Rather than espouse unpalatable or politically incorrect views, politicians sometimes speak in code. Code words may be innocuous but are intended to resonate with the target audience, and convey the actual message.

Examples of Code Words

Many codewords are used to discredit by placing a person in a caricatured group (the relevant caricature is in brackets). The original meaning of the group is usually innocuous, or even positive.
  • Feminist (Man hating ivory tower loony bin, as opposed to "person who thinks women should be treated equally")
  • Religious Right (Right wing Christians who want to control everyone else's behavior, as opposed to "person who has a religious motivation")
  • Liberal (Wants to waste your money on touchy feely stuff, as opposed to "social innovator")
  • Conservative (Wants to lock up anyone who disagrees, as opposed to "prudent fiscal planner")


I'm only scratching the surface here and have tried to select a balance of liberal and conservative code words, but ended up with more of the latter. Any more?

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