If you haven’t been counting the days until this presidential campaign is over, you must be a glutton for punishment — or you work in the news media or sell advertising and are making fistfuls of money.
These words have permeated daily conversations about candidates and their followers. Many have been used to cast people in an unfavorable light. Let’s be sure we understand them, and then let’s move on to a more positive, civil dialogue.
bigotry: stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own
chauvinism: exaggerated or aggressive patriotism; excessive or prejudiced loyalty or support for one’s own cause, group or gender
fascism: an authoritarian and nationalistic system of government and social organization; a way of organizing a society in which a government ruled by a dictator controls the lives of the people and in which people are not allowed to disagree with the government
jingoism: extreme patriotism, especially in the form of aggressive or warlike foreign policy
misogyny: dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women
narcissism: extreme selfishness or self-absorption with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type
nationalism: patriotic feeling, principles or efforts; an extreme form of this, especially marked by a feeling of superiority over other countries
nativism: the policy of protecting the interests of native-born or established inhabitants against those of immigrants
patriotism: devoted love, support, and defense of one’s country
populism: a belief in the power of regular people and in their right to have control over their government, rather than have government controlled by a small group of political insiders or a wealthy elite
racism: the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races; prejudice, discrimination or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior
xenophobia: intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries
Need a lift? Visit past blogs for more-positive messages about words, punctuation and standard usage.
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