These are vocabulary words posted to Facebook by a member of my family in the months following Donald Trump’s election to President of the United States. What took me a pandemic to realize, she understood immediately.
Wednesday, 11/9/2016 – DEMAGOGUE: 1) a political leader who tries to get support by making false claims and promises and using arguments based on emotion rather than reason. 2) a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power.
Thursday, 11/10/2016 – MEGALOMANIA: 1) a symptom of mental illness marked by delusions of greatness, wealth, etc. 2) an obsession with doing extravagant or grand things. 3) the belief that you are much more important and powerful than you really are.
Friday, 11/11/2016 – DISILLUSIONED: 1) having lost faith or trust in something. 2) disappointed that something is not as good, valuable, true, etc., as it had seemed.
Saturday, 11/12/2016 – VIGILANT: 1) keenly watchful to detect danger; wary. 2) ever awake and alert; sleeplessly watchful.
Sunday, 11/13/2016 – DISCOMBOBULATED: 1) confused or disconcerted. 2) upset. 3) frustrated.
Monday, 11/14/2016 – ANOMIE: 1) social instability resulting from a breakdown of standards and values. 2) personal unrest, alienation, and uncertainty that comes from a lack of purpose or ideals. 3) Normlessness.
Tue., 11/15/2016 – XENOPHOBIA: 1) an irrational fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers or anything foreign or strange. 2) dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries. 3) extreme dislike or fear of foreigners, their customs, their religions, etc.
Wednesday, 11/16/2016 – MISOGYNIST: 1) a person who hates, dislikes, mistrusts, or mistreats women. 2) one who hates women or believes that men are much better than women.
Thursday, 11/17/2016 – FASCISM: 1) an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization. 2) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice. FOR MORE INFO: http://www.bremertonschools.org/cms/lib/WA01001541/Centricity/Domain/222/Fourteen%20Defining%20Characteristics%20of%20Fascism%20slides.pdf
Friday, 11/18/2016 – ETHNOCENTRIC: 1) believing in the inherent superiority of one’s own ethnic group or culture. 2) a tendency to view alien groups or cultures from the perspective of one’s own. 3) believing that the people, customs, and traditions of your own race or nationality are better than those of other races.
Saturday, 11/19/2016 – NEPOTISM: 1) the practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs. 2) patronage bestowed or favoritism shown on the basis of family relationships, as in business and politics. 3) the unfair practice by a powerful person of giving jobs and other favors to relatives.
Sun., 11/20/2016 – HEGEMONY: 1) the social, cultural, ideological, or economic influence exerted by a dominant group. 2) political or cultural dominance or authority over others. 3) the position of being the strongest and most powerful and therefore able to control others. 4) The processes by which dominant culture maintains its dominant position: for example, the use of institutions to formalize power; the employment of a bureaucracy to make power seem abstract (and, therefore, not attached to any one individual); the inculcation of the populace in the ideals of the hegemonic group through education, advertising, etc.; the mobilization of a police force as well as military personnel to subdue opposition. 5) the success of the dominant classes in presenting their definition of reality, their view of the world, in such a way that it is accepted by other classes as ‘common sense’. The general ‘consensus’ is that it is theonlysensible way of seeing the world. Any groups who present an alternative view are therefore marginalized.
Monday, 11/21/2016 – SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION: 1) the ability to see the impact of larger social forces on our everyday lives. 2) the vivid awareness of the complex interplay between our individual lives and the wider society. 3) being able to see the social world from diverse perspectives rather than solely from one’s own personal experiences.
Tue., 11/22/2016 – FALSE CONSCIOUSNESS: 1) a way of thinking that prevents a person from recognizing the injustice of their current social or economic situation. (EXAMPLE: Working class people believing that certain politicians and policies will benefit the working class when they actually represent and benefit the ruling elite). 2) a failure to recognize the instruments of one’s oppression or exploitation as one’s own creation, as when members of an oppressed class unwittingly adopt views of the oppressor class. (EXAMPLE: Lower income people voting to reduce taxes for higher income people because they’ve been convinced by the wealthy that they, too, will be rich one day – if they just work long and hard enough). 3) a situation in which people in the lower classes come to accept a belief system that harms them (the primary means by which powerful classes in society prevent protest and revolution).
Wednesday, 11/23/2016 – ISLAMOPHOBIA: 1) dislike of or prejudice against Islam or Muslims, especially as a political force. 2) hatred or fear of Muslims or of their politics or culture. 3) prejudice towards or discrimination against Muslims due to their religion, or perceived religious, national, or ethnic identity associated with Islam.
