campaign, noun. 1. An attempt to inform voters of your experience, qualifications, and planned policies, should you be elected to higher office. 2. A blast. The chance to say whatever comes into your head in the moment, regardless of whether it agrees with or contradicts what you said an hour earlier, and have everyone in the room applaud; and have every news outlet in the country praise or criticize you, but whichever it is you are the lead story.
climate change, noun. 1. An urgent crisis that threatens to drown coastal cities and turn farmlands into deserts, and that calls for an international shift to clean energy. 2. A hoax.
experience, noun. 1. The quality of being seasoned, of having amassed knowledge, judgment, and skills directly applicable to future challenges. 2. Something that can be transferred over from the hotel/casino/steak/unprofitable for-profit university/beauty-pageant industry.
immigrants, noun. 1. All American citizens or their ancestors, other than Native Americans. 2. Criminals, job stealers, and terrorists.
Internet, noun. 1. Global digital network that can spread rumors and lies by making propaganda sites appear to be news sites. 2. Global digital network that performs the invaluable service of making propaganda sites appear to be news sites.
jobs, noun. 1. Employment opportunities produced by global trends in technological innovation, investment, and trade and fiscal policies. 2. Something that can be brought back to America, unless no American wants to do them, in which case foreign people can come and do them as long as they are not Muslims or Mexicans.
journalism, noun. 1. Researched reporting of important facts and events to help citizens form opinions and make decisions that will affect their daily lives and the future of the national and international communities. 2. Breitbart, National Enquirer. Seriously. Pulitzer Prize for you guys, if the right guy wins.
national security, noun. 1. Goal to be achieved by working with NATO and other trusted allies to eliminate ISIS strongholds in Iraq and Syria, dismantle electronic terrorist networks, and prevent worldwide spread of nuclear weapons. 2. Goal to be achieved by torture, taking out their families, building a wall, deportation, quizzing people at the airports about their values, and doing some other smart things that are top secret.
policy, n oun. 1. A detailed plan for government action formulated after weighing facts, history, political realities, and available resources. 2. Something boring to be figured out later.
presidency, noun. 1. The responsibility of exercising the executive powers of the federal government within the framework of constraints defined by the United States Constitution, including faithfully executing the laws, managing international relations, and exercising the power of commander in chief of American military forces. 2. That thing where if you get it they have to play "Hail to the Chief" every time you walk into a room.
quisling , noun . 1. Republican government official who is prepared, through his or her explicit or implied support, to hand over the power of the American presidency to someone ignorant, inexperienced, unstable, unprincipled, and completely unqualified. 2. Never heard of it.
Joan Wickersham's column appears regularly in the Globe.