This is a parody and response to Scare Words from the Right-Wing (And What They Really Mean) by Matthew Desmond. The first half of this piece will consist of words and issues, how liberals view them, and what they really mean. The second half will consist of labels (or rather insults) liberals use against their opponents, followed by what liberals really mean when they use them.
What they want you to think it means: White Christian heterosexual property-owning men who fear change and distrust anyone who isn't one of them.
What it really means: Individuals who want change to happen naturally and gradually (rather than radically) and who base their lives on traditional values and principles which have been tested by both history and experience, rather than on theories which have not been tested, or if they have, have been proven to fail.
What they want you to think it means: Immature teenagers (mainly from privileged white middle-class families) who, because of their naivety and lack of real-world experience, want the government to abandon all laws, regulations, and taxes, thereby allowing them to do whatever they pleaseprovided they have the money. (In other words: anarchy for the rich!)
What it really means: People who believe in libertymore specifically, that everyone has, as the Declaration of Independence states, "certain unalienable rights" such as "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," and that it is the sole duty of government to protect those rights. Therefore, laws and regulations should be restricted to protecting individuals and their rights, while preventing other individuals from infringing on those rights. They want individuals to live their own lives and make their own decisions according to their own self-interests without unnecessary government coercion.
What they want you to think it means: An evil, corrupt economic system which exploits the poor through slave wages in order to increase the wealth of the rich. (In other words, "the rich get rich and the poor get poorer!)
What it really means: An economic system based upon a free market where consenting individuals engage in voluntary trade and labor according to their own self-interests, thus increasing wealth and raising living standards for everyonerich or poor.
What they want you to think it means: An economic system where the means of production and distribution of goods are controlled by the state through public ownership. Because all goods, services, and industries are administered through public ownership (thus eliminating private property), they can be used to serve the common good of society rather than the profit-seeking self-interests of the bourgeoisie.
What it really means: A failed economic system where, because profit is no longer a motivation and everyone is treated "equally" regardless of labor or effort, there is no incentive to innovate or prosper, thus stagnating wealth and promoting complacency. This is why socialist countries (such as Greece and Iceland) have become bankrupt. (In the words of Penn Jillette, socialism is where "no one really tries to win, so everyone ends up an equal ass**** loser and everything suck for everyone.")
What they want you to think it means: A political-economic system based upon Karl Marx's ideal of a stateless, classless society where all citizens are treated equally and all wealth is held in common, thus allowing everyone to benefit from society, and thus ending all forms of oppression and inequality.
What it really means: A totalitarian ideology where private property is abolished and wealth is forcibly redistributed by a centralized government. Because it is based upon romanticized ideals and unrealistic goals, every Communist society has been an utter failure, becoming a totalitarian dictatorship rather than the sparkling utopia that Marx had envisioned.
What they want you to think it means: A mob of racist Rednecks (mostly white Christian heterosexual property-owning menwith the occasional woman or minority suffering from "Stockholm Syndrome") manipulated by corporations and Fox News into hating Obama simply for being black.
What it really means: A populist, grassroots movement inspired by the Ron Paul Revolution (not by the corporations or Fox News) and featuring Americans (mostly Republicans, but also Independents and disenfranchised Democrats) who are more concerned with Obama's failed policies (such as his economic stimulus and bank bailouts) rather than his skin color (though there are a few questionable signs).
What they want you to think it means: The evil corporate propaganda machine of the Republican party. Run by the neo-nazi Rupert Murdoch, its sole purpose is to propagate talking points, lies, and misinformation meant to deceive the public and corrupt democracy.
What it really means: The only news network with a right-wing biasa network that only exists because of the prevalent left-wing bias in the rest of the mainstream media, be it subtle ("MSNBC" and "The New York Times") or open ("MSNBC" and "The Huffington Post").
What they want you to think it means: Evil, corrupt businesses run by greedy, selfish tycoons who smoke cigars, wear top hats and monocles, and carry big money bags. Existing merely to exploit the poor and pollute the environment, they must be controlled through higher taxes and increased regulations.
What it really means: Large businesses which only have the power and influence they have because of government intervention in the marketplace. Because the government has the power to intervene through taxes and regulations, corporations often lobby the government so that regulations and taxes benefit them and hurt their competition. This creates a tilted playing field (which would not exist in a true free market) that favors corporations and hurts small businesses. Corporatism is therefore a symptom, rather than the problem.
