Letter to the editor: Commentators spout political jargon to sound knowledgeable | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Commentators spout political jargon to sound knowledgeable

Ralph Ragsdale

Virtually every endeavor, whether it be a vocation or hobby, comes with a special language to learn. Non-doctors do not understand doctor language. There are languages for lawyers, engineers, seamstresses, cooks, race car drivers — you name it. Everywhere you look, there are endless acronyms to deal with, such as FEMA, YMCA, NASA, MSC, NASCAR, SSA, VA, NBA and so on. Aside from acronyms, there are words and phrases to learn in a particular field or you will not be believed as knowledgeable. In the field of politics, the jargon has caught my attention. If you do not learn the language yourself, you can’t follow the discussion, it seems.

These are by no means all of them, but you get the idea: political capital, political will, identity politics, elite establishment, voting bucket, kick the can, midterms, nuclear option, optics, big tent, photo op, op-ed, left, center, right, center right, liberal, far left, conservative, right wing conspiracy, legislate from the bench, blue and red counties and states, blue wave, blue dog Democrats, battleground states, flyover states, elite coastal voters, playing to their base, gin up their base, pivot, super majority, pushback, talking points, shape the narrative, gang of eight, woke, double down, walk it back, on or off the table, there’s a lot to unpack there and marginalize.

The new or young commentators and guests on cable news channels soon learn that it is necessary to use the jargon, lest they be viewed as short on credentials. Many of the expressions being used are metaphors. A complete story can be told using football or baseball metaphors, for example. The overuse of similes and metaphors are attempts to appear super knowledgeable, it seems. Sometimes it works.

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