[Ads-l] dog whistle # 2

David K. Barnhart dbarnhart at HIGHLANDS.COM
Sat Dec 30 08:28:54 EST 2017

Thanks, gentlemen.  All good points.  [A lexicographer’s is never punched
out on the day’s clock.] See what I did last night:


dog whistle, {m}  n.phr.  a signal used to alert activists to action; a code
word or phrase intended to excite racism.  See dog-whistle politics.
Nonstandard (used in slang contexts dealing especially with party politics
throughout the English-speaking world; frequency?)


“Is ‘Merry Christmas’ a dog whistle for white nationalists,” Fox News
(Google), Dec. 26, 2017,


Re. “Virginia neo-Nazi rally exposes danger of dog-whistle politics,” Paula
Simons, Aug. 15 If references to “ordinary Albertans” represent a “dog
whistle,” what do the references to “embarrassing cousins” and “sewer rats”
represent? Paula Simons’ self-righteous assumptions about what conservative
commentary really means don’t contribute to mutual understanding nor does
rejection of progressivist “wisdom” automatically imply support for
neo-Nazis and fascists.  Herb Schultz, “Don’t stereotype conservatives,” an
editorial in the Edmonton Journal [Alberta] (Nexis), Aug, 18, 2017, p A10


Now, when Reagan campaigns using that same term in 1980, that’s just 16
years after these civil rights workers had been slain there. There isn’t a
voter alive in that town who hadn’t been alive when these civil rights
workers were lynched. And for him to go and say “states’ rights,” it’s a
clear dog whistle, saying, “I understand that this term is about the ability
of whites to resist integration.”  Amy Goodman, “Dog Whistle Politics: How
Politicians Use Coded Racism to Push Through Policies Hurting All,”
Democracy Now (Google), Jan. 14, 2014


—adj.  Especially written dog-whistle.


Media images were engineered by the Government to make asylum seekers appear
a threat, rather than a tragedy. It was a classic example of what they call
“dog-whistle” politics, where a subliminal message, not literally apparent
in the words used, is heard by sections of the community. And the more media
controversy there was, the more the dog-whistle message was amplified and
broadcast.  It was hardline, authoritarian, and, in its essence, racist.
Mike Seccombe, “The wages of spin,” Sydney Morning Herald [Australia]
(Nexis), Nov. 5, 2001, p 6 




WEDNESDAY, 20 August, 2003 was a bad day for Pauline Hanson, but it will
prove to be a very, very bad day for John Howard too, because the voters he
dog whistled at the last election are very upset, and will come back at the
next election and bite him soundly on the bum.  Rosalie Watson [Tasmania],
in a letter to the editor in The Weekend Australian (Nexis), Aug. 23, 2003,
p 16


The goal is “respect” for women’s bodies and women’s abortion rights. It’s
part of the coordinated campaign to fight the right’s purported “war on
women.” The Vagina Puppets’ Democratic Party sympathizers, from professional
birth control freeloader Sandra Fluke to first lady Michelle Obama,
dog-whistled the same messages of “choice” and “freedom” from the convention

“We are ... focusing on the issue of the GOP’s war on women and trying to
take away women’s reproductive rights, so we have been going around in our
vagina costumes,” Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin told The Daily Beast.
Michelle Malkin, “Code Pink Circus,” The Augusta Chronicle [Georgia]
(Nexis), Sept. 10, 2012, p A4


His campaign found an untapped audience willing to trade civility for
“telling it like it is,” even if the telling is offered with overt or
dog-whistled racism and misogyny.

And having set the stage on so many stages, then watching others get rich
off his ratings draw, perhaps Trump’s ready to bump it up to a higher
constant platform. John Baer, “Baer: Trump TV could be huuuge!” The
Philadelphia Daily News (Nexis), June 23, 2016, p 03 


Second, whatever strength Democrats have gained from identity politics
appears to have reached a natural ceiling. Candidate Trump built his
campaign on his willingness to offend people. He bashed immigrants, linked
Mexicans to violent crime, dog-whistled to white supremacists. Yet when the
votes were counted, Trump outperformed 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney among
African American voters and matched Romney among Latinos. David Von Drehle,
“Democrats, cut the cheer,” Dayton Daily News [Ohio] (Nexis), Nov. 19, 2017,
p wapo21  


[1988; 1989]  Semantic shifting (specialization): formed from dog whistle
(eOED: 1801) [ultimately from dog (BDE: about 1050), as in dog lead (eOED:
1906), + whistle (BDE: about 1000), as in police whistle (eOED: 1872)].


dog-whistled, part. adj. (): Either way, there’s no conspiracy or idiocy
about it. And just because you don't have kids, doesn’t mean you have
Cruella de Vil fantasies about them.

Of course, underlying all of the above is the dog-whistled view that women
with “normal” personal lives are somehow more “real” and better equipped to
understand the world than those without. “Do you want a mother or a
professional as PM?” Canberra Times [Australia] (Nexis), July 3, 2010, p A25


dog whistler, n. Also written dog-whistler.  (frequency?): The Americans
call this “dog-whistle politics”. Blow a dog whistle, and you won’t hear
much to get excited about. But the target of the whistle—the dogs—will
detect a sound beyond the audible range of the rest of us, and will react to
it. Two quite different messages are contained within the one action of
blowing the whistle: the one benign, the other designed to be heard and
heeded only by the ears tuned to it.

