The right wing has a history of resorting to extreme rhetoric to criticize their opponents-smearing progressives as Nazis and socialists, accusing them of being anti-American and anti-God, and attacking them with violent and racially-charged language.
- These attacks are baseless smears used to divide us against each other.
- Freedom of speech is a pillar of our Constitution. We should all honor that freedom by holding ourselves accountable to a better standard.
Right-wing media figures with millions of listeners and viewers have repeatedly compared President Obama, Democrats and progressives to Adolf Hitler, Nazis, and brownshirts.
- Progressive groups such as unions are "brownshirts" and "henchmen."
- Obama and the Democrats present as great a threat to America as "Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did."
- There are countless "similarities between the Democratic Party of today and the Nazi Party in Germany."
- "Adolf Hitler, like Barack Obama, also ruled by dictate."
- "Obama wants to gas the Jews...like the Nazis gassed the Jews."
- People in progressive movement are "the brownshirts of today...the same rabble that brought Hitler to power."
- President Obama's advisors have "the kind of thinking that led to...the extermination program that eventually led to the Holocaust."
- Obama and the Democrats threaten America as much as "Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did."
Right-wing media figures and elected officials accuse their opponents of socialism and fascism in a partisan effort to smear them.
- "Mr. President, you don't believe in the Constitution. You believe in socialism."
- "The Democratic majority subjected the American people to class warfare, anti-capitalist hate speech" and "failed socialist policies."
- Obama is "a Marxist".
- "The facts are facts. The president is a socialist."
- Liberals who support gun control are "totalitarians."
- Obama is "a socialist president," but "we really are moving toward the fascist president."
- "The president is a Marxist" who is "setting up a class system" in America.
- Democrats are "the Socialist Party of America."
- Obama's policies are "fascism."
- Obama's policies represent "tyranny."
- Unemployment benefits are a "socialist proposition."
Right-wing media figures and elected officials frequently attacks progressives on the ground of faith and accuse them of being "enemies of God," despite the fact that more than 90% of Americans -- including most Democrats and Republicans -- believe in God. Conservatives claim:
- Progressives are "enemies of God."
- Democrats want to create a "godless society, an atheist society..."
- "The Progressive Left is coming for the kill on religion."
- Progressives pose a threat to "your religious liberty."
- "You can't vote for Obama and be a Christian."
- "The religious left in this country hates and despises the God of Christianity and Catholicism."
- Liberals "don't know who Jesus is."
- "The Left is scared to death of God."
- "Liberals hate real Americans that...believe in God."
- Liberal Catholics are not real Catholics.
- "Those churches that believe in collective salvation," "social justice," "are dangerous to the constitutional republic."
In the past few years there has been an outpouring of violent rhetoric and imagery from right-wing media figures and even elected officials.
- Workers "have a machine gun" pointed "at the heads of local officials."
- "We hunt liberal, tree-hugging Democrats."
- "Don't Retreat, Instead-RELOAD!" and a map targeting Congressional Democrats with crosshairs
- People may turn to "Second Amendment remedies."
- Health care reform is like the "Great War Of Yankee Aggression."
- Health care reform means seniors will be "put to death by their government."
- Democrats want seniors to "die off more quickly."
- Firing a gun at a target with an opponent's initials on it.
- Americans should be "armed and dangerous" to fight cap and trade legislation.
- "The people of Illinois are ready to shoot anyone who is going to raise taxes by that degree."
- Joking about "put[ting] poison" in Nancy Pelosi's wine
- Members of Congress should be "tarred and feathered."
- Democrats are vampires "going after the blood of our businesses," and we should be "driv[ing] a stake through the heart of the bloodsuckers."
- Self-identifying as a "progressive hunter."
- "At what point do the people ... march down to their state legislator's house, pull him outside, and beat him to a bloody pulp?"
- Obama "itching for a civil war. And at the rate he is going, he is going to get one."
- I'd "hang every lawyer who went down to Guantánamo."
- About detainees in U.S. custody: "shoot them in the head."
- Suggesting that good Muslims should "shoot the bad Muslims in the head."
- Calling Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid "terrorists."
- Suggesting the Congressmen "get shot at a few times" to change their opinion on Afghanistan.
Right-wing media figures and elected officials employ inflammatory racial rhetoric to smear their political opponents and divide America.
- Obama favors the "black person" by default.
- This administration "plays the race card."
- "The most racist people to ever live in America were the progressives."
- Obama has "a deep-seated hatred for white people."
- The Obama administration is "institutionalizing racism."
- Obama's agenda is driven by "reparations" and a desire to "settle old racial scores."
- The "NAACP is about the advancement of leftist ideals, agenda, and its own racism."
- The Latino civil rights group La Raza is "a racist hate group," just like the KKK.
- Obama used "racial anxiety for political gain."
We develop messaging by aggregating, analyzing and distilling polling, tested messaging, and expert recommendations, and monitoring the media to identify what is and isn't working. See here for some of the experts and organizations we draw on.