What are some dog whistles of the American left?

Dog whistles seem to be almost exclusively a “right wing” thing going by the news, so I’m curious to know if there are any left wing dog whistles?

I always felt “Punch Nazi’s” was a dog whistle, it’s a statement on it’s face is something we can generally all agree with but then its meaning began morphing quickly into something it was never meant to be and I started seeing “Punch Nazis” in reference to basically be anything the person writing it didn’t like, to the point I saw a left-wing games journalist say “Punch Nazis” when he was killing Russians in video games which kind of seems the opposite of its original intended meaning.

Okay, I was writing a response to your other thread when you deleted it. That was weird.

As I was saying, I don’t feel dog whistles are a right wing thing. Conservatives don’t have a reason to hide their ideology.

Dog whistles are a racist thing. Racists feel they need to hide what they are. So they have ways of signaling to each other while keeping the signals unrecognizable to outsiders. Or they use these signals so they can maintain plausible deniability of what they are.

Yeah sorry about that I posted it in wrong board, I thought I was posting it in IMHO not General Questions

I’m going to pretend my original response was far more articulate and insightful than this one.

I endorse this interpretation.

“Go by science” often means support of evolution and pushback against creationism.

“Hate speech will not be tolerated” usually means banning Trump supporters, neo-Nazis, Confederate apologists, etc.

“Bodily autonomy” = support for access to abortion

“Paying fair share” usually = increase taxes on wealthy

I’m not sure any of these count as dog whistles though. They are meant for consumption among moderate audiences, not merely among liberals themselves.

Dog whistle? That is a direct statement of fact. Science usually supports reality over fantasy.

This is a definition, not a dog whistle.

Yeah, those aren’t dog whistles. A dog whistle, as I understand it, is a term that those “in the know” will recognize and appreciate for its hidden meaning, while the rest of the unwashed masses will see it as a more-or-less neutral term.

“Pay their fare share” means “raise taxes on the rich.”

“Affordable housing” means “subsidized housing.”

“Living wage” means “Pay them more than the value that they are contributing to society.”

No, democrats do not interpret the first statement as that hateful screed - they pretty much just take the term literally.

In any case, yet more not-dog-whistles. The point of a dog whistle is that the meaning of the phrase is supposed to be secret, or at least deniable. It’s no secret that the rich aren’t paying their fair share, and when that phrase is used everyone knows exactly what is meant.

I agree that the only people who use dog whistles are those who require plausible deniability about that which they’re speaking about. Liberals, you may have noticed, tend not to be ashamed of their positions. Not even vegans!

Big Tent? Not really a dog whistle but it does apply to race.

Or Bodily Autonomy = I don’t have to wear a mask.

In my experience, Paying fair share = Don’t pay a male more than a female for the same work.

And Go By Science=Everything!

And none of these are dog whistles.

I think you’ve discovered previously-unnamed dog megaphones.

This is a difficult one. In the urban planning field, “affordable housing” means quality housing that a household can afford, regardless of their income range. “Affordable housing” for a middle class American household means they can reasonably afford the rent or mortgage payments, plus utility and maintenance expenses, for a typical 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house with few deficiencies. However, many use the term to mean “income qualified housing”, “subsidized housing”, or “workforce housing”.

I have to be very careful about how I use the term “affordable housing” in my work. I live and work in an area with where a middle class household can more-or-less afford a median-priced house $200-$250K house, but that money gets you something that’s very “rustic” by American standards. We’re talking an on-frame modular house that’s essentially a double-wide mobile home, a 1100’^2 / 100m^2 1950s ranch that’s a time capsule, or the region’s modal house – a gabled ell “folk Victorian” that would be functionally obsolete by American standards . Ancient kitchen, fridge in the hall, main bathroom off the kitchen or living room, 7’ ceilings, no level floors or right angles anywhere, etc. I might say there’s a lack of “quality affordable housing”, and people understand that in a context that’s different than “subsidized”. If I say a project will have “affordable housing”, though, my audience will assume it’s income-qualified / subsidized / LIHTC (Low Income Housing Tax Credit), intended for low/moderate income households.

The term “holistic approach to admissions” is sometimes used as a dog whistle in academia to mean “We have too many Asians.” This came up in the ongoing Harvard lawsuit, where it emerged that Harvard had often ranked Asian applicants as lacking in personality or people skills without ever even meeting or speaking to them.

The implication was that Asians may test higher on math, etc. but lack social ability while other races may test lower on the SAT but are more societal well-rounded.

Left-wing antisemites use “Zionist”* in the same way right-wing antisemites use “international bankers”.

Other than that, I can’t think of any left-wing dog whistles.

*To be clear, I’m not saying that all people who criticize Israel are antisemites; I’m saying that many antisemites use criticizing “Zionists” as a cover for hating Jews.

The “left” doesn’t usually get the opportunity to “dog whistle” as the right does a good job of spreading “anti left” media as it’s easier to turn right wing dog whistling into something good.

Eg - Ronald Regan, “I’ll get government off your back” meaning I’ll make the rich richer by entrenching trickle down economics.

Margret Thatcher “I’ll create labour peace” meaning I’ll do my utmost to crush out labour unions who have basically been the only voice for working people.

Tim_R.Mortiss: “Pay their fare share” means “raise taxes on the rich.”

Or more precisely, “raise taxes on everyone making substantially more money than me while pretending that will be enough to pay for everything I want”.

It may be more of a euphemism than a dog whistle, but “holistic” typically means “it feels good so I don’t have to justify it with logic and facts” or “I can charge more for this crap”. “Holistic” is especially popular with the woo crowd who are on “a healing journey” for relief from “dis-ease”.