Editorial: Learning the new polispeak

Our political vocabulary expands

Politics has always had its own way of putting things.

The jargon used by, and about, politicians is confusing, but we can’t just ignore it like we might the latest teen slang. What’s being said is important to our understanding of how the game is being played.

In the past few years, the vocabulary has expanded, so, in advance of the upcoming federal election, we thought we’d offer a primer to clarify some of the new jargon.

Gaslighting: This one dates back to the 1944 movie Gaslight, but in recent years, it’s become much more common in political circles. Gaslighting is a tactic where someone, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality. Repeated assertions, often blatant lies, eventually wearing down your confidence in the facts and blur reality.

Dog whistles: A high-pitched whistle that only dogs can hear, or a political message that sounds perfectly innocent on the surface, but carries a secondary message that speaks to a certain demographic, often reassuring racist elements that ‘hey dude, I’m really on your side.’

Fake news: This one is the biggie. It would be nice if this just referred to the news media’s tendency to have a little fun with their readers on April 1.

But the concept is more nefarious. In modern terms, it refers to the intentional fabrication of news with the intent of spreading misinformation, propaganda, financial gain or simply for the lols (laughs).

In practice, fake news has come to mean something different. The use—and overuse—of it by a certain world leader has given it a secondary meaning: “any news I don’t like or makes me look bad.”

You can expect to hear this one a lot in the run up to voting day.

The important thing is to a) consider the source, b) make up your own mind and c) get your news from trusted organizations, not social media. In the end, it’s up to you to discern what the message really is.

– Steve Kidd is regional assistant editor at the Vernon Morning Star

Visit our Facebook page

Follow us on Twitter

Typos? Email the editor!

Just Posted

Water advisory back on for Kitimat

Heavy rains raised turbidity levels in the Kitimat River

Family of Terrace man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

William Griffin arrested in Houston homicide

RCMP have now arrested William Griffin, the man wanted in connection to… Continue reading

Major changes ahead for Kitimat’s airshed

SO2 emissions addressed in a provincial government order

Hwy 16 traffic delay due to washout between Terrace and Prince Rupert

Alternating single-lane traffic is in effect, 66 km west of Terrace

Cold, stormy winter forecast across much of Canada, The Weather Network predicts

In British Columbia temperatures will be slightly above normal and precipitation will be just below normal

UPDATED: Vancouver Island’s Joe gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty case

Melissa Tooshley expected in court on Thursday in same case

Nineteen boats carrying invasive mussels stopped at B.C. borders

Waters of Columbia-Shuswap still test mussel-free

Woman ‘horrified’ after being told to trek 200 kilometres home from Kamloops hospital

‘I can’t get from Kamloops back to 100 Mile House injured, confused… no shoes, no clothes whatsoever’

Canadian universities encourage exchange students in Hong Kong to head home

UBC said 11 of its 32 students completing programs in Hong Kong have already left

Midget no more: Sweeping division name changes coming to minor hockey in Canada

Alpha-numeric division names will be used for the 2020-2021 season and beyond

Duncan man gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty trial

Joe also gets lifetime ban on owning animals

B.C. pushes for greater industry ‘transparency’ in gasoline pricing

Legislation responds to fuel price gap of up to 13 cents

B.C. woman ordered to return dog to ex-boyfriend for $2,000

After the two broke up, documents state, they agree to share custody of the dog, named Harlen

Most Read