wedge issue

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wedge issue (plural wedge issues)

  1. (politics, social relations) A discussion point or a difference in points of view which is particularly likely to be controversial and a source of discord between discussants or other involved parties; a difference in viewpoints which causes disharmony within a political or social group.
    • 1996, Catherine Yang, "Worried white men may be the GOP's ace in the hole,", 25 March (retrieved 11 May 2011):
      "It's sick," he gripes. "Everybody is tired of someone getting a job because of color." Republicans are exploiting such frustration. . . .. Says Kathy Spillar, national coordinator for the Feminist Majority: "The GOP wants to use it as a racial wedge issue."
    • 2006, Nancy Gibbs, "Stem Cells: The Hope And The Hype," Time, 30 July:
      The speech . . . gave Democrats that rare gift: a wedge issue that split Republicans and united Democrats.

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