DimWit Politics

Words have meaning … often more than one.

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Words have meaning … often more than one.

Words have meaning … often more than one.
November 15
20:32 2018

We often hear our politicians caution us to be careful of what we say because “words matter” and they “have meaning.” That is obvious. In fact, we have a twelve-pound dictionary full of multiple meanings of more words than any one individual is capable of articulating – speaking of the rarely used unabridged edition, of course.

The political left is particularly adept at using their own definition to castigate conservative Republicans. There might be a fair debate over what a person meant by a word or words used if it was not for the liberal media carrying the Democrat’s damning version as the correct one – the only possible meaning. They twist every benign comment or every innocent slip of the tongue into a cause célèbre.

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Monkey Business

When gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis said that the people of Florida should not “monkey up” the excellent economy produced by Republican governors by electing his Democrat opponent, Andrew Gillum, most people understood what DeSantis meant. But because Gillum is a black man, the left went nuts in one of those offensive gotcha moments — claiming it was a racist comment. Most likely, DeSantis was thinking along the lines of the more traditional express of throwing a “monkey wrench into the works.” According to Gillum & Co., It was not even some slip-of-the-tongue comment, but a strategically calculated “dog whistle” to be heard by those 20 or so Floridians who might welcome such a slur – half of whom are probably Democrats.

Gillum claimed it to be a purposeful racist comment designed to appeal to those legions of mythical racists among us. The left-leaning press, and all their panels of parroting pundits, were more than willing to pick up on the Democrat spin to yet again condemn DeSantis, Republicans and all those they deem to be occupants of that figurative basket of deplorables.

DeSantis’ statement was only a racist comment if people are inclined to believe that black people are monkeys. I thought that kind of ugly stupidity largely ended when Democrats lost two of their three preferred racist polices – slavery and de jure segregation. I say two of their three racist policies because they are still clinging to de facto segregation policies in the major cities.

In this day or hypersensitivity and political correctness, I suppose it would be racist to refer to tomfoolery as “monkey business,” our children as “the little monkeys” and any reference to a “Planet of the Apes” downright criminal. Gillum and the left giving false meaning to DeSantis’ statement was designed to sow the seeds of racism among black voters – which is sort of … racist.

Public Hanging

In yet another effort to turn a rather benign comment into a racist insult, Mississippi Republican Senate candidate Cindy Hyde-Smith, responded to a verbal invitation with a light-hearted response. “If he invited me to a public hanging, I would be in the front row.” She said. It was obviously intended to express regard for the person doing the inviting – and the expression is not of Hyde-Smith’s invention. The saying in various variations has been around for a very long time. AND, it is not racist in meaning or origins.

In one of those dishonest spins, the media started changing the term from “public hanging” to “public lynching” – a term much more inflammatory and with allusions to the era of Democratic Party slavery and segregation. They are two very different things. In days of yore, when hanging was the preferred method of LEGAL execution, the dreadful deed was carried out in public across the country – and very often in public as a lesson to the children to obey their parents. Hyde-Smith was not alluding to a lynching.

But, not matter. Losing no opportunity to play to racial divisiveness, her black opponent, Mike Espy, went on a chest pounding rant claiming the comment reflected deep racism on the part of Hyde-Smith. He claimed it deeply hurt many Mississippians who might not have known they were deeply hurt had he not informed them. And again, the liberal media jumped on the remark as if she had actually proposed lynching Espy

Espy joins Florida’s Gillum in addressing racism by pandering to racism by playing the race card. Race baiting, as it is called. But not all these definitions deal with race as much as the Democrats would like it to.


If you pay attention to any news at all, you know that the left went ballistic over President Trump referring to the thousands of migrants heading to the United States border as an “invasion.” Their spin on the word is that Trump saw those folks fleeing some South and Central American countries – and a few others around the world – as some sort of armed enemy force. That is certainly one definition of an invasion.

But, then there is this other dictionary definition of “invasion” – “an unwelcome intrusion into another’s domain.” In that regard, “invasion” seems to be a very appropriate description of thousands of folks coming to the border – with a large percentage planning to enter illegally. Liberals may want us to think of it as a tourist group but “invasion” seems to be an appropriate term.


President Trump calls himself a patriot and a nationalist. French President Emmanuel Macron sees nationalism as the enemy of patriotism. Can they both be correct. Of course, it depends on which definition of nationalism is being invoked.

Trump sees nationalism as the obligation of a President to put the interests of his nation first. If we have trade agreements, they should be beneficial to the United States. Our closest allies should increase their financial commitment to their own defense. We will have a legal immigration system that embraces the “unwashed masses” and brings to America the best and the brightest from other nations. Trump’s nationalism neither withdraws America from global involvement and leadership nor sets America on the course of global occupation.

Macron, on the other hand, seems to define nationalism as a form of isolationism and supremacist nativism. He views it as a political philosophy that sees nationalism not as a balance between national interests and global partnerships, but as a doctrine of world aggressors and occupiers. For him nationalism was the driving force behind the “Deutchland uber alles” “madness of Adolph Hitler and the umbilical cord alliance with Benito Mussolini.

In a way, they are both right. It goes back to an old college professor of mine, who frequently admonished that defining terms was the first requirement of a debate.

Who knows what you mean?

When there is confusion over the meaning of a word – what the speaker meant – we should probably give the most serious consideration to the explanation of the speaker rather than imposing the most offensive meaning as a way of rallying the animosity of rabid political allies. Those who said the words know what they meant, while the rest of us can only wonder or malign. To suggest we know is dishonest. And to promote the most salacious and mendacious opinions about the meaning is obscenely immoral – and damaging to the civility of public discourse.

In other words, I mean what I say and not what others say I mean.

So, there ‘tis.

About Author

Larry Horist

Larry Horist

Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in economics, public policy and politics. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, as well as the White House. He has testified as an expert witness before legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress, and lectured at major colleges and universities. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at lph@thomasandjoyce.com.

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  1. davidlaing
    davidlaing November 16, 20:14

    Racism: adherence to a group identity based upon skin color or ethnic origin.

    However you want to define it, racism is entirely equivalent to communism or to adherence to Catholicism. There’s no genetic basis for any of these. A person is a person, and what he or she can become in life is in no way a product of race, ideology, national origin, or religion. I thought we had eliminated race long ago as a basis for discrimination, but evidently not. It’s high time we did now!

    Reply to this comment
  2. jph
    jph November 16, 21:04

    Why comment as fools will misinterpret my words to fit their agendas!!!

    Reply to this comment
  3. IrreverentOne
    IrreverentOne November 17, 03:52

    I consider myself to be a behaviorist. I do not look at the color of ones skin, I do not care what religion they practice, or that they practice no religion. I do not care about their sexual orientation. I do not care about their economic situation and I do not care about their political affiliation. What I do care about is whether or not they obey the laws of the country we live in, whether or not they treat other people with respect, and whether or not they make sure that their property is maintained properly. Other than those items I don’t give a rats patootie what other people do.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Doug C.
    Doug C. November 19, 02:34

    One of my favorite Marx Brothers flicks used to be “Monkey Business,” but Groucho & Co. obviously were spewing bigotry.
    By the way, only a racist would use the word “tomfoolery,” because it conjures up impressions of Uncle Tom.

    Reply to this comment

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