The dictionary defines doublespeak as “deliberately euphemistic, ambiguous and obscure language.” Most politicians are adept and frequent “doublespeakers.” So much so, that the dictionary further explains the word as: the art of political doublespeak.
But if political doublespeak is art, then the GOP has surpassed this art form and created an entirely new one: “oppositespeak.” It all started with George W. Bush. His “No Child Left Behind” actually left many poor kids behind since school funding was based on students’ standardized test scores and poor school districts usually have lower scores.
His “Healthy Forest Initiative” allowed logging companies to cut large fire-resistant trees and allowed more logging of ancient forests through the overhaul of the Northwest Forest Plan. And then, of course, there was the famous “Mission Accomplished” which turned out not only to be “Mission Just Started” but also “Mission F#@%d Up.”
John McCain came next with his “Country First.” Even Darth-Vader Dick Cheney has recently admitted that Sarah Palin’s nomination as McCain’s VP was a mistake. But, back in 2008, McCain showed that he had no qualms about putting his “Country Last” as long as he had a chance to capture the female vote and the presidency.
Paul Ryan (long before he became Romney’s VP pick) launched his “Path To Prosperity” budget in response to the ballooning deficit. Yes, I’m referring to the deficit blamed on President Obama but actually begun by Dubya when he started giving tax breaks to everyone including the super-rich while spending billions of dollars a month on a war in Iraq. All to prove that he was more of a man than his daddy and in the process blowing the budget surplus that President Clinton had handed over to him.
But anyway, Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” includes tax cuts for corporations and the rich, and proposes a Medicare voucher system whereby senior citizens would pay higher out-of-pocket amounts for health care. In other words, Ryan’s budget is really a “Path to [Further] Prosperity” for the rich, but worse, a “Path to Poverty” for the rest of us.
Fast-forward to today and we have Republicans claiming to want to “Take The Country Back.” We’re now familiar with their “oppositespeak” so we understand that this really means “Take The Country Backward” starting with anti-choice initiatives for women and voter suppression antics, that mostly affect the African-American community, through the Tea Party’s spin-off movement “True The Vote.” One tactic that will be used to true the vote will be to send white activists to black polling places “in order to intimidate black voters,” as reported by Rachel Maddow.
At the current RNC convention, GOP slogans like “We Built It” and “We Can Do Better” have been installed around the auditorium alluding to President Obama. But, by saying “we can do better” Republicans have inadvertently spoken the truth. They can definitely do better by stopping the obstruction, outrageous lies and political malpractice that they have exercised since President Obama’s inauguration. They can do better by stopping the divisiveness, racism, and sexism peddled by the likes of Rush Limbaugh.
If Republicans decide to start acting like an inclusive, legitimate political party and start compromising with Democrats in a healthy, give-and-take political process then, of course, “We Can [all] Do Better,” and move our country forward. Yes, we can.