Political terminology and meaning.


Category:  Op/Ed

By:  vic-eldred  •  10 months ago  •  20 comments

Political terminology and meaning.
"Too much of what's happening in our country today is not normal," he said. "Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic."

Link to quote: Biden attacks Trump and MAGA Republicans as threat to American democracy - ABC News (go.com)

I think it may be time to examine the current state of American politics. I know there are some out there, with their meaningless degrees who want to point to dictionary definitions as the absolute and correct description of certain groups and political parties. Unfortunately, the postmodern world lacks the goodwill to make such terms credible. Thus, I will do my best to explain where we are now politically.

Let us begin with the word Conservative.



opposed to great or sudden social change; showing that you prefer traditional styles and values

Are Conservatives really opposed to change?  Of any kind?  Suppose there was a policy to build a wall across the southern border and have a ten year moratorium on all immigration, legal or illegal for 10 years based on the number of illegal migration the country just experienced.  That would be change would it not?

I think most Conservatives would be in favor of that. IMO a person adopts the political identity of Conservative after experiencing something of value being lost. It isn't that a political Conservative is against all changes, it is that such a person wants to preserve something.



1) willing to understand and respect other people’s behaviour, opinions, etc., especially when they are different from your own; believing people should be able to choose how they behave

2) having or relating to political and social beliefs that support individual freedom and rights,  democracy  and  free enterprise   (= businesses competing against each other with little government control)

liberal_1 adjective - Definition, pictures, pronunciation and usage notes | Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary at OxfordLearnersDictionaries.com

I don't think I have to expand much on that definition, except to point out that there are very few old fashioned liberals still around. That ideal is all but dead.



1) In favor of new ideas, modern methods, and change

2) happening or developing steadily

progressive_1 adjective - Definition, pictures, pronunciation and usage notes | Oxford Advanced American Dictionary at OxfordLearnersDictionaries.com

This term is very deceptive. First let me say that the new progressives have little to do with the short-lived political party of 1924. Second, the ideas of the modern progressive are extreme and in some cases Marxist. So, the "new ideas" are quite limited. As for the change part, none of the changes progressives have wrought equal progress. I hope everyone is aware that change does not always equal progress.


abbreviation U.S. Politics.

  1. Make America Great Again: a presidential campaign slogan used by Donald J. Trump.

    MAGA Definition & Meaning | Dictionary.com

Of course, we know that Donald Trump was not the first to use the term.

It is primarily used now by the current president and the left-wing media as a derogatory term. However, it is a popular movement that I believe outnumbers the old Conservatives within the GOP.



a person who is opposed to political or social change

reactionary noun - Definition, pictures, pronunciation and usage notes | Oxford Advanced American Dictionary at OxfordLearnersDictionaries.com

The Oxford dictionary gets a straight up FALSE for that one. In modern America I define reactionary as somewhat of a patriot. One who is willing to act when the government of the Unites States and its institutions become corrupted.


The  Republican Party , also known as the GOP (Grand Old Party), is one of the two major  political parties  in the United States. It is the second-oldest extant  political party in the United States  after its main political rival, the  Democratic Party .

In 1854, the Republican Party emerged to combat the expansion of slavery into American territories after the passing of the  Kansas–Nebraska Act . The early Republican Party consisted of northern Protestants, factory workers, professionals, businessmen, prosperous farmers, and after the  Civil War , former black slaves. The party had very little support from white Southerners at the time, who predominantly backed the Democratic Party in the  Solid South , and from Catholics, who made up a major Democratic voting block. While both parties adopted  pro-business  policies in the 19th century, the early GOP was distinguished by its support for the  national banking system , the  gold standard railroads , and  high tariffs . The party opposed the expansion of slavery before 1861 and led the fight to destroy the  Confederate States of America  (1861–1865). While the Republican Party had almost no presence in the  Southern United States  at its inception, it was very successful in the  Northern United States , where by 1858 it had enlisted former  Whigs  and former  Free Soil  Democrats to form majorities in nearly every Northern state.

