Archive for March 18th, 2016

March 18, 2016

Dog-whistle Politics

gop by Rick Sealock

Dog-whistle politics is political messaging employing coded language that appears to mean one thing to the general population but has an additional, different or more specific resonance for a targeted subgroup. The phrase is often used as a pejorative, because of the inherently deceptive nature of the practice and because the messages are frequently coded because they are distasteful to the general populace. The analogy is to a dog whistle, whose high-frequency whistle is heard by dogs but inaudible to humans.

The term can be distinguished from ‘code words’ used in some specialist professions, in that dog-whistling is specific to the political realm. The messaging referred to as the dog-whistle has an understandable meaning for a general audience, rather than being incomprehensible.

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