Thursday, 11/24/2016 – REVOLUTION: 1) a fundamentalchangein political power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time when the population rises up in revolt against the current authorities.2) an overthrow or repudiation and the thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the people governed. 3) a politicalupheavalin a government or nation state characterized by great change.
Friday, 11/25/2016 – HETEROSEXISM: 1) an ideological system that denies, denigrates, and/or stigmatizes any non-heterosexual form of behavior, identity, relationship, or community. 2) a belief that heterosexuality is the only normal and acceptable sexual orientation and is superior to all other orientations. 3) the belief that heterosexual activities and institutions are better than those with a genderless or homosexual orientation.
Saturday, 11/26/2016 – SOCIOPATH: 1) a person who exhibits certain behavioral characteristics, such as the following:
- Having an oversized ego.
- Lying and exhibiting manipulative behavior.
- Exhibiting a lack of empathy.
- Showing a lack of guilt, shame, or remorse.
- Staying eerily calm in scary or dangerous situations.
- Behaving irresponsibly or with extreme impulsivity.
- Having few real friends.
- Being charming – but only superfically.
- Living by the “pleasure principle.”
- Showing disregard for societal norms.
Sun., 11/27/2016 – DELUSIONAL: 1) firmly holding on to false beliefs despite clear evidence to the contrary. 2) maintaining beliefs, opinions, or impressions that are contradicted by reality, facts, and/or rational argument. 3) having beliefs that are:
- held with absolute conviction, and
- not changeable by compelling counter-argument or proof to the contrary, and
- implausible, bizarre, or patently untrue.
Monday, 11/28/2016 – FEARMONGER: 1) a person who spreads the ideology of fear through propaganda to fulfill a concealed agenda. 2) one who deliberately uses fear-based tactics, including exaggeration and usually repetition, to influence the public in order to achieve a desired outcome.
Tue., 11/29/2016 – NARCISSISM: 1) a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
- Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
- Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
- Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
- Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
- Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
- Requires excessive admiration
- Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
- Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
- Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
Wednesday, 11/30/2016 – DISSIDENT: 1) a person who opposes official policy, especially that of an authoritarian state. 2) one who disagrees, especially with an established religious or political system, organization, or belief. 3) a person who actively challenges an established doctrine, policy, or institution. 4) one who strongly disagrees with and publicly criticizes a government or the official rulings of a group or organization. 5) a person who is rebelling against a government.
Thursday, 12/1/2016 – DEFIANCE: 1) open resistance; bold disobedience. 2) a daring or bold resistance to authority or to any opposing force. 3) open disregard; contempt 4) disposition to resist: willingness to contend or fight. 5) proud and determined opposition against authority or against someone more powerful than you are. 6) bold resistance against an opposing force or authority: engaged in acts of defiance against the regime 7) refusal to obey a person or rule.
Friday, 12/2/2016 – PATHOLOGICAL: 1) extreme, excessive, or markedly abnormal. 2) manifesting behavior that is habitual, maladaptive, and compulsive. 3) caused by or evidencing a mentally disturbed condition. 4) unable to control part of their behavior; unreasonable. 5) having behaviors or feelings not based on reason that cannot be controlled by the person experiencing them. 6) behavior or feelings that happen regularly and are strong, unreasonable, and impossible to control. 7) having properties that cause unusually bad behavior, especially regarding correctness or performance.
Saturday, 12/3/2016 – MORAL ENTREPRENEURS: 1) people in power who campaign to have certain deviant behavior outlawed. 2) those who crusade for the creation of new rules. 3) groups that work to have their moral concerns translated into law. 4) people in the business of persuading society to make policy from particular moral viewpoints.
Sun., 12/4/2016 – PSYCHOTIC: 1) characterized by or afflicted with psychosis (a severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality). 2) mentally unstable. 3) intensely upset, anxious, or angry; crazy. 4) someone who exhibits extreme emotion or behavior. 5) one who has radical changes in personality, impaired functioning, and a distorted or nonexistent sense of objective reality. 6) experiencing an abnormal condition of the mind that involves a “loss of contact with reality”. People experiencing psychosis may exhibit personality changes and thought disorder. Depending on its severity, this may be accompanied by unusual or bizarre behavior, as well as difficulty with social interaction and impairment in carrying out daily life activities.
