John Powers

John Powers, the author of Sore Winners (And the Rest of Us) in George Bush's America (Doubleday), writes about culture and politics for Vogue and is critic-at-large for NPR's Fresh Air.

Recent Articles

The Right Word

ConservativeSpeak has so infiltrated the language that we now need a glossary.

Back during the Soviet Union’s radiant past, the great Polish philosopher Leszek Koakowski once noted that part of what made communism so oppressive was that it left its fingerprints on everything—the economy, the military, the media, the arts, even the sciences. I sometimes think that’s true of today’s extremist conservatism, even if you have to think hard to come up with a famous artist who’s a conservative. Today’s right-wingers have their own TV network, their own branch of Congress, and their own Supreme Court (which unfortunately is ours, too). They have their own Jacobins in the Tea Party and their own shadowy financiers in the Koch brothers (who are presently, or so I’m told, attempting to wrest control of SPECTRE from Ernst Stavro Blofeld). They have their own science (Intelligent Design, global-warming denial) and even their own “stupid things,” as Ronald Reagan once famously called facts. They also have their own language—you betcha, they do—and they wield it with such...