The most commonly abused terminology

Emil FranziBy Emil Franzi, Special to The Explorer

I do not “blog,” although I post on some. I dislike the format because it allows for anonymity, which I don’t hide behind on my own posts. You want to run off at the pen, have the guts to tell me who you really are like I tell you.

Something we who do talk radio learn quickly is to dump the dumb caller as rapidly as possible. Allowing some yahoo to rant is an invitation to station change.

The late Marshall Fritz, well known in libertarian and educational freedom circles, once explained to me a principle from Little League coaching he called “Gresham’s Law of People.” Taken from the economic principle that bad money drives out good, he believed that loud-mouthed jerks drove away good folks and should be purged early and often for the health of any organization.

Newspaper editors have discretion when it comes to letters to the editor, which must be signed hopefully by a real person or even the person who actually wrote them. Some blogs are policed better than others. But the amount of illiterate drivel allowed to pass from left, right and ignorant center is still appalling.

I find many right-wing posters to be embarrassments, not for me personally or my philosophy, but for themselves. Hyper-active newbies always emerge whenever there is any kind of popular awakening, from opposing the Viet Nam War in the ’60s to opposing the Obama leftist agenda now.

California conservatives had a name for the worst of this category in the early ’60s – one-book Birchers. They read “I Saw Poland Betrayed.” Actually, they got up to page 23. It took three days. They found out there were communists and that was enough. They usually didn’t stay active long. This was pre-blog or they would’ve hung around longer.

There are left-wing equivalents, but they’re not my problem. You know who they are. Some of them on both sides are decent folks who just don’t know any better. My job is to help clean up my own. Best way to do that is to clarify the most commonly abused terminology.

• RINO, or Republican in Name Only. A simple measurement separates them from liberal Republicans. RINOS are Republicans like Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup, who are not only liberals but don’t support other Republicans in general elections. Except for the Mecham recall in 1988, Sen. McCain hasn’t publicly dumped on other GOP nominees. He’s not a RINO and is too inconsistent to qualify as a liberal. I think CINO probably fits him best.

Conservatives and particularly conservative Republicans must learn these distinctions. Mayor Guliani is not a conservative, but supports the ticket. Mayor Bloomberg is a Republican out of convenience only and doesn’t. Real RINOS were the GOP officials who walked on Barry Goldwater in 1964. Those like Oregon’s Mark Hatfield who didn’t deserve consideration for playing by the rules.

• Conservative. There’s broad philosophical diversity in the movement which includes some libertarians. There are libertarians who don’t consider themselves conservatives, and conservatives who agree. Before you decide to yell sell-out or RINO, please note the lack of conservative consensus on immigration, fair tax, term limits, the Afghan war, and the foreign policy diversity you get from Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan. Both qualifed as RINOs for having once run on another party’s ticket. Republicans holding party roles talking third party also qualify.

• Socialist. Has specific meanings and, like conservative, is highly diverse. Marxist? Positivist? Fabian? National? Fascist? Hint: It was not socialized medicine when the Roman Army sent early medics along with each Legion. Learn to focus.

There’s more. Hopefully there are some folks I have thoroughly offended. I can only hope those wishing to berate me will use their real names.

Hear Emil Franzi and Tom Danehy Saturdays 1-4 p.m. on KVOI 1030AM.


  1. Giuliani Time says

    Mayor Giuliani is not a conservative? You’re kidding me. Aside from abortion and gay marriage, he is conservative all the way. He worked in Reagan’s Justice Department. He was a successful US Attorney in New York. He cleaned up New York City like no other conservative could. He was the scourge of New York liberals and his biggest enemy is (still) the New York Times.

  2. Nonsense.

    McCain is a RINO. McCain/Lautenberg, closing the gun show “loophole. Pandering to the left. That’s a RINO. And he most certainly DOES criticize elected conservative Republicans. Sometimes he tried to crush and destroy them.

    RINO. No way to cut it another way.

