Questions tagged [rhetoric]

For questions about the messaging of political entities, such as politicians, candidates, parties, and interest groups.

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Why is "Whataboutism" often criticized?

Whataboutism or Whataboutary is the technique or practice of responding to an accusation or difficult question by making a counter-accusation or raising a different issue. Examples: The USA to Russia: ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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Why didn't Ukraine and NATO simply pretend to agree to Russia's demands? [closed]

Russia have invaded Ukraine to prevent their admission into NATO. Prior to the invasion, Russia made it clear that they wanted assurances that this would not happen. Why didn't NATO and Ukraine just ...
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Has a minister, or someone at a similar position, in a western style mature democracy ever called its leader an epithet indicating incompetence?

There are strong circumstantial evidence (e.g., here and here) that Rex Tillerson called Donald Trump "a fucking moron". Has a minister, or someone at a similar position, in a western style ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Is it common for politicians to share speeches they wrote but never gave?

Hillary Clinton has made public the speech she would have given had outcomes been different in the 2016 US Presidential Election. I can only think of one other example of a high profile politician ...
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28 votes
6 answers
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What do those Iranians who say "Death to America!" mean by it?

I was watching an old Anthony Bourdain show and I saw local Iranians in Tehran chanting "Death to America!" and then in the next scene saying "We need one day to be friends". Do ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Have politicians elaborated on their use of the term 'the Big Lie' in reference to US election fraud claims?

As defined by Lexico, the Big Lie technique is A gross distortion or misrepresentation of the facts, especially when used as a propaganda device by a politician or official body. As explained on ...
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47 votes
7 answers
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Why do populists and dictators sometimes lie so ridiculously that it's obvious it's untrue?

Why do populists and dictators sometimes lie so ridiculously that it's entirely obvious it's untrue? What purpose do such blatant lies serve if no one takes them seriously? Examples of extremely ...
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29 votes
2 answers
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What is the significance of Sec. Pompeo's labeling of China's treatment of the Uighurs as "genocide"?

A couple of recent headlines: Pompeo labels China's treatment of Uighurs 'genocide' - The Hill US accuses China of 'genocide' of Uyghurs in Xinjiang - CNN It seems reasonable to expect that this ...
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9 answers
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Why do politicians often say that they cannot comment on individual cases?

Often you hear politicians say, "I cannot comment on individual cases". I could understand if it is in court proceedings already so that politicians should avoid influencing the result, but ...
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2 votes
3 answers
512 views

"[W]ithout the stability of Israel, there can be no Palestine" - is this an actual idea? [closed]

I've been watching "House of Cards". I understand it is mainly fiction, yet as a non-American, I cannot tell real ideas within the U. S. government apart from made-up ones. In the 1st season,...
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17 votes
2 answers
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Is this expression displayed by protestors antisemitic?

Reading the news after four people were stabbed in protester-counterprotester clashes in Washington, DC — this image from npr.org — I came across this potentially offensive picture: (Hover over to ...
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Is there a (fuller) transcript for Trump's recent quip about election officials being “communists” and “enemies of the state”?

AP recently reported that: Speaking to news crews gathered to watch the traditional holiday conversation with the military, Trump denounced officials in battleground states he’d lost as “communists” ...
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1 answer
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(How) did Trump's administration rebut the accusation that lowering drug prices via regulations is tantamount to socialism?

In an amusing perhaps reversal of the usual rhetoric from ads in the 2020 elections, Trump found himself being accused of advancing some kind of socialism, at least if AP's summary of the rhetoric ...
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History of the Three Word Slogan [closed]

What's the history of the three word slogan in Politics? I'm aware of individual cases like "strong and stable" but was it ever as prevalent as it is now? It would be good to know if it ...
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127 votes
11 answers
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Why is it considered racist to say "White Lives Matter"?

Given the recent political upheaval and mass protests/riots with scores of people chanting "Black Lives Matter" on the streets, why is it considered white supremacist and racist to say "...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Origin of gerrymandering phrase regarding politicians picking voters

Recently, I had a project involving studying the history of redistricting and gerrymandering. In my studies, I came across what appears to be a particularly common aphorism in redistricting academia. ...
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25 votes
3 answers
8k views

Does the motto “Don’t tread on me” have a specific political color?

According to the following extract, the expression has in recent decades been associated with conservative groups: Don’t tread on me: Originating as a motto on an iconic Revolutionary War flag, don’...
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3 votes
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Who was responsible for the decision to play "Live and Let Die" at Trump's visit to a mask factory? [closed]

Some of the media has been pointing out the irony in that when Trump was visiting a mask factory, the Guns and Roses song "Live and Let Die" was being played on loudspeakers. Some coverage of the ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Have the police forces in other countries besides India dressed in coronavirus costumes as an awareness campaign?

CNN etc. have pictures of Indian police forces in coronavirus costumes, as part of an awareness campaign Have other countries used similar in-person costumes for awareness campaigns?
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3 votes
1 answer
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Did the Romanian president equate autonomy for the Székely with giving the area to Hungary in prior speeches?

I'm curious if Romanian president Iohannis has used such blunt language before today in describing autonomy proposals for the Székely (which he did reject before, but perhaps not using this kind of ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Can intentional foreign accent in a negative context be considered as xenophobia? [closed]

Today the Romanian president intentionally pronounced the name of its opposition party with Hungarian intonation and pronunciation. The message of his speech was that this opposition party sold ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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How common is it for the UK Government to publish official rebuttals of media claims?

