August 29, 2012

What Republicans are (not) Saying at their Convention

After the American Century

By their words ye shall know them. What words have the Republicans been using so far in their Convention? Paying no attention for the moment to the arguments, what are the dominant concerns, the focal points, based on the words alone?  Based on the Transcripts from the Federal News Service, the New York Times has compiled a data base, an interactive one, so we can find out what they are talking about, and also what they are ignoring.

Start with what they are avoiding. There has not been a single reference to the Euro, which might come up, given the difficulties of many European economies. But for the Republicans, the rest of the world does not seem to exist. There have been no references at all to Canada, Britain, France, Russia, China, or Europe, though there was a single reference to Germany.  The word "foreign" has turned just three times, as has "Mexico."

What other topics are Republicans avoiding?
Terror 0
bin Laden 0
Homeland security 0
Mass destruction 0
George Bush 0
Richard Nixon 0
Gerald Ford 0
Tea Party 0
Sarah Palin 0 (as in "Sarah Palin was our VP candidate last time.")
Abortion 0
Gay 0
Homosexual 0
Warming 0 (as in global warming)
Solar 0  (as in "solar energy")
Windmill 0
Detroit 0 (as in "Obama bailed out the Detroit auto industry.")
NASA 0 (as in "NASA is in Florida.")
Lobby 0
Special interest 0
Bubble 0   (as in "Real estate bubble.")
Evolution 0 (as in "The theory of . . . ")

Fear  1
9/11  1
Mormon 1 (as in "Romney is a Bishop in the Mormon Church.")
Social security 1 (as in "We need to privatize social security."
weapon/weapons 1  (as in "weapons of Mass Destruction")
Lincoln 1  (as in "Lincoln's generals invaded the South.")

Climate 2   (as in climate change, etc.)
Cuba 2  (as in "There are many Cuban-American voters in Florida.")
Iraq 3  (as in, "George Bush invaded Iraq.")

There are the usual patriotic words.
America 189
American  111
Country 90
Nation 47

Most of the focus has been on the economy
Work  142
Business 136
Jobs 130
Success 65
Economy 58
Note however:  
Banker 0
Bank 0
Bonus 0
Bankrupt 1
Foreclosure 2

A cluster of terms concerns family life
Families 81
Children 53
Life 33  (as in "right to life")
Father 12

There is some focus on religion, usually in a vague way
God  62
Faith 12

A cluster of terms deal with the future, hope, and the like:
American Dream  36
Hope 24
Change 28
Opportunity 27
Promise 7

What leaders do Republicans mention, other than Romney, Ryan and Obama?
Reagan 5
Clinton 2  (either Bill or Hillary)
Kennedy 2
Kissinger 0
Gingrich 0  (as in "Gingrich led the opposition."
Eisenhower 0
Roosevelt 0
Goldwater 0

So far, hapless John McCain, the GOP standard bearer in 2008, has not been named even once.