The Oxford Dictionary, pictured, chose “toxic” as the word of
the year for 2018. | Neil Steinberg/Sun-Times

A New Year’s political lexicon to help decipher 2019

SHARE A New Year’s political lexicon to help decipher 2019
SHARE A New Year’s political lexicon to help decipher 2019

Anyone sorry to see 2018 go? A show of hands. Anybody? Didn’t think so. While the year was fine for me, personally — anyone who climbs to the top of a Mayan pyramid in Central America, hikes the Appalachian Trail in Virginia and sees both sons graduate from college in a single year isn’t in any position to complain — it does hurt to see our once great nation rolling in the mud of humiliation day after day.

The biggest recommendation that can be made for 2018 is the lead-pipe certainty that 2019 will be worse, as the dogs of justice close in on an ever-more isolated Donald Trump while his adult minders flee and his defrauded base, lost in their own private dreamworld, howl outrage.

They yell in a language all their own, one that often needs translation. This month dictionary companies have been trotting out their “Word of the Year,” but those really are not helpful, divided between faddish terms that will never gain popularity — Cambridge Dictionary chose “nomophobia,” the fear of losing your phone — or endorsements of the obvious. Oxford Dictionaries chose “toxic” as its 2018 word of the year.


Gee, ya think? Why focus on a single word? I believe it would be more useful in our struggle to get through 2019 to understand changes in common words. Words whose definitions have become deformed, by those whose entire lives are an ongoing assault on factuality and meaning.

So here I present my 2019 political lexicon, a highly abbreviated but I hope still comprehensive list. All usage examples are taken from actual emails or tweets sent to me:

agenda: n. An imaginary coordinated directive that dictates the otherwise ordinary, independent actions of members of a despised group, often used to characterize gay people attempting to lives their lives. “The Democrats are committed to advancing the LGBT agenda and forcing the rest of America to accept, support and pay for it.” (National Organization for Marriage).

bash: v. To deliver criticism whose obvious merit the speaker is unable to recognize and therefore considers as baseless, reflexive attack. “We all hope that you and your degenerate propagandists continue to bash Trump all the way to and through his 2nd term.” (Jason Larenzen).

deep state: n. andadj. Members of the Justice Department and other government agencies whose attempts to enforce law and uphold standards are contrary to the wishes of the president. “Those are the real goals of a coalition of radical Leftists, fake news media, Obama/Clinton deep state intelligence operatives, liberal Democrats, and establishment Republicans.” (ConservativeHQ).

fake news: n. andadj. 1. The imaginings of trolls presented as if factual information; 2. Accurate news that the hearer wishes were concealed. “This is still a constant struggle, so please make sure to whitelist Patriot Pulse to continue receiving our emails which cut through the ‘Fake News’ media’s propaganda.” (Patriot Pulse).

illegal immigration: n. 1. A synecdoche that refers to all immigrants by focusing on the small subset who are criminals in the belief that this obscures the speaker’s bigotry. “I am not a bigot. However I do believe there is a HUGE problem with ‘illegal’ immigration and I know this by dealing with it first hand as an employer. Your article sucks! And you suck!” (Clint Coronado).

merry Christmas:int.1. Now obscureto wish someone a happy Christmas holiday; 2. To express regret that we live in a multicultural society where people of differing beliefs must receive nominal recognition. “Was Trump Right To Bring Back Merry Christmas?” (GreatAmerica Daily)

rig:v.The manipulation of an election, court ruling or other supposedly fair process whose outcome would have been lauded as legitimate had it gone Donald Trump’s way. “Google search results for ‘Trump News’ shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake New Media. In other words, they have it RIGGED.” (Donald Trump).

snowflake n. 1. A liberal showing sensitivity to racism or other violations of the norms of polite society; “Just was reading your opinion page for the first time snowflake. Well my opinion is you stink.” (Gilbert Evaro)2. A conservative showing sensitivity toward himself that he would ruthlessly mock if exhibited by a liberal toward others.

witch hunt: n. 1. Legal investigations directed against Donald Trump, members of his administration, staff, family or supporters. “For months fake news reporters speculated about the status of Robert Mueller’s rigged witch hunt against Donald Trump.” (RenewedRight Alert).

The Latest
A local man opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, about 85 miles west of San Antonio.
It was a bleak picture painted by the half of the GOP primary field — venture capitalist Jesse Sullivan, businessman Gary Rabine and state Sen. Darren Dailey — who squared off during a live debate hosted by WGN-TV.
Candace Parker led the way with 16 points, six rebounds, seven assists, three blocks and three steals.
During a rapid-fire “yes or no,” segment, Max Solomon and Paul Schimpf agreed that the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 were not an “insurrection.” But Richard Irvin touted his credentials as a lawyer and said, “I don’t think it’s a ‘yes or no’ question.”