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July 7, 2006

Question About "GOP"

-- by Dave Johnson

This is a serious question. Newspaper headlines often refer to Republicans as "GOP." I have a suspicion about this. How many people understand, when they see a headline that says the "GOP" did something, that the headline is talking about Republicans?

I wonder how many people have decided they really don't like this "GOP" everyone talks about, so they're going to vote for Republicans instead. Seriously.

Posted by Dave Johnson at July 7, 2006 9:01 PM

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It has merit. Though I think it's more subtle than not knowing what GOP means.

"Republicans" can refer to half the country, including voters themselves, because it encompasses a shared ideology. "GOP" refers to the organization that plans political strategy. But unlike the words "The Democratic Party," not only does "GOP" get more use than "Republicans" when describing dirty political tricks like smear ads, it is also MISused as a synonym for "Republican" when a subject has the mere flavor of politics in it.

To wit:
"GOP senator helped win pardon for R&B producer"
"GOP secretary of state candidate backs voter registration rules"

The effect is that the organization will get the mental blame for all the politicking, while the person (and ideology) will stay unsoiled.

Nothing like this with "Democrats"-- or should I say "The Democratic Party"?--because editors don't make the distinction between politics and people with them.

For example, which of these headlines do you think ran?
"Does the Democratic Party Have a God Problem?" -- sounds strategic, PR-related, and slightly silly
"Do the Democrats Have a God Problem?" -- prejudicial, includes half the people in the country, and borders on bigotry.

So yes, I don't think anyone would vote if the ticket said "GOP" next to the name, because those guys have always been doing sleazy things that "Republicans" never seem to be doing.

Posted by: secretmojo [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 8, 2006 1:04 AM

Very good point! I'd never thought of that one.

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 8, 2006 6:31 AM

I find myself using the term "GOP" just because I'm tired of using the word "Republican." Plus it's shorter.

Posted by: fdr@californiaprogressreport.com [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 8, 2006 8:21 AM

I just call them pigs or criminals or "this gang". It is too disrespectful to radical abolitionists and other decent people of the past to call this gang of criminals by the same name.

Posted by: richard [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 8, 2006 9:19 AM

good one Dave..

worthy of a poll!

Posted by: BadGimp [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 8, 2006 8:58 PM

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