Tuesday, July 26, 2005

and words are all I have, to take your heart away

Some time ago, the Wingers started using the word “Democrat” as an adjective. I first heard it on Rush, but I don’t really care where it started. It’s become a pejorative term to the Wingers. I remember years ago a friend chided me for listening to that “Democrat radio station” (KPFK, Pacifica station, BTW.)

And now we are doing it too! I hear Randi Rhodes use it everyday, as well as others.

People, please use the words correctly. I know, it’s a minor issue, but like Lakoff says, it’s about framing. And it’s got to be our framing, not the Radical Right’s.

Here’s the definition of democrat, according to Merriam Webster:

Main Entry: dem·o·crat
Pronunciation: 'de-m&-"krat
Function: noun
1 a : an adherent of democracy b : one who practices social equality
2 capitalized : a member of the Democratic party of the U.S.

Here’s the definition of democratic:

Main Entry: dem·o·crat·ic
Pronunciation: "de-m&-'kra-tik
Function: adjective
1 : of, relating to, or favoring democracy
2 often capitalized : of or relating to one of the two major political parties in the U.S. evolving in the early 19th century from the anti-federalists and the Democratic-Republican party and associated in modern times with policies of broad social reform and internationalism
3 : relating to, appealing to, or available to the broad masses of the people

And please note entry #4:

4 : favoring social equality : not snobbish

We can’t help it if Republican is both a noun and an adjective. Too damn bad.

Main Entry: 1re·pub·li·can
Pronunciation: ri-'p&-bli-k&n
Function: noun
1 : one that favors or supports a republican form of government
2 capitalized a : a member of a political party advocating republicanism b : a member of the Democratic-Republican party or of the Republican party of the U.S.

Main Entry: 2republican
Function: adjective
1 a : of, relating to, or having the characteristics of a republic b : favoring, supporting, or advocating a republic c : belonging or appropriate to one living in or supporting a republic