise.

Consider, for a moment, Donald Trump's s-show after the Florida school shooting. In a meeting with Congressmen Trump said that he supported "Taking guns first, and going through due process later". If any other politician had said this, he would have been soundly condemned by conservatives (Liberals as well). The comment was careless and alarming. And Donald Trump would have deserved some criticism for a statement so much at odds with American values. But, on the right there was a deafening silence. I guess that the more savvy Trump supporters knew immediately that Trump would - within moments - cave to the NRA. Others, I think just didn't care. If Trump says something - anything - they feel obliged to defend it.

I have concluded that Trump supporters are not so much pro-Trump as they are anti-anti-Trump. They will use traditional language to defend Trump, but it no longer means what it once did. Criticism of Trump is not countered with rational arguments. It is met with reflexive ridicule. Moreover, A Trump statement is never evaluated in terms of Is it true, is it logical, is it helpful. Does it put forth a reasonable plan. No, a Trump statement merely has to anger the other side to be, by definition, a good statement. If it makes liberals' heads explode, then it's a good statement.

God help us.

Last edited by Goose (3/18/2018 8:54 am)

We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 

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