Monday, 12/5/2016 – UNPRECEDENTED: 1) never having happened or existed in the past. 2) without previous instance; never before known or experienced; unexampled or unparalleled. 3) unheard-of.
Tue., 12/6/2016 – HOODWINK: 1) to deceive or swindle by deception. 2) to cover or hide. 3) to deceive by false appearance. 4) to trick or mislead.
Wednesday, 12/7/2016 – GASLIGHT: 1) to manipulate someone by psychological means into questioning/doubting their own sanity. 2) a form of psychological abuse in which a victim is manipulated into doubting their own memory, perception, and sanity. 3) to cause a person to doubt his or her sanity through the use of psychological manipulation.
Thursday, 12/8/2016 – HYPOCRITE: 1) a person who pretends to be a certain way, but really acts and believes the total opposite. 2) one who professes beliefs and opinions that he or she does not hold in order to conceal his or her real feelings or motives. 3) a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, especially one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.
Friday, 12/9/2016 – THIN-SKINNED: 1) easily upset, hurt, angry, or offended by what other people say about you. 2) oversensitive, especially to criticism or insult. 3) touchy; quick to take offense.
Saturday, 12/10/2016 – VITRIOLIC: 1) filled with bitter criticism or malice. 2) severely bitter or caustic; virulent; scathing; harsh; nasty. 3) something said or written that is very caustic or biting.
Sun., 12/11/2016 – OLIGARCHY: 1) a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique. 2) a form of government run by a small number of people such as wealthy landowners, royalty or powerful military figures. 3) government by the few, especially despotic power exercised by a small and privileged group for corrupt or selfish purposes.
Monday, 12/12/2016 – UNFATHOMABLE: 1) impossible to measure the extent of. 2) incapable of being fully explored or understood. 3) difficult or impossible to ever understand; incomprehensible.
Tue., 12/13/2016 – CRONYISM: 1) the unfair practice by a powerful person (such as a politician) of giving jobs and other advantages to friends and associates. 2) favoritism shown to old friends without regard for their abilities or qualifications, as in political appointments to office. 3) the practice of appointing friends and associates to high-level positions of authority, regardless of their suitability.
Wednesday, 12/14/2016 – DYSTOPIA: 1) a community or society that is undesirable or frightening, often characterized by dehumanization, totalitarian governments, environmental disaster, or other characteristics associated with a cataclysmic decline in society. 2) as bad as can be; the opposite of utopia. 3) a place, state, society, or situation in which everything is extremely unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one. 4) a society characterized by human misery, as from squalor, oppression, disease, deprivation, overcrowding, or terror, maintained through corporate, bureaucratic, technological, moral, or totalitarian control.
CHARACTERISTICS OF A DYSTOPIAN SOCIETY:
- Propaganda is used to control the citizens.
- Information, independent thought, and freedom are restricted.
- A figurehead or concept is worshipped by the citizens.
- Citizens are perceived to be under constant surveillance.
- Citizens have a fear of the outside world.
- Citizens live in a dehumanized state.
- The natural world is banished and distrusted.
- Citizens conform to uniform expectations; individuality and dissent are bad.
Thursday, 12/15/2016 – MENDACIOUS: 1) given to or characterized by deception or falsehood or divergence from absolute truth. 2) a dishonest person, statement, or thing. 3) completely untrue or untruthful by nature, characteristically false or dishonest.
Friday, 12/16/2016 – MISCREANT: 1) an evil person or a person who behaves badly, gets into trouble and breaks the law. 2) one not restrained by moral principles; an unscrupulous villain. 3) a bad person who lies, breaks the law, causes trouble, hurts people, etc. 4) a vicious or depraved person; wrongdoer. 5) one who is utterly reprehensible in nature or behavior.
Saturday, 12/17/2016 – PLUTOCRACY: 1) a country or society governed by the wealthy. 2) an elite or ruling class of people whose power derives from their wealth. 3) a government controlled exclusively by the wealthy, either directly or indirectly. 4) a form of oligarchy ruled or controlled by the small minority of the wealthiest citizens.
Sun., 12/18/2016 – NEFARIOUS: 1) criminal, evil, malicious, and wicked. 2) Infamous by way of being extremely wicked. 3) flagrantly villainous, dishonest, and/or sinful. 4) morally bad.
Monday, 12/19/2016 – BAMBOOZLED: 1) tricked, fooled, misled, cheated, frustrated, confounded, perplexed, mystified, deceived, duped, confused, and/or bewildered. 2) deceived by trickery, flattery, or other underhanded methods. 3) thrown off thoroughly or completely.
