A “bomb thrower” is used metaphorically to describe a person — often a politician or political operative — who uses provocative, inflammatory, or extreme rhetoric to disrupt the status quo or incite controversy.
This term does not refer to any form of physical violence but is used to characterize the aggressive and often disruptive nature of the individual’s political discourse.
A “bomb thrower” is typically known for making bold, controversial statements or accusations, often with the intent of drawing attention to themselves or their cause, or to provoke a reaction from their opponents.
They may use sensationalism or even misinformation to create a dramatic impact.
Their rhetoric is often designed to polarize, drawing clear lines between different political factions and fueling intense debate.
The role of a “bomb thrower” can be strategic within a political context.
By creating controversy or drawing attention to certain issues, they can shift the focus of public discourse, influence the political narrative, or galvanize support among their base.
They can also serve as a distraction, drawing attention away from other issues or controversies.
More on “Bomb Thrower”
A version of attack dog.
Bomb throwers (also known as flamethrowers) are more prone to act independently of their party’s leadership. As such, they’re often wing nuts or left-wing loonies.
In November 2013, National Journal named what it called “the new Republican flamethrowers,” including Colorado congressional candidate Ken Buck, Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller, and Iowa social-conservative stalwart Bob Vander Plaats.
From Dog Whistles, Walk-Backs, and Washington Handshakes © 2014 Chuck McCutcheon and David Mark.
Use of “Bomb Thrower” in a sentence
- The senator, known as a political bomb thrower, stirred controversy again with his inflammatory remarks about the opposition’s policy.
- In the heated political climate, the party’s bomb thrower was frequently in the spotlight, using provocative rhetoric to rally their base and challenge the status quo.
- While some praised her boldness, others criticized her role as a bomb thrower, arguing that her inflammatory statements were contributing to political polarization and undermining civil discourse.
Taegan Goddard is the creator of the Political Dictionary.
Goddard spent more than a decade on Wall Street as managing director and chief operating officer of a prominent investment firm in New York City. Previously, he also served as a policy adviser to a U.S. Senator and Governor.
Goddard is also co-author of You Won – Now What?: How Americans Can Make Democracy Work from City Hall to the White House, a political management book hailed by prominent journalists and politicians from both parties.
His essays on politics and public policy have appeared in dozens of newspapers and magazines across the country.
Goddard earned degrees from Vassar College and Harvard University.
He lives in New York with his wife and three sons.