  3. I appreciated your post. I think it was very clear and informative.

    I do, however, like the option to post annonymous remarks. To come into this venue and complain about it doesn’t seem helpful. Blogs and internet discussions have always been that way. They didn’t evolve from pure transparency and full disclosure to all annonymous posting. There’s a mix. It’s the nature of the beast.

    As long as people are aware of what they are participating in, I have no problem with using alternate names.

    Frankly, I can’t think of a way to keep it pure. The internet is so large and free wheeling, I don’t know how you could invite everyone into a discussion and ensure truth in posting or naming.

    I like making my own decisions about who and what to believe. I put more weight into a poster who uses their real name. I am also cautious that it may not actually be that person. But I like hearing it all, the good, the bad and the ugly. I am usually able to glean something from it all.
    Then there’s always the gem of a thoughtful, well-informed post.

    I just don’t think complaining about annonymous posting is helpful. If you don’t like it, don’t participate. Free market. Personal responsibility. I like it all.

    That’s what “Travis” thinks anyway…

  4. Well, Benjamin Franklin and Samuel Clemens are two fine Americans who found it prudent to use pen names.
    A pen name can be useful in allowing the audience to focus on the merits of the message or the debate points without being influenced pro or con by the messenger.

    That the identity of the speaker or debater influences reactions to the debate points is proven. Ralph Reed used this early in the 1990s showing voters two party platforms they identified with best – without identifying the Parties. Southerners who were life-long Democratic Party voters selected the descirption they felt best represented their political and social values and were surprised to discover they had picked the GOP Party Platform and had rejected the Democratic Party Platform. Yet, they’d been voting Dem for decades.

    With Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” the unofficial playbook for “Progressive” debate in the public forum, a losing or weak debating position requires an Alinsky switch of tactics to attack the person of the debator not the debate itself. “Identify, personalize, destroy.”

    If George W. Bush were to offer a comment that the sun comes up in the east in the morning and sets in the west, a portion of the national audience would reject it out of hand because they’ve been taught to have a vicerally negative emotional reaction to the man. If he offered it as the anonymous “Boots in Tex” the response would be, “well of course it does.”

    The person participating in a debate should not be important. The merits of the argument are.

  5. Walt Stephenson says

    Good job Emil.I hope some of the readers are not so blinded by their own prejudices that they don’t understand the points you were making.

    Rush Limbaugh has on numerous occasions stated he voted for McCain, does that mean Rush is a RHINO?

  6. Walt,

    No, but you are.

  7. ………………….
    “But the amount of illiterate drivel allowed to pass from left, right and ignorant center is still appalling.
    “Illiterate” means no literacy skills, not “ignorant.”


  8. McCain and his henchmen are all Progressives. They live by Alinsky rules: “Identify, personalize, destroy.”
    Just like Obama; Just like Clinton. McCain has destroyed the Arizona Republican Party and has nearly destroyed the national Party, too. It’s time for an exit, stage left. Now that’s a plan everbody can agree with!

  9. I like how Franzi is criticizing my anonymity but in the photo is covering the mike but acknowledging the camera with the stink-eye.

  10. It has become clear that Oberserve is a Sal Alinsky graduate.

    “With Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” the unofficial playbook for “Progressive” debate in the public forum, a losing or weak debating position requires an Alinsky switch of tactics to attack the person of the debator not the debate itself. “Identify, personalize, destroy.” ”

    It is clear that you haven’t the slightest idea who Walt Stephenson is or what he stands for… or you do and seek to discredit this fine man who has worked harder than most to influence Pima County for the GOP.

    In looking at all of this, I am wondering if Oberserve is really an R or is he a Dem troll on this site to disrupt, disrespect, and distract?

    Yep, I do believe that is it.

  11. There you go again, Ann. The politics of destruction. Any means are acceptable to you to achieve your ends. By the way, you know that’s one of the definitions of evil, right? If you’re a Christian or Jewish anyway.

  12. ………………..
    “Hopefully there are some folks I have thoroughly offended. I can only hope those wishing to berate me will use their real names.”
    Rules of fair debating – never berate the debaters, just stick to the merits of the debate. That way, no one has grounds to be offended and the chances for constructive dialogue are greatly enhanced.

