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Talking point

From Academic Kids

Talking points are small arguments or phrases that political strategists issue to representatives or supporters of a party or administration to be used repeatedly in speeches, talk show appearances and debates. The strategy is to create a meme and make the idea a common assumption by sheer means of repetition. Talking points are often gross simplifications of issues, and become name calling if used too often. The most effective talking points consist of one or two words, e.g. "flip-flopper", "job loser", and "ACLU member".

Talking points should not be confused with political slogans, which are displayed and said freely and brazenly. A talking point is more often snuck into speeches and debate to seem if it should naturally be there, thus suggesting it is simple, common knowledge.

Examples

Two examples from the 2004 U.S. presidential election include Democrats' constant assertion that George W. Bush is the first president since Herbert Hoover to see a loss of jobs during his administration and Republicans' much simpler and more effective assertion that John Kerry is a "flip-flopper".

Perhaps the most famous and effective talking point in American politics comes from the U.S. presidential election, 1988, in which supporters of Republican George H.W. Bush continuously called Democrat Michael Dukakis a "card-carrying member of the ACLU."

See also


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