I keep hearing that Republicans use "dog whistles" to signal their secret agenda to each other in ways that the non-initiates can't hear. How does someone come to that opinion?
* Do they hear the dog whistles? Not much of a secret message then.
* Did someone tell them of this secret system? And they believed it?
* Do recognize it because they do the same thing? And don't mention their own use of