A Political Glossary for Newcomers

I offer this to students from other countries here on visas for college and to politically uninformed citizens to help them understand the current debates going on in our country.  GF

Entitlements—a word that once referred to “something earned or deserved, or given out of mutual agreement and covenant and generally accepted and validated by law.”  Lately it has devolved to a more primitive association to refer to another as “a deadbeat.” Today in politics it has a very strict meaning, as in, “money given to someone I don’t know and don’t really care about or from whom I can derive no direct benefit.  Therefore, it is waste and should be gotten rid of.”  In recent years it has become clear that the Entitlement People, whoever they are, do not spend money, buy groceries, pay bills, or eat at restaurants and therefore do not participate in the economic life of the nation.  They tend to sit at home, collect their benefits and checks, cash them and either buy cigarettes or send the money directly to China. The Entitled (I will henceforth refer to them as TE) use up valuable resources that could pay off the national debt and other important problems which they themselves created had they simply refused to accept the money the Congress voted to give them.  The simplest distinction will help the reader.  “Entitlements are what someone else receives as a benefit that they don’t deserve because they are not in my family.”

Term Limits—an imaginary concept that revolutionaries espouse until elected.

Immigration Crisis—see also, “Terrorists, Arabs, Foreigner, Muslim, Job-Gobblers.”  Bad people who come to the good country where we live, which the Native Americans gladly handed to us when our ancestors arrived, and negotiated same in solemn treaties which said, in effect, “Maybe you European people can stop the porous border issues we have around here.  We gladly give you control of all our land and resources if you will relocate us to barren and worthless areas and fence us in, where we can later develop casinos.”  In Alabama, this also refers to the flow of undocumented persons from Florida, Mississippi and Tennessee flowing into the state.

The Government—a word very close in pronunciation to “government,” which simply means the “the complex of political institutions, laws, and customs through which the function of governing is carried out.”  For newcomers to America, it is important to NEVER use the definite article.  When an American says “The Government,” they are, actually using profanity.  It refers specifically to their current group of elected persons and is not to be used except in violent discussions in which more than one person yells simultaneously and no one listens.  In this latter sense, it can never refer to anyone with good motives or intentions, only an amorphous and callously selfish group of piggish persons who pilfer through the public treasury to enrich themselves.  There is great debate among scholars about whether the nearly universally truth of a stereotype, in fact, makes something no longer a stereotype.

Political facts—an oxymoron referring to the emotions I have about people who feel differently than me, expressed as objective information but usually having more to do with where I live, what I do for a living, how close to retirement I am or other contingencies that shade my perspective.  Antonym—“serious dialogue with someone who disagrees with me.”

Common good—a euphemism for “we win, you lose” or, something that makes 50.01% of Americans feel that we are on the right course in an opinion poll.

Blogosphere—the collective wisdom of self-expression on the internet on things political, generally something the founding fathers would approve but also which carries the same dangers of a space suit without an oxygen tank or gluteal ventilation.  The current writer is certainly part of the blogosphere but recommends that readers be sure to read a real book at least once a week to counter nosebleeds and intellectual hemorrhoids  that can develop in the blogosphere.

PAC or Political Action Committeesee “Let Your Money Work for You:  Political Opportunities for the Discerning Investor” and “How to Win Friends and Influence Elections While Slandering People”

Fault—noun:  the giant crack in the good earth of America we are about to fall into while our leaders blame each other.  Verb—What a President or a Congress does to explain the current mess, similar to tennis, “They faulted their predecessors for their vote on the pay raise for themselves.”

Pork—Benefits to someone else’s congressional district that are the reason we have a massive debt to China.  [antonym: “Ice Tea money” An article posted in 1994 (real!) said, “Lawmakers Hope ‘Ice Tea’ Will Quench Their Thirst For Special Projects.  January 08, 1994 By Sean Holton Sentinel Washington Bureau.  Leave it to Congress to fight highway congestion with a multibillion dollar program that sounds like ”ice tea” but tastes like a pork milkshake.  On Friday, scores of lawmakers from Florida and other states lined up for federal ”special projects” money to be doled out this year under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (abbreviated ISTEA, and called ”ice tea”).  Ice Tea is what our senator brought in.]  Pork is what they do in New Jersey.

Debt Ceiling—An infinitely adjustable mortgage that can only be purchased by the Congress which, unlike homeowners, is actually more payable the higher it goes.  Until homeowners can print their own money, this is likely to be a very restrictive real estate instrument.    Wall Street financiers are looking into a way to bundle America’s global debt as they did home mortgages and sell them to Pakistan and Venus.  This is promising because it is tied to an actual asset, the septic tank at the Capitol Building which, apparently, has an endless methane supply that could run the global needs of earth for two millennia.

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Gary Furr

Gary is a musician, writer and Christian minister living in Alabama.

3 thoughts on “A Political Glossary for Newcomers”

  1. Of many funny things, Gary, the one that made me laugh the loudest was “gluteal ventilation.” Thanks.

  2. You’ve obviously got way too much time on your hands. You need to play more golf 🙂 Nevetheless, I enjoyed the definitions. Might be the start of a little book of humor.

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