History of the Republican Party (United States) - Wikipedia

The Republican Party has gone through many changes. It began as the party that wanted to abolish slavery, it later became the party of business, then Conservatism and today the MAGA wing dominates it.

The democrat Party

The  Democratic Party  is one of the two major political parties of the  United States political system  and the oldest existing  political party in the country . The Democratic party was founded in the 1830s and 1840s. [3] [4] [5]  It is also the oldest active voter-based  political party  in the world. The party has changed significantly during its nearly two centuries of existence.

Once known as the party of the "common man," the early Democratic Party stood for individual rights and state sovereignty, and opposed banks and high tariffs. In the first decades of its existence, from 1832 to the mid-1850s (known as the  Second Party System ), under Presidents  Andrew Jackson Martin Van Buren  and  James K. Polk , the Democrats usually bested the opposition  Whig Party  by narrow margins.

Before the  American Civil War , the party generally supported slavery or insisted it be left to the states. After the war until the 1940s, the party opposed civil rights reforms in order to retain the support of Southern white voters. The  Republican Party  was organized in the mid-1850s from the ruins of the Whig Party and Free Soil Democrats. It was dominant in  presidential politics  from 1860 to 1928. The Democrats elected  only two Presidents  during this period:  Grover Cleveland  (in 1884 and 1892) and  Woodrow Wilson  (in 1912 and 1916). Over the same period, the Democrats proved more competitive with the Republicans in  Congressional politics , enjoying  House of Representatives  majorities (as in the  65th Congress ) in 15 of the 36  Congresses  elected owing largely to their dominance of the  Solid South , although only in five of these did they form the majority in the  Senate . Furthermore, the Democratic Party was split between the  Bourbon Democrats , representing Eastern business interests, and the agrarian party elements representing poor farmers in the South and West. After the Republican landslide in the  1894 House Elections , the agrarian element, marching behind the slogan of  free silver  (i.e. in favor of inflation), captured the party. They nominated  William Jennings Bryan  in the 1896, 1900 and 1908 presidential elections, although he lost every time. Both Bryan and Wilson were leaders of the  progressive movement in the United States  (1890s–1920s) and opposed imperialistic expansion abroad while sponsoring liberal reforms at home despite supporting racism and discrimination against African Americans in government offices and elsewhere.

History of the Democratic Party (United States) - Wikipedia

The older of the two political parties began as a pro slavery party, then became mainly the party of the working man. In the 1960's it was still mostly working class based with two opposing wings, one of which were southern segregationists and the other being northern liberals. Currently it has lost its working-class base to the GOP. It still has many constituencies, who continue to vote by party affiliation in every election, but now the party is ruled by its radical progressive wing.

I'm sure there will be some disagreement with my assessment. 


jrDiscussion - desc
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1  author  Vic Eldred    10 months ago

Political Science update.

PhD Principal
2  Hallux    10 months ago

          "The Oxford dictionary gets a straight up FALSE for that one."

So now we are to add lexicographer to your degree in pedantry?

Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1  author  Vic Eldred  replied to  Hallux @2    10 months ago
So now we are to add lexicographer to your degree in pedantry?

Maybe Gertrude Stein would if she got to know me.

PhD Principal
2.1.1  Hallux  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1    10 months ago

Maybe she'll call you Alice once she gets to know you.

Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1.2  author  Vic Eldred  replied to  Hallux @2.1.1    10 months ago

I think she'd invite me into her home don't you?

PhD Principal
2.1.3  Hallux  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1.2    10 months ago

Imagining you are Hemingway now? lol!

Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1.4  author  Vic Eldred  replied to  Hallux @2.1.3    10 months ago

Oh, that's where I met him.

Write the way you talk.

PhD Principal
2.1.5  Hallux  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1.4    10 months ago
Write the way you talk.

That leaves you with fiction.

Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1.6  author  Vic Eldred  replied to  Hallux @2.1.5    10 months ago

Much of what he wrote was based on personal experience. That isn't really fiction.

At least we have our superbly educated members who have taught us the importance of sly & petty jabs.

PhD Principal
2.1.7  Hallux  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1.6    10 months ago

I have few if any issues with Hemingway, comparing yourself to him, however, is trolling the wrong shell even for thee.

Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1.8  author  Vic Eldred  replied to  Hallux @2.1.7    10 months ago

I never did that. You brought him up.

I don't think it's intelligence that you are full of. You should have never made it personal.

Professor Principal
3  JohnRussell    10 months ago

This article is so inconsequential I am having difficulty working myself up to a desire to reply in substance. 

Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
3.1  author  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @3    10 months ago

It may be coffee time.

Greg Jones
Professor Participates
3.2  Greg Jones  replied to  JohnRussell @3    10 months ago

You always reply. Something about getting in the last word.

Professor Expert
4  Nerm_L    10 months ago

Well, that list carefully avoids the largest predator swimming in the political ocean:  neoliberals.  

Neoliberals are NOT conservative or progressive; the name of the ideology, by itself, should provide a clue. Neoliberals have shaped all aspects of government policy since Vietnam.  Neoliberals have created the political status quo.  The political divisions we see now are the result of competition between two far left political ideologies.  Social liberals have used government to promote socialism for the poor.  Neoliberals have used government to promote socialism for the rich.  That's why the middle class has been hollowed out since Richard Nixon obliterated George McGovern.  That's why the only two political parties in the United States have really been controlled by neoliberals.

MAGA really does represent a direct challenge to the global political conventional wisdom established by neoliberals since the fall of Saigon.  MAGA is not just another neoliberal movement painted with populist lipstick, like the TEA Party.  

Professor Principal
4.1  CB  replied to  Nerm_L @4    10 months ago

I'll bite: Do you have a link to your DEFINITION of neoliberalism?

Professor Expert
4.1.1  Nerm_L  replied to  CB @4.1    10 months ago
I'll bite: Do you have a link to your DEFINITION of neoliberalism ?

In keeping with Vic's theme, the Oxford definition of : a type of  liberalism  that favours a global free market, without government regulation, with businesses and industry controlled and run for profit by private owners.

Investopedia provides a fuller (yet decidedly misinforming) discussion of .

First of all it's necessary to understand that neoliberalism requires a rule-based global system of interdependence whose roots can be traced to Henry Kissinger's foreign policy of 'peace through partnership'.  (Believe it or not, Kissinger's policy ideas came from the geopolitical structure and functioning of the Soviet system.  Sort of a tangible manifestation of the political contradiction of independent interdependence found in socialist, communist, soviet systems.   But that requires more discussion than is possible here.)   The need for systemic rules belies the claim that neoliberals oppose government regulation.  Neoliberals actively attempt to exert control over government influence over redistribution of profits which I'll get to in a moment.

In the United States, both the Republican Party and Democratic Party have adopted neoliberalism as policy imperatives.  The two parties only use different terminology to describe their neoliberal policy agenda.   Republicans talk of free trade while Democrats talk of economic development.  Both Republicans and Democrats claim that economic development and free trade has lifted the bulk of the world population out of poverty. 

Both Republicans and Democrats promote free movement of people and free movement of capital around the world using different terminology to hide the commonality.  

The only major ideological difference between Republican neoliberals and Democrat neoliberals concerns the redistribution of profits.  Republicans believe profits should be redistributed by private sector finance through financial instruments.  Democrats believe profits should be redistributed by government through taxation and social programs.  Both types of redistribution are completely reliant upon economically noncontributing middlemen.  As we have seen, neoliberalism has transformed the US economy into a services economy requiring more and more of the labor force to be engaged in unproductive activities.  A services economy cannot create wealth.  A services economy can only create debt and devalue wealth which is what we have witnessed in the US since the 1970s.

Professor Principal
4.1.2  CB  replied to  Nerm_L @4.1.1    10 months ago

Thank you!

Professor Quiet
5  Jasper2529    10 months ago
Second, the ideas of the modern progressive are extreme and in some cases Marxist.

Modern progressives adamantly deny that the Marxist ideology they embrace motivates them to tell those they despise how stupid they are. Rather funny and hypocritical, IMO!

Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
6  Buzz of the Orient    10 months ago

Why does political life have to be so complicated?  What a wonderful world this would be if there were cooperation instead of confrontation.


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