Quote: “The Muslim Representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don’t wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran.” Virgil Goode, Republican Congressman from Virginia, in a letter to constituents.
Figure of Speech: anthimeria, the verbing figure. From the Greek, meaning “one part for another.”
Rep. Keith Ellison, a newly elected Democrat from Minnesota, got sworn in with a Koran—Thomas Jefferson’s Koran, thank you very much—instead of the Bible, which everyone knows is the operating manual that God wrote for America. Rep. Goode attacks this Jeffersonian act with a strange Slippery Slope fallacy: if we don’t restrict immigration, hordes of Muslims will somehow get elected to Congress and ululate for the Koran.
But Figaro is more interested in Virgil Goode’s reference to himself as “Virgil Goode” instead of the pronoun “I” used by America-hating liberals and Muslims. Bob Dole did the same thing, referring to himself as “Bob Dole.” This is a kind of anthimeria—a figure that swaps one part of speech for another. The anthimeria is best known as verbing, the conversion of nouns into verbs. In Goode’s case, it helped convert a bigot into a laughingstock.
Snappy Answer: “God should smite religious zealots who get elected.”