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View Diary: Dick Durbin Insults Everyone Else's Intelligence About Social Security (85 comments)

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  •  I might agree with this about some words (1+ / 0-)
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    wbramh

    But not when it comes to rights and entitlements. Those are CORE Democratic words. We can still fight and win on that ground. I'm not moving because today's Democrats think the words have turned negative. Their messaging and their decisions about which semantics to fight for have been nothing to write home about. Democrats have mainly bought into the neoliberal ideology and that is one of the main reason why the Democrats are continuous able to shift the Overton Window to the right. People like me are going to shift it back to the left, and one way we're going to do it is by telling people that they rights and entitlements and the rich and the big corporations need to be fought to the death when they infringe on those.

    •  I understand how you feel (0+ / 0-)

      And by your passion and tone I suspect we have very closely shared opinions on most things political and social.

      In fact, I really do empathize with your position. I certainly have no argument using the word "rights." That's fundamental not just to the Democratic Party ideals but to the ideals of a democracy. It's why I pointed out the word's it's critical application in FDR's plank and why it's critical to push it today - but over the word "entitlement."
      Even our neo-confederate cousins understand the word "rights" even if they misconstrue the application of same and pronounce it as "rats."

      I must admit that I have felt seething anger over the very language retreat that you argue about. In my case, I'm tired of so-called "liberals" calling themselves "progressives" and see it as a similar retreat from classic Democratic values. Yet, somehow Luntz & Company have managed to turn the word "Liberal" into the equivalent of "Voldemort" and too many Democrats have mindlessly caved in to Republican propaganda and abandoned any mention of Democratic core beliefs.  Unfortunately, the same is even more true of most of our Democratic representatives - those of the rubber spine variety.

      And yes, this is the Overton Curve has been in full force. It has given us a blue dog Democratic president (meaning a moderate Republican with a "D" after his name) who Democrats mistakenly believe is left-leaning and Republicans believe is the anti-Christ, Stalin and Nat Turner rolled into one African American body. I could argue that we haven't seen a Democrat run for President since George McGovern. To be fair, the Republicans haven't run a classic Republican since Jerry Ford. Both party's candidates since then have have pretty much run the gamut from right of center to bat shit crazy. That's no way to run a democracy.

      Still, my ownership of the word "entitlement" is not as strong as yours. Perhaps  I too have allowed a that once and hopefully future positive word to become polluted in my own mind just as Democrats have permitted the noble word liberal to fade from the Democratic lexicon. I'll keep an open mind on that possibility.

      Unfortunately the term to "feel entitled" is often mentioned in the pejorative, hence the word entitlement is not properly understood by many people - not unlike "the debt ceiling" (arguably the worst mislabel of actual function known to man).

      While you and I may be well-versed on the New Deal, most people have no idea what Keynesian multipliers are and why they bring prosperity. Republicans tell their flock that spending money in tough times is wrong and on the surface it does sound counterintuitive to spend in tough times and tighten belts in good times, but as we know, that's economics 101 - at least where Teapublicanism doesn't thrive like a fungus. Unfortunately, the GOP from Hoover on hasn't seemed to grasp that fact and to this day swear the Depression just ended by itself or that war spending brought it to a close - not understanding that war is a stimulus - and the largest one in our history.

      My point is not to give you a history lesson on a topic you're obviously well-versed on but to point out that our nation is currently rife with low-information voters. I read a study a few years ago estimating that the average high school student in 1941 had a vocabulary of 15,000 words. Today it's closer to 7,500 words. In a fashion, that fact kinda makes both of our arguments about words, doesn't it?

      The question is, can we get the average American voter's comprehension up to 7,501 words before he reenters a voting booth? If that task is possible, I'll join your campaign to reinstate the word "entitlement" in the good standing it deserves.

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