A Vocabulary Lesson

Written February 20, 2017

This is the first in a series of the political type posts that I’ve written. Instead of going on a political rant today, I thought today I’d review a few definitions about forms of government and other political or miscellaneous terms that have been used lately. I am doing this because of recent events being the way they are. Seems like everyone wants to hurl words about and they don’t even know what the words mean, especially the millennials. The adults who do know the meanings of these words tend to be more like hypocrites. I’m especially referring to our politicians in the last sentence.

As you read thru these definitions, think of things you might be doing, seeing or have been seeing whether it’s in the news or your own little community. Notice any of the words being used in the wrong context?

1) Democratic – a democratic government is ruled by the people, for the people. A basic democratic process involves letting everyone vote on what they think is best for the whole group.

2) Liberalism – has wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally they support ideas and programs such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free markets, civil rights, democratic societies, secular governments, gender equality, and international cooperation

3) Progressive – favors reform and civil liberties: this is the opposite of conservative, and means something close to liberal. Progressive people are interested in change and progress. You’re a progressive thinker if you like to think up new ways of doing things and you’re open to change.

4) Fascist – a follower of a political philosophy characterized by authoritarian views and a strong central government.  There is no tolerance for opposing opinions. Under fascist rule, the emphasis is on the group, or the nation, with few individual rights. You must support the ruling party’s views on society, politics, and culture…or else.

Authoritarian – favors complete obedience or subjection to authority as opposed to individual freedom:

5) Socialist – A governmental system that advocates community ownership and control of all lands and businesses rather than individual ownership. As opposed to a capitalist, a socialist advocates a society based on cooperation rather than competition .

6) Republican – having the supreme power lying in the body of citizens entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them or characteristic of such government

7) Conservative – political party (especially in Great Britain or Australia) that believes in the importance of a capitalist economy with private ownership rather than state control. They believe in the conservation of the American dream; security, people working and off welfare along with a strong economy that all Americans can benefit.

8) Anarchy – the political philosophy that the best government is no government at all – a movement that enjoyed surprising success worldwide in the early and middle parts of the twentieth century. Today, the word is more commonly used to describe not a political ideal but a state of total disorder, chaos and even violence.

9) Racist – a person with a prejudiced belief that one race is superior to others; discriminatory especially on the basis of race or religion

10) Feminist – a belief that women should have the same political, social, and economic rights as men. It has absolutely nothing to do with putting down men or boys in order to elevate the status of women.

11) Misogynist – A misogynist is a person who hates or doesn’t trust women. If you’re someone who believes women belong in the kitchen and shouldn’t be accorded the same respect as men, you might be a misogynist.

12) Homophobe – a person who hates or fears homosexual people

13) Islamophobic – some who’s prejudice against Muslims

14) Scapegoat – A scapegoat is a person or animal which takes on the sins of others, or is unfairly blamed for problems. The concept originally comes from Leviticus, in which a goat is designated to be cast into the desert with the sins of the community. Other ancient societies had similar practices. In psychology and sociology, the practice of selecting someone as a scapegoat has led to the concept of scapegoating.

15) Freedom of speech –  the legal right to express one’s opinions freely especially from government entities but also without impediment from others.

16) Sedition – the illegal act of inciting people to resist or rebel against the government in power. Sedition is the rebellious talk and encouragement that might lead to a mutiny, and can be charged as a crime, like treason. The Alien and Sedition Acts along with the Espionage Act were a couple of attempts to prosecute people who said things like “I’ve thought about blowing up the White House”. These were repealed later because they were violations of Americans’ First Amendment rights to free speech. Proving sedition can become a murky business. When should the expression of one’s activism be considered “free speech” and when should it be considered sedition?

17) Heckler and Heckler’s Veto – In First Amendment law, a heckler’s veto is the suppression of speech by the government, because of [the possibility of] a violent reaction by hecklers. It is the government that vetoes the speech, because of the reaction of the heckler. A heckler is a person who harasses and tries to disconcert others with questions, challenges, or gibes. Hecklers are often known to shout disparaging comments at a performance or event, or to interrupt set-piece speeches, with the intent of disturbing performers and/or participants.

18) Tolerant Left – since i could not find this clearly defined I am defining both words. Left (wing politics) supports social equality and egalitarianism(belief in human equality especially with respect to social, political, and economic affairs) often in opposition to social hierarchy and social inequality. It typically involves a concern for those in society whom its adherents perceive as disadvantaged relative to others, as well as a belief that there are unjustified inequalities that need to be reduced or abolished (by advocating for social justice). The term left wing can also refer to the radical, reforming, or socialist section of a political party or system. To be tolerant means that you accept people who are unlike you or put up with stuff you don’t like.

19) Reporter/Journalist – a person who investigates and reports or edits news stories. A Journalist is a writer for newspapers and magazines. Both are supposed to report the truth.

20) Fake News – or hoax news, refers to false information or propaganda published under the guise of being authentic news. Fake news websites and channels push their fake news content in an attempt to mislead consumers of the content and spread misinformation via social networks and word-of-mouth. Yes we need a free Press, however they really should be more fair and balanced.

This is just a short list of definitions, mainly from vocabulary.com or other reputable online dictionaries(no fake news here!). My hope is that people do a little introspection, a little research and then have a dialog with others around you, even people who think differently than you.

While I’ve noticed many Americans waking up to the realities around them, I still cannot believe that many still live in their fantasy Worlds. In these Worlds, their ideas are the only ones that are correct and anyone who disagrees is called every “ist” name in the book or they’re shouted down. But yet, these are the same people doing or saying the same thing that they criticize someone else of doing. These people are hypocritical and adhere to double standards. The way I see it, many Americans have reverted back to their childhood days. “Johnny/Susie isn’t playing by my rules. They’re a big fat jerk so I’m taking my ball home.”

Thought for the day: I implore anyone who may be reading this to stop and take a look at the bigger picture. Look at what we are doing to each other. Is this REALLY how we want to be living everyday? Do we want our future generations to grow up in this kind of environment and then continue this circle of violence and hatred?

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