Translating Conservativespeak: Freedom, Liberty and the Liberal Elite

Crossposted at Progressive American Patriot

For the past six years George W. Bush has had a way with words. He has created an interesting conception of freedom and liberty. Liberals and progressives cringe when he uses these words, because we know what they really represent in the radical conservative lexicon is death, destruction and exploitation. This has led many of us to proclaim what we have never proclaimed before: if this is liberation, we don't want to be liberated!

Radical conservatives like to attack liberals and progressives as unpatriotic because we think that neither George W. Bush nor John McCain have a clear grasp of the situation in Iraq. In this slanderous barrage, radical conservatives' term of choice is liberal elite. Let's take a look at what this term really means.

Bill Maher Translates Conservativespeak on the Liberal Elite (see here, I can't get MyDD to embed the video, if someone knows how to do, please leave me a comment explaining how)

To summarize, when radical conservatives talk about a liberal elite they are essentially saying that anyone who doesn't have shit for brains is helping the terrorists. Maher makes it pretty clear, when Limbaugh pops a few pills and starts bloviating on the liberal elite, what he is essentially saying is that smart, competent and thoughtful people don't belong in government.

However, Maher makes a critical error in calling the Bush administration incompetent. As George Lakoff has argued,


Bush's disasters -- Katrina, the Iraq War, the budget deficit -- are not so much a testament to his incompetence or a failure of execution. Rather, they are the natural, even inevitable result of his conservative governing philosophy. It is conservatism itself, carried out according to plan that is at fault.

The problem is that Bush has been extraordinarily competent at installing a conservative elite. This elite is extraordinary good at making corrupt bargains. As Maher noted, many high level Justice Department officials have impeccable credentials from "America's preeminent Christian university." Indeed, it is the success of the Bush administration that troubles me.

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Note: If you didn't check out the links, go back and take a look. The links are what make the article.

Tags: bill maher, Framing, freedom, liberal elite, liberty (all tags)

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