Political Phrases Used by Republicans

The following is a list of phrases widely used by Republicans in the political arena.  These simple, catchy phrases, many of which were developed using focus groups, are part of the Republicans’ successful, coordinated effort to frame issues in their favor.  See how many of these phrases you recognize as part of everyday political discourse that you read or hear in the media or in discussions with people you know.  Notice how nearly all of the phrases are loaded terms, framed by the Republicans to benefit their party and/or to criticize the Democratic Party.

If you can think of any more such terms, please let us know by commenting here.  And check back from time to time, as the list will be updated with new or newly remembered Republican messages:

“activist judges”

“big government”

“Card Check”

“class warfare”

“climate change” (instead of “global warming”)

“culture of life”

“cut and run”

“death panels”

“death tax”

“Defense of Marriage Act”

“Democrat Party”

“drown it [government] in the bathtub” (anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, describing his main goal)

“energy exploration” (in place of “oil drilling”)

“enhanced interrogation”

“extraordinary rendition”

“family values”

“far Left”


“government-run health care”, “government-run health insurance”, or “government takeover of health care”

“Ground Zero Mosque”


“illegal” (describing illegal immigrant)

“job creators”

“judicial activism”

“legislate from the bench”

“liberal media”



“partial birth abortion”


“peace through strength”

“playing the race card”

“power grab”


“reform” (euphemism for “cut”)

“soft on crime”

“teachers’ unions”

“tort reform” (limiting personal injury and other lawsuit damages to benefit big corporations)

“trial lawyers”

“right to life”

“right to work”

“smaller government and less taxes”


“soft on crime”

“States’ rights”

“tax and spend liberal”

“tax revolt”

“values voter”

“War on Terror”

Perhaps in the future, we will be able to make a list of Democratic political phrases. However, at the moment, that list would be extremely short.

3 Responses to Political Phrases Used by Republicans
  1. David Kennedy
    December 20, 2011 | 10:26 pm

    They also love to do it with bills —

    “The Patriot act” is a huge example..
    talk about marketing!

  2. Matt Emmer
    December 20, 2011 | 10:40 pm

    @David, good point! Other such Orwellian bills during the Bush administration were the Clear Skies Act and the Healthy Forests Initiative, both of which were the opposite of their names.

  3. Earl Mosley
    May 26, 2012 | 5:05 pm

    I think one of their earlier and cheesier ones was (The evil doers)that was used a lot by W after 9/11.

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