Lingua Pavlovian

For Senator Mitch McConnell the most important thing in the world is for him to be Senate Majority Leader; because, as Senate Majority Leader, Sen. McConnell has a lot of power. In Washington DC, power is a commodity. Being Senate Majority Leader pays well. For McConnell to be Leader, he needs to raise a lot of money for republican senatorial candidates. If he raises money for a candidate’s campaign and the candidate wins, the candidate owes McConnell big time. With enough allegiance from enough republican senators, Mitch gets to be Leader; gets his power. Power which he peddles in exchange for campaign funds for republican candidates who will be indebted. Rinse and repeat.

Never mind that Sen. McConnell has never deliberately, directly, or even unintentionally done anything for the benefit of working-class Americans; or for the nation. Power being the coin of the realm in his realm; the Senator dances with them that brung him. If that coin buys a pound or so of bacon for his voters that is paid for by the blue states; that’s like getting paid triple. How does Sen. McConnell get by with it? Sen. McConnell speaks lingua pavlovian; a language something akin the lingua franca of old. But, whereas the lingua franca of the Mediterranean was made up of words that might not have even been words from any language, but were words that were understood by all involved in Mediterranean commerce; the language spoken by McConnell and other red state Republican politicians to their manipulables is made up of words or phrases meant to evoke a predictable conditioned response.

This particular lingua has always been intended to be manipulative. When former slaves began to get elected to office after the Civil War, white supremacist, aka former slave owners, cried, “Socialism!, Socialism!” “They will bring socialism down on us all.” To the manipulable, it came across as, whatever the word means, it was surely something very bad. And, bad it has been ever since. Like “Yankee”, “Northerners” and Abe Lincoln; socialism was a word meant to be spat, not understood. For all these years, all a white southern politician needed to do was whisper one of these words and their manipulables start looking for a voting booth and ballot in order to vote against whomever the charge was directed at or being associated with. Manipulables are at their best when they are being against something or someone.

Some of the more recent contributors to this lexicon include: Orville Faubus, Ross Barnett, George Wallace, Newt Gingrich, Frank Luntz, The Readers Digest, Look Magazine, and, of course, Mitch McConnell. Manipulators, the lot, they’ve added words like “Unions”, “Liberals”, “Blue States”, “Godless”, “Abortion”, “Pornography”, “Atheist”, “Baby Killer”, “Hillary”, “Pelosi”, “Ultra Liberals”… all of which, too, are meant to be spat, not understood. It only was not important that folks understood the meaning of the words nor knew of the person, better they didn’t; it was far more important that they associated the word with something or someone to be really disliked, perhaps even hated. What with “Sex Ed”, LGBT, “Woke”, “CRT”, and “Antifa”; it is getting harder and harder to keep our children ignorant. Wonder if Gov. DeSantis knows that if his manipulables understood what “Woke” means they would drop him in a heartbeat.