The beauty of this approach is that if your critics claim they have detected
a secret message, you can deny it, and accuse your accusers of deliberately
and mischievously seeking the non-existent. Tony Wright, “The Dog Whistler,”
The Age [Melbourne] (Nexis), April 8, 2000, p 1


The more some ideas are frozen out of politics ccc for better or for worse
ccc the less they thrive “in peoples’ heads.” And, more important, only when
politicians highlight those ideas do they escape from peoples’ heads and
become political issues.

Yes, neither Trump nor earlier Republican dog-whistlers created the audience
they played to. But there are many potential audiences in the electorate.
Politicians and political parties choose which ones to nurture ccc and are
fairly held responsible for those choices.  Jonathan Bernstein, “Republican
Party got the voters it deserved,” an editorial in The Salt Lake Tribune
(Nexis), May 25, 2016, p  not given 


dog-whisting, (): Winston Peters has accused Labour of “dog-whistling” on
the immigration debate after Andrew Little’s comments on Chinese and Indian

The Labour leaders told reporters at Parliament yesterday that large inflows
of semi-skilled migrants were putting pressure on jobs, especially in
Auckland. The Government needed to “turn the tap down a bit” until
conditions improved, he said. “Labour accused of ‘dog-whistling’ on
immigration debate,” The New Zealand Herald (Nexis), March 17, 2016, p not



dog-whistle politics, {w}  Also written dog whistle politics.  See the
quotations for description.  Compare alt-right and lipstick on a pig.
Nonstandard (used in slang contexts dealing especially with party politics
throughout the English-speaking world; frequency?)


We look at how politicians have used coded racial appeals to win support for
cuts like these and similar efforts since the 1960s with Ian Haney López,
author of the new book, “Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have
Reinvented Racism & Wrecked the Middle Class.” A senior fellow at Demos and
law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, López argues that
“this is about race as it wrecks the whole middle class. This sort of racism
is being used to fool a lot of whites into voting for Republicans whose main
allegiance is to corporate interests.”  Amy Goodman, “Dog Whistle Politics:
How Politicians Use Coded Racism to Push Through Policies Hurting All,”
Democracy Now (Google), Jan. 14, 2014



The deputy leader said the Lib Dem’s pro-EU stance had helped them recover
from a crushing defeat after five years of coalition government, and achieve
the party’s highest ever membership.

Ms Swinson said her party fought against “racist, dog-whistle” politics in
defeating the former Conservative London mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith in
a byelection in 2016, and continued to stand against “rabble-rousing,
hate-stoking” populism. “Jo Swinson: Dems are the Chumbawamba' party,”
Scotsman (Nexis), Sept. 16, 2017, p not given


Palmerston North political candidates are divided over proposed measures to
deal with the scourge of methamphetamine, with one describing them as
“dog-whistle politics”.

Deputy Prime Minister and Police Minister Paula Bennett announced a raft of
measures against both gangs and methamphetamine, also known as P, as
National continued election campaigning on Sunday. Jono Galuszka,
“Politicians sparring over Nat’s meth plan,” Manawatu Standard [New Zealand]
(Nexis), Sept. 5, 2017, p 3


President Trump has deplored the violence that occurred in Charlottesville.

To claim that he has a “role in the resurgence of far-right violence” and
indulges in “dog-whistle politics of hate” is not only wild nonsense but
suggests that Mr Amery has succumbed to the fake news and views that
proliferate in sections of the media.

This is indicated by his attempt to denounce what he calls “alternative
facts” which obviously clash with his views. “Distorting facts to serve an
opinion,” The Mercury [South Africa] (Nexis), Aug. 28, 2017, p 6


Republicans have also employed so-called “dog whistle” politics: coded
words, policies and imagery that preserve deniability while speaking with
implicit clarity to white racial and cultural fears. From the Willie Horton
ad that helped George H.W. Bush become president to the suggestive white
woman ad that helped sink a black candidate’s Senate bid in Tennessee, from
photo ID voter suppression to birther conspiracies, from Newt Gingrich
condemning a “food stamp president” to Paul Ryan’s complaining about “a
tailspin of culture in our inner cities,” the GOP has seldom missed a chance
to lay out the welcome mat for white supremacists. Leonard Pitts, Jr.,
“Charlottesville didn’t spring from nowhere,” Spokesman Review [Spokane,
Wash.] (Nexis), Aug. 21, 2017, p 003


[1995] 1997 (See quote at dog whistler, above?)  Composite (compound):
formed, with semantic shifting, from dog whistle (eOED: 1801), meaning “a
whistle for calling a dog, especially such a whistle with a high-frequency
sound inaudible to people” (WBD), + politics (OED: 1638), as in message


dog whistle politician, Also written dog-whistle politician.  (): Atwater’s
comments underscore the reality of covert racial appeals that can be part of
an election strategy.  Dog whistle politicians realize they would be broadly
condemned if they openly appealed for white solidarity. n74 Thus, they use
covert racial appeals to attain their electoral objectives.  In this way,
covert race-based machinations wind their way into American politics.
William Y. Chin, “The Age of Covert Racism in the Era of the Roberts Court
During the Waning of Affirmative Action,” Rutgers Race & the Law Review
(Nexis), 2015, p ?


As Jo understood, the European Union stands for co-operation, not hostility,
for discussion, not aggression. It is a club for the mutual benefit of its
members, freely entered in to, not an alien tyranny. Yet it's so easy for
self-interested “dog-whistle” politicians to stir up fears and hatreds which
go on to destroy the innocent and the good.  Margaret Williams Bryn de
Winton [Brecon, Powys] in a letter to the editor “Think about Jo Cox when
you go to vote,” The Western Mail [Australia?] (Nexis), June 22, 2016, p 20



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