They're not alone, though, and advertisers and lawyers also do more or less the same thing. And although Cracked's policy is, as always, to encourage hatred of politicians, lawyers, and admen, and to demand that our readers throw flaming deuces at them on sight, that doesn't stop us from studying their techniques. Here, then, are five examples of the most loaded language currently in use today, so that you might better protect yourself from their sorcery.
Taken without any context whatsoever, "family values" sounds fantastic. I've got two or three families scattered across the country, and I want only the best for them. Things like tire swings and little red wagons and kiddie pools and summer nights of dad getting drunk in all of those? Those family values are great!
"Happy Birthday, Reginald."
But, of course, we do have context, and by now we all know that "family values" has almost nothing to do with families at all, and instead is sort of a code word to describe the way various evangelical Christian groups perceive we should handle social issues. In our awful real world, "family values" can mean being against gay marriage, or sex education, or drinking in little red wagons. And if you are against those things, well, OK (you crazy kooks), but don't go around calling this stance "family values." That implies that only one type of family exists and that any family that, say, wants their gay kids to be happy, isn't worth considering.
"It's a ... mesh shirt and Kylie Minogue CD?"
"I just want you to know I love and support you no matter who you are, Reginald."