Today, the Cabinet Office published a press release entitled Response to FT article and Twitter thread by Peter Foster. It begins: An article in FT Weekend on 18 April 2020, ‘Muddled thinking ...
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-2 votes
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Why is the UK government advising, but not requesting to stay at home this weekend?

The background is obvious. I'm really curious about the wording. In particular, UK told that staying home this weekend is 'not a request'. To me, it sounds like loosening restriction, in an unofficial ...
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12 votes
2 answers
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How did the US administration usually refer to COVID-19 before the Chinese foreign ministry started claiming the virus is of US origin?

It's been recently reported that Trump's administration (Trump himself, but also Pompeo) has been referring to COVID-19 as "China virus" or "Wuhan coronavirus" etc., emphasizing the Chinese origin of ...
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4 votes
1 answer
142 views

Is there systematic evidence that (campaign) "pivoting" doesn't work as well as it used to?

It's not hard to find punditry like [Trump's] chief campaign strategist Paul Manafort told Republican leaders that Trump’s been acting all along. “The part that he’s been playing,” Manafort insisted, ...
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43 votes
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Why do primaries contestants (usually) announce that they are "suspending" their campaign when they exit it?

It seems to be just another political euphemism, in line with politicians not being terribly willing to admit when they are wrong, but is there anything more than that to their use of "suspend" when ...
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2 votes
2 answers
184 views

Are there some details on what issues Romanian Social Democrats blamed on Soros?

According to a NYT article: In many ways, the struggle in Romania echoes the political drama playing out in other parts of the world, where leaders touting a populist agenda tapped into deep public ...
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5 votes
1 answer
464 views

What does the concept of "International Shame" intend?

What is the meaning of International Shame? What is intended when the term International Shame is used in the text below? The Mobilization of International Shame can also be thought of as a tool ...
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10 votes
1 answer
444 views

Are there more examples of self-contradictory messages from Trump when he (allegedly) asks for something iffy?

With respect to Trump telling Sondland "I want nothing" (which was used/repeated as a defense by other Trump allies), an opinion piece in the Washington Post claims that this might be a ...
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-3 votes
1 answer
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Why is Trump apparently disparaging Michael Bloomberg as "little Michael"? [closed]

Trump has a penchant for disparaging his political opponents with labels like "crooked Hillary", "sleepy Joe Biden" and so forth. Recently Trump called Michael Bloomberg "little", in relation to ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Have there been cases in New Zealand in which the consequences for unparliamentary speech have been more than a (forced) apology?

In an exchange in New Zealand's Parliament from 2017, the following record has been kept: Hon STEVEN JOYCE: Grumpy old prick. Grant Robertson: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I know there is a ...
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4 votes
1 answer
266 views

Is it known what the intervening MP was saying when Swarbrick retorted "OK, boomer"?

In relation to another question of mine, New Zealand Green Party MP said that "Today I have learnt that responding succinctly and in perfect jest to somebody heckling you about your age as you ...
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2 votes
1 answer
454 views

Has New Zealand announced any investigation or punishment/censure for MP Swarbick for her saying "OK, boomer"?

Have any authorities in New Zealand, e.g. some Parliamentary discipline/ethics committee or even the justice authorities launched any investigation or punishment attempt against MP Chlöe Swarbrick who ...
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6 votes
2 answers
477 views

Methodology of Deny, Obfuscate, Admit but deny significance; generally accepted term, notable implementations?

A recent comment below the question What is Trump's position on the whistle blower allegations? What does he mean by “witch hunt”? includes the following (I've reformatted for easier reading): The ...
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16 votes
5 answers
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What is Trump's position on the whistle blower allegations? What does he mean by "witch hunt"?

Last night, on a major US TV network there was a Trump ad about the "Witch Hunt" and ongoing impeachment proceedings. It was unclear from the ad, if Trump's position is that he didn't take the ...
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18 votes
4 answers
9k views

What does "2 fingers to Scotland" mean in Peter Grant's statement about Johnson not listening to the SNP's Westminster leader speeches?

SNP MP Peter Grant accuses Boris Johnson of walking out of the chamber while his party's Westminster leader Ian Blackford was still speaking. In a tweet, he claims it is the "third or fourth time ...
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3 votes
1 answer
279 views

Are there reoccurring taunts or put downs within UK Parliament?

This Powerline article alludes to a certain heckle, "Who Are You?" directed at UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and that Nigel Farage employs to much less success at the EU as sort of a mainstay ...
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6 votes
1 answer
1k views

What "king emperor" is Rees-Mogg referring to?

Responding to complaints about the tight schedule for the Brexit bill, Rees-Mogg said "A king emperor left in 24 hours, and we are removing an imperial yoke in over a week," he added. Clearly the "...
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6 votes
2 answers
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What is a "major country" as named in Bernie Sanders' Healthcare debate answers?

During the debate tonight, Bernie Sanders said (from the Washington Post's transcript): We need...a health-care system that guarantees health care to all people as every other major country does, ...
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99 votes
17 answers
40k views

How can I respond to Whataboutism?

While this uses examples that could be seen as supporting one side or the other, it is intended as a politically neutral question, to the extent that that is possible This has come up more and more ...
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4 votes
2 answers
758 views

What is the pyschology behind the "Silent Majority" claim?

According to Wikipedia, President Nixon used this phrase to refer to a majority of Americans who did not go on a demonstration against the Vietnam war. In any democracy, I believe, there are always ...
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