Nomenclature

Bob Dole

Remember when Bob Dole seemed like the meanest Republican?

Sadly, in politics what you name things can have powerful long-term effects. Consider what things might be like if the estate tax were commonly called the “child justice tax” or the “level playing field tax” or something like that; instead we have the party of money (more on what we should call it below) making great strides, if only in firming the spines of the faithful and semi-faithful, by working hard for decades now to brand the estate as the “death tax”. And lo and behold, there’s a lot less estate tax than there was when I was a kid.

Similarly, for many, many years, going back at least to Bob Dole, the ‘own-the-libs’-type Republicans have made it a point to call the majority party the “Democrat party”. I’m not entirely sure why, maybe just because “Democrat party” sounds so much harsher then “Democratic Party”? Anyway, maybe it’s time to take a leaf from that book and start referring to the second-largest national party as the “anti-Democratic” party. After all, its national electoral success are based not on the popular vote, but the functional gerrymandering of the Senate, of state Congressional district lines, and of the Electoral College. Plus, a major tactical objective of the Anti-Democratic party is to suppress turnout by reducing weekend voting, cutting polling locations and hours in the hopes of creating long lines and discouraging voters, banning ballot drop boxes, and enacting voter ID rules whose true purpose is to deter voters.

Now, consider the post-Dobbs world. Will we still refer to the sides as “pro-choice” and “anti-abortion”? I hope not. We should call the opponents of a right of a person to make intimate decisions about their body what they are: the proponents of “forced birth”. And to the hardest-core who would ban abortion in cases of rape or incest, ask them why “rapists should be allowed to choose the mother of their child?”. These may sound harsh today, but that is what it takes.

Names matter.

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1 Response to Nomenclature

  1. Dan Riley says:

    Tories. Over and over again the modern Republican Party has adopted the positions of the anti-federalists. They pro forma claim to love the constitution, but their understanding of it is irremediably warped.

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