List of political metaphors

From Academic Kids

The following is a list of common political metaphors:

Contents

Relating to the executive

Relating to the legislature

  • blank check: legislation which is vaguely worded to the point where it can be widely exploited and abused
  • pork barrel legislation or patronage: acts of government that blatantly favor special interest groups.
  • a bill rider
  • poison pill a provision in an act or bill which defeat its ostensible intent, or which make it politically unacceptable.

Relating to elections

  • sacrificial lamb: a candidate who has no chance of winning
  • third rail: an issue which is so controversial it is not worth pursuing
  • stalking horse: a perceived front-runner candidate who unifies his or her opponents, usually within a single political party.
  • parachute candidate / carpetbagger: a candidate who runs for election in an area which he or she is not a native resident or has no ties.
  • dark horse: a candidate who is largely ignored by opponents yet makes significant gains.
  • mudslinging: harsh partisan insults exchanged between candidates
  • character assassination: spreading (usually) manufactured stories about a candidate with the intent to destroy his or her reputation in the eyes of the public.
  • landslide victory: a huge victory for one side.

Others

  • a straw man: an argument which is weak and easily defeated, though usually not the main issue at stake.
  • Government in the sunshine: a government which keeps all its records and documents open and easily accessible by the public.
  • a witch hunt: a hysterical pursuit of political enemies
  • a melting pot: a society in which all outsiders assimilate to one social norm.
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