The primaries leading up to the Presidential election this Fall have created a new lexicon of media vocabulary. See how many words and phrases in my Election Alphabet you’ve heard or read during the campaigns. Don’t be surprised to see a second edition of this at year-end.
A You’re no longer adorable; you’re abhorrent, especially if you’re Trump’s policy about banning Muslims from entering the U.S.
B Bombastic, a bully, a bigot and a blowhard. Only one candidate has earned all these monikers.
C A carpet bomb is not an ugly rug made in the Middle East. Like Raid, it involves an aerial assault to eradicate vermin at ground level.
D Is for divisive and disgusting, the former frequently used to describe Trump’s rhetoric, and the latter being his go-to word for anything his rivals do or say to offend him. But my favorite election d-word is demagogue. That’s because it transforms so easily into demigod, which has me picturing Trump grunting: “Me God, You Jane.”
E Candidates positions evolve during a campaign. Evolution is how one candidate tries to out-flank his or her opponents. Often the state holding the next primary is a deciding factor in how much a candidate evolves. And in which direction.
F Fingers are the new measure of someone’s manhood. In my salad days it was feet. I suppose it’s good to know what our candidates’ hands are up to.
G Pay attention to what’s happening at the grass roots level and to the ground game. Do not confuse these with gray roots or ground hogs. Or Colorado’s grass game.
H Two of Trump’s favorite words—huge to describe everything he’s going to do (and his fingers, apparently) and horrible to characterize his opponents.
I More monikers for you-know-who. Irrational, ill-informed, irascible and irritating.
J Is for Japan. See Nuclear Triad (Donald Trump’s).
K Kerfuffle describes a back-and-forth between candidates that’s reported in the media. Both parties fuel kerfuffles, especially during political talk shows.
L Labels Trump uses for his opponents—low-energy (originally stuck on Jeb Bush, now transferred to Hillary) and liar, liar, pants on fire (slapped onto Lyin’ Ted Cruz).
M A movement to engage first time voters, such as Bernie’s Democratic Socialism and Trump’s White Supremacy.
N Nuclear triad—land, sea and air; or in Trump’s case—North Korea, South Korea and Japan.
O A trio—obfuscating, obstructionist and outsider—that describes a number of candidates. “Outsider” is supposed to be a badge of honor. The question is whose chest it truly belongs on.
P Some pairings. Polls and primaries, in which the former seldom predict the results in the latter. Also persona and presidential, meaning Trump’s primary shenanigans are simply a persona he took on to fire up supporters. He assures us that when he’s elected, he’ll be more presidential than anybody.
Q The early Republican debates were quarrelsome, querulous and quirky.
R Is for Rat-f—ker, a peculiar descriptive employed by Ted Cruz. It was intended to explain what he’d rather do with a rodent than with Donald Trump. Wasn’t “none of the above” one of the choices?
S Stands for sycophants and suck-ups, two ways to portray the same people. They make up that concrete floor of Trump supporters.
T Has to be Twitter, Trump’s main form of communication with his sycophants and suck-ups. His tweets may set the Twittersphere on fire, but 70% of women say he doesn’t light theirs.
U Uninformed is what Trump is on foreign policy (see his nuclear triad). Don’t panic. He’ll be OK if you give him an earbug with Hillary on the other end.
V Trump’s tweets go viral. This is not the same as virile. Someone please tell Donald.
W Walk-back—the latest way to describe a candidate’s change in position on an issue, because “evolve” doesn’t always cover it. Trump walked back his stance on punishment for illegal abortions several times. I can’t leave the letter W without mentioning wives. Trump and Cruz got into a kerfuffle over whose wife made prettier arm candy. I suppose that’s better than arguing over whose hands are bigger.
X No, a xenophobe is not a musical instrument. The hatred of foreigners strikes a sour note, even when it’s masquerading as nationalism in the Republican primary.
Y Yuge is the phonetic spelling of Trump’s favorite word to describe his accomplishments (and probably his hands). A Yugo, on the other hand, is a defunct car. The Yugo was not yuge and was the butt of many jokes. Draw your own conclusions.
Z Zero is the chance of election vocabulary becoming civilized any time soon.