Here at Languageandgrammar.com, we not only tell you what the current most annoying words, phrases, and expressions are, but we go a step further by occasionally anticipating and predicting what some of the next most annoying words, phrases, and expressions will be.
When I was writing my book (Literally, the Best Language Book Ever), one such phrase was It is what it is. It had rapidly started to spread from occasional, informal usage to widespread usage in all situations. I was so annoyed that I actually wrote about it in my weather blog in addition to including it in the book.
The term Obama Republican is not the same as It is what it is in the sense that it’s a newly invented term as opposed to an existing series of words; however, it is the same in the sense that it’s going to spread like butter in the busiest bagel shop in the Bronx (Manhattan might have busier bagel shops, but I wanted to keep the alliteration going). It’s going to be used as the Democratic compliment of the overused, worn out Reagan Democrat, especially if Obama wins the Democratic nomination and wins the general election in November.
What is annoying about both Obama Republican and Reagan Democrat is the implication that it’s so shocking that so many registered voters of one party would switch allegiances and vote for a candidate of the hated, evil other party. How dare they vote for the person they believe will be the best president rather than the person who represents the party! Don’t they understand that voting for the other party’s candidate is so unexpected, so bold, so daring?
Voters have been voting for candidates in the opposite party since the two-party system was developed in this country; it’s an important part in keeping the political parties in line with what the voters want. It’s the equivalent of saying, “You’re not doing what I think you should be doing. Make some changes if you want to maintain power.” It’s only become an event worthy of creating specialized terms for during the past 25 or 30 years because of the increasingly polarized nature of our political system, along with our increasing need to simplify and label everything.
That’s not only an important point about politics, but it’s an important point about language.