Tue., 12/20/2016 – MARGINALIZE: 1) to push people to the edge of society by not allowing them a place within it. 2) to exclude a minority or sub-group and ignore their needs or desires. 3) to put or keep someone in a position of marginal importance, influence, significance, relevance, or power within a society or group. 4) to treat a person, group, or concept as unimportant, insignificant, peripheral, or of lower status. 5) to exclude or ignore a person or group, especially by diverting the public’s attention to something else.
Wednesday, 12/21/2016 – DUPLICITY: 1) deliberate deceitfulness in speech or conduct, as by speaking or acting in two different ways to different people concerning the same matter. 2) acting in bad faith; deception by pretending to entertain one set of intentions while acting under the influence of another. 3) contradictory doubleness of thought, speech, or action, especially the belying of one’s true intentions by deceptive words or actions. 4) hypocritical cunning or deception; double-dealing. 5) dishonest behavior that is intended to trick someone.
Thursday, 12/22/2016 – McCARTHYISM: 1) the use of unfair investigatory or accusatory methods in order to suppress opposition. 2) a campaign or practice that endorses the use of unfair allegations and investigations. 3) the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism. 4) the practice of publicizing accusations of political disloyalty or subversion with insufficient regard to evidence. 5) any attempt to restrict political criticism or individual dissent by claiming it to be unpatriotic or pro-Communist. 6) searching out and harassing dissenters; witch hunt. 7) a scenario in which a person or group is accused of wrongdoing in a persecutory manner without evidence – often a political situation in which someone makes wild non-evidence based accusations against another person or group.
Friday, 12/23/2016 – PROLIFERATION: 1) rapid increase in the number or amount of something. 2) a rapid and often excessive spread or increase. 3) to increase a lot and suddenly in number.
Saturday, 12/24/2016 – DEPRAVED: 1) morally bad, corrupt, wicked, perverted, or evil. 2) deviating from what is considered moral or right or proper or good. 3) utterly reprehensible in nature or behavior. 4) extremely wrong in a moral sense. 5) having or showing an evil and immoral character. 6) lacking moral decency. 7) a person with a total lack of morals, values, and even regard for other living things.
Sun., 12/25/2016 – RESILIENT: 1) able to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens. 2) springing back; rebounding. 3) strong and able to recover from damage quickly. 4) tending to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune, change, shock, hardship, depression, adversity, or the like. 5) adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or even significant sources of stress. 6) irrepressible.
Monday, 12/26/2016 – DISPARITY: 1) a lack of equality or similarity, especially in a way that is not fair. 2) inequality; difference. 3) the condition of being unequal. 4) a noticeable and often unfair difference between people or things.
Tuesday, 12/27/2016 – INIQUITOUS: 1) extremely immoral, unfair, or evil. 2) characterized by injustice or wickedness. 3) truly bad, morally wrong, extremely wicked, or completely unfair. 4) morally objectionable.
Wednesday, 12/28/2016 – UNHINGED: 1) mentally unbalanced; deranged. 2) unsettled, disordered, or distraught. 3) upset; unglued. 4) of unsound mind. 5) wild and uncontrollable.
Thursday, 12/29/2016 – HETERONORMATIVE: 1) denoting or relating to a world view that promotes heterosexuality as the normal or preferred sexual orientation. 2) based on the attitude that heterosexuality is the only normal and natural expression of sexuality. 3) a culture which conforms to heterosexual standards as the norm. 4) noting or relating to behavior or attitudes consistent with traditional male or female gender roles and the assumption of heterosexuality as the norm.
Friday, 12/30/2016 – NEGATIVE SANCTIONS: 1) penalties for disobeying a law or rule. 2) actions by one or more states toward another state calculated to force it to comply with legal obligations. 3) Measures taken by a state to coerce another to conform to an international agreement or norms of conduct, typically in the form of restrictions on trade or official sporting participation. 4) economic or military coercive measures adopted usually by several nations in concert for forcing a nation violating international law to desist or yield to adjudication. 5) official actions taken against a government to force it to behave in a particular way or as punishment for not doing so. 6) coercive measures adopted by a country or a group of countries against another state or individuals in order to elicit a change in their behavior. 7) official orders to stop communication, trade, etc. with a country that has broken international law. 8) to penalize, as for violating a moral principle or international law.
Cult of Personality
Despotic / despot