What they want you to think it means: The money siphoned by greedy, selfish CEOsoften at the expense, and through the exploitation, of the workersin order to line their pockets so they can buy yachts and fancier mansions. If businesses and services weren't motivated by profit, they would be better motivated to contribute to the common good and thus better society.
What it really means: The income left over after expenses are deducted from revenue. Sometimes used to benefit the business owner, but oftentimes invested in innovating and improving the business, thus lowering costs and prices and increasing wealth for all involved. If businesses and services weren't motivated by profit, there would be no incentive to innovate and prosper, thus promoting complacency and stagnating wealth.
What they want you to think it means: A synonym for the vice of selfishness which allows individuals (especially the greedy and corrupt) to think only of themselves rather than othersespecially the poor, needy, and less fortunate. This type of thinking leads to a society where it is literally every man for himself.
What it really means: Individuals being free to make their own decisions and live their own lives according to their own goals, motivations, and aspirations without government coercion.
What they want you to think it means: Giving money to the richest 2%and only richest 2%so they can buy yachts and fancier mansions, while the remaining, less fortunate population feed on table scraps.
What it really means: Giving money back to taxpayersregardless of income, especially the "richest 2%" (who carry most of the tax burden!)so that they may spend money according to their needs and, therefore, stimulate the economy.
What they want you to think it means: Programs (like welfare, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid) which benefit the poor, needy, and less fortunate in society, and which are only opposed by greedy, selfish bastards who could care less about the poor and needy ("f*** the poor!).
What it really means: Failed programs which do very little to help the poor and needy, and have instead made them dependent on the government, thereby making it impossible to escape poverty on their own.
What they want you to think it means: A service (healthcare/education/etc.) provided to all citizensregardless of their incomewithout charge.
What it really means: A service (usually a state-run bureaucratic monopoly where the average citizen has no say and no choice in how it's run or operated) provided to all citizens with taxpayers receiving the tab.
What they want you to think it means: An excuse by gun-toting rednecks so they can carry weapons wherever they want and shoot up the place. The reason why there is increased violence and homicide in the country, if not the world.
What it really means: Allowing law-abiding citizensrather than only the police and criminalsto own and carry guns so they can defend themselves and keep the government in check.
What they want you to think it means: A movement dedicated to protecting the unalienable right of women to their own bodies and to make decisions concerning their reproduction. Anyone who does not support this is a misogynist who wants women to be the cattle of the state.
What it really means: A movement dedicated to allowing women to abort their unborn children (or as they describe it: a clump of cells no different than a tumor) on demand for any reason they desireeven if it's not to protect their own health or lives. (As the ever witty Ann Coulter put it, abortion is "the right to have sex with men you don't want to have children with!")
Global Warming/Climate Change
What they want you to think it means: The scientific fact (accepted by the majority of scientists, of course!) that the earth's climate is growing warmer due to increased carbon emission. This fact is often denied by big oil companies and corporations who seek to earn higher profits, and, therefore, scam uneducated illiterates into thinking it's a scam so they can vote against regulationsespecially cap and trade.
What it really means: The misconception that increased carbon in the atmosphere has increased temperature when, in reality, temperature often rose before carbon. The earth's climate has fluctuated throughout history, regardless of man's activity; and even if it was proven that man is causing recent climate change, even the most drastic of solutions would only reduce the earth's temperature by a fraction of a percent.
Arizona Immigration Bill
What they want you to think it means: A draconian bill that allows state law-enforcersespecially racist, bigoted, xenophobic law enforcersto stop anyone who appears to be Hispanic and arrest them for being "illegal immigrants," thus turning Arizona into a fascist state akin to Nazi Germany.
What it really means: A bill that, due to increased illegal immigration, takes federal immigration laws and applies it to the state level. Law enforcers can only question people about their immigration status during a "lawful stop, detention, or arrest" and cannot be based solely on race.
The following words are labels (or rather insults) often used by liberals against their opponentsmostly conservatives and libertarians. The first description is what liberals claim to be arguing against. The second description is what they are really saying.
What they claim to be saying (and want you to think): Mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging Neanderthals (more specifically, white Christian heterosexual property-owning men) who hate progress, change, and social justice, and who want to drag society back to the Stone Age.
What they are really saying: Individuals (mostly conservatives and libertarians) who want progress, change, and social justice, but want it to come naturally and gradually through the will of the people rather than radically though the force of government coercion. They also wish to preserve traditional values and principles which have been proven by both history and experience, while rejecting theories which (though they are called "progressive") have not been tested, or if they have, have been proven to fail. (To quote C.S. Lewis: "We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.")
What they claim to be saying (and want you to think): Inbred, toothless hicks (normally white Christian heterosexual property-owning men) from Red states who, because of their lack of education and literacy, are racist, bigoted, xenophobic, homophobic, and easily misled by the Republican party and corporations into voting against their own interests.
What they are really saying: Those from the South who are not liberal or Democrats. (In other words, most of the South!)
What they claim to be saying (and want you to think): Uncivilized bigots (normally white Christian heterosexual property-owning men) who hate and fear people of different skin color, and who wish to reinstate slavery and Jim Crow laws.
What they are really saying: People who believe that African-Americans (and other minorities) deserve equal rights, but not special privileges. They do not believe that African Americans should be given "reparations" simply because their ancestors were brought here as slaves, nor given special consideration during employment, nor have any crimes committed against them judged more harshly, nor viewed as victims of an "oppressive, racist society."
Chauvinists/Misogynists/Women Haters/Male Pigs
What they claim to be saying (and want you to think): White Christian heterosexual property-owning men who hate women and wish for them to be subservient housewives who do nothing but cook, clean, and bear children. They especially hate women who have control over their bodies through contraception and abortion. They want women to be nothing more than sperm receptacles and incubators for their children.
What they are really saying: People who believe that women deserve equal rights, but not special privileges. They do not believe that women should be allowed to have abortions for any reason they desire (unless it's to preserve their health or life), nor looked down upon for choosing traditional roles, nor given special consideration during employment, nor have any crimes committed against them judged more harshly, nor viewed as victims of an "oppressive, patriarchal society."
What they claim to be saying (and want you to think): White nationalists and racists (especially skinhead KKK members and Minutemen) who believe that America is only for white Christian heterosexual property-owning men like themselves, and therefore, possess an irrational fear of foreigners and immigrantsespecially Hispanics!
What they are really saying: People who, recognizing that America is a melting pot built by immigration, welcome and encourage immigrants to come into this country, provided they do so legally and with proper documentation. Therefore, they seek stronger borders and regulations that prevent immigrants from entering illegally and remaining undocumented. They believe that immigrants who want to live in this country should learn English, pay taxes, obey the law, and assimilate into our American culture.
What they claim to be saying (and want you to think): The irrational belief (held by flag-waving, pledge saying, "God Bless America" singing simpletons) that America is the best country in the world (when in reality, it is the worst!) and that anyone who believes otherwise and criticizes America is an unpatriotic traitor.
What they are really saying: The rational belief that America, regardless of its faults and past mistakes, is a great country because of its dedication to ensuring liberty, freedom, and opportunity to all of its citizens, and thus for being an example to other countries. While America is not perfect (and never will be), it is better than most other countries. On occasion, those who truly love their country and believe in what it stands for should openly criticize it when it fails to meet its own expectations (not just the expectations of other countriesespecially socialist, European countries).
What they claim to be saying (and want you to think): Unenlightened simpletons (usually rednecks withor withouta high school education) who believe everything they are toldunless it is from an expert (like Noam Chomsky) who knows better than them.
What they are really saying: People who are openly skeptical and do not believe everything they are told, even if it's from someone (more notably an ideologue) with a PHD (and agenda).
What they want you to think (and want you to think): Any radio show or program (notably Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck) that spews bigoted, hateful, racist, and ignorant messages meant to divide the country and incite hate and violence.
What they are really saying: Any radio show or program (notably Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck) that supports conservative or libertarian politics rather than liberal politics.
What they want you to think (and want you to think): Violent, divisive language spewed by bigoted hatemongers in order to divide the country and incite violence against politicians (as was clearly the case with the Tucson shooting, which was inspired by Sarah Palin's political map with crosshairs over Democratic districts, and by her tweet "Don't retreat, reload!")
What they are really saying: Overtly exaggerated metaphors, imagery, and language which, while violent in nature, are not meant to be taken literally. The only people who take such rhetoric as serious threats are hypersensitive, politically-correct types who fail to understand figure of speech.