    ALinsky taught to attack the person because no one is perfect and everyone has faults, so no one is invunerable to this abuse. It is very telling that Alinksy actually dedicated his “Rules for Radicals” to Lucifer, his inspiration. Perhaps Alinksy, now gone from the face of the earth has had second thoughts about his flippant invocation of the Devil.

    But the Truth isn’t dependent on the messenger or the means by which it’s delivered. It stands on its own. A potted plant could have declared that Obama lied about paying for illegals’ health care costs instead of out of the mouth of a man, but it makes no difference, the truth is the truth.

    So, being anonymous on a open public debate isn’t a problem in itself, it’s hiding behind a mask when delivering insults and abuse to the person that is. That’s cowardice, not free debate.

  13. It has also been said, “Even the Devil can quote scripture. The first part is correct but the second part is either twisted or omitted.”

    Guess one can say the same about quoting the odious Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” to justify one’s position.

  14. Bravo! Well put Emil! As an engineer I appreciate the need to define words and apply them with rigor. If this were done more I think that most blogs would produce more light and less heat — especially on some of the issue where you point out that there is no conservative consensus.

    Thanks for the post.

  15. I echo Ken. I have learned much from reading blogs as the written word betrays a great deal about a person’s character. As to the question of annonimity, my rule of thumb is that I wouldn’t post anything on a blog that I wouldn’t say in person. Debate issues and advance a common goal instead of tearing down. If you don’t have a common goal, admit it. I came into AZ politics believing that Republicans had the common goal of promoting their party.

  16. Carol, perhaps. But when you think like a socialist, it twists everything. The logical failure in socialists thinking is that socialists believe that the government *IS* all of the people.

    So for example for McCain supporters, they honestly believe that McCAin *IS* the Republican party.

    Because of that, anything critical of McCAin, to them is critical of the Republican party and anything that opposes McCain is anti-Republican.

    The socialist parallel is anything crtical of the state is crticial of the nationa dn people and anything that opposes the state is traitorous.

    Fortunately, REAL non-RINO Republicans believe both that you can and should be crticial of candidates, parties and the state.

    Contrary to what socialists and those who are hardened McCain permanent political consultants and staffers believe, the criticism and grassroots participation makes the party STRONGER not weaker!

    This is the logical flaw both in this blog post and in Ann’s, Travis’ and all of the hardened MCCainiac’s comments above.

    They abhor grassroots participation and see any crticism of our liberal Republican candidate as anti-Republican because they do not see anything BESIDES McCain as being republican in the state of Arizona!

    There’s just no way around the RINO tag for them, unfortunately, and they will say and do whatever it takes to get their way up to and including lying and cavorting with democrats to win.

  17. I am perfectly comfortable being criticized by Oberserve and being lumped in with Ann and some others. Perfectly happy.

  18. Emil Franzi says


    1. Rudy is a moderate on other issues. Try guns. Also, that is what he calls himself.

    2. There are times where anonymity is legit – when a job or professional relationship might be injured. And the Founders were obviouly risking much more than most blog posters do by committing treason.

    What should be noted is why we still call it “your John Hancock”.

    3. That photo is at least ten years old – I’m much uglier now.

    4. To the sighing grammar maven: “illiterate” modifies “drivel”;”ignorant” modifies “center”. The center can contain both illiterates and drivel. Your point is?

    5. Who brings us the information has a great bearing on its credibility. Otherwise we would all believe every e-mail we get from all those chicken littles who send them. Some people are more truthful than others. Trust but verify.

    6. I have defined RINO as something different than some of you. Moderate Republicans like Rudy G who support conservatives when they win primaries should be welcome in the GOP. It isn’t their views that make RINOs, it’s their attitude and party loyalty. If you’d like a tighter definition then please define how many deviations from a list of issue positions you would allow AFTER you first get all the other conservatives to agree on your list.

    That McCain has destroyed the AZ GOP is absurd. He’s spent far too much time making an ass of himself trying – and failing – to dominate it.


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