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Call them 'PUBLICANS, not REPUGS

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Do me a personal favor, please, (and maybe yourself as well) and stop calling them and their political organization "Republicans" and "the Republican Party". Here's why and what to call them instead.

Maybe everybody isn't aware of it yet, but the conservatives have been deliberately manipulating language for decades now for it's subliminal effect, as George Lakoff has articulated in his book, "Don't Think of an Elephant". So, for example, the abortion issue, which is about whose choice abortions shall be, the state's or the mother's, and for which we call ourselves pro-choice, is framed by our opponents as pro-abortion versus pro-life, not the more natural and accurate pro-choice versus anti-choice.

Why? Because they don't want to be known as people who oppose choice, another word for freedom, which is about as sacred a word as there is in America's secular religion, patriotism. No, they traded that name in for a positive one, so they chose a name that says that they're for life, not against freedom.

We, on the other hand, who do not advocate for abortions (we're not hoping anybody gets one, or even has any reason to think about getting one), are called pro-abortion. Our opponents have chosen our name, too.

Plus, they have linked abortion with murder, which, of course, no legal homicide (such as a prison execution, a war casualty, an unavoidable fatal crash or an abortion) should be called. And in so doing, they have stripped us of the positive connotation that being for choice (freedom) entails, and instead, substituted a derogatory term in its place.

Now, the people who decide such matters, the conservatives who generate and distribute the talking points to the various broadcast, print and Internet "journalists" (operatives) - the so-called conservative spin or hate machine - have decided to refer to the Democratic Party as the Democrat Party, also to strip them of the positive connotation that the words democracy and democratic (but not so much Democrat) confer.

Just like freedom (choice) discussed above, democracy is a bedrock positive concept in Americanism. As you can see, our enemies have chosen to systematically strip us of any positive associations we deserve and have enjoyed historically, and, where possible, steal them for themselves by vilifying and disempowering the American left with their propaganda.

If you deign to listen to Rush Limbaugh, for example, or many of the other conservative propagandists, you will rarely hear the phrase "Democratic Party" spoken. It's always "the Democrat Party". I propose that we do the same. We don't have a well-financed spin machine to coordinate the effort – just a ramshackle assortment of individuals like you and me, and several unrelated web-based organizations like OpEdNews, Daily Kos, Alternet, Media Matters and MoveOn.

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They, our opponents, have a hierarchy, which is ideal for competing because it is so efficient. We have a network, which is more generative, but sluggish, and better suited for cooperation. That puts us at a tremendous disadvantage when we're competing with them for votes and political power, and we have paid a high price because of it.

I feel like fighting back. I'm so tired of being a doormat for conservatives. I don't know if it matters or if it makes a difference in the end to fight back - I don't know if it is effective or not to retaliate - but they offend me deeply doing this, and I want to level the playing field. I doubt it could do any harm in any event, and it feels good just thinking about retaliating. So, here it is:

They call themselves Republicans for the positive connotation inherent in the word "republic". Republics are good things, things for which, "we stand, one nation, under God."  I propose dropping the word "Republican" from our lexicons, and referring instead to the 'Publicans.

Not only do the 'Publicans lose whatever positive connotation the word republic has, but they gain the stigma of what is a dirty word in Christian lore. Publicans in the days of the apostles were the despised tax collectors who worked for the Romans and who often intimidated and cheated tax payers living under Roman rule, including the Hebrew people in Judea. The fact that one of the apostles came from this low and despised social caste had the same significance as Mary Magdalene being considered a prostitute. Publican was to a Roman Jew what prostitute or scheisster is to us today.

So, if you find this argument compelling or interesting, and you would, please call them 'Publicans (capitalized and preceded by an apostrophe) in your posts and when speaking about them instead of other names such as Republicans, Repugnicans, Repugs, fascists, conservatives, the right, and the neocons.

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The author is a fifty-something year old physician soon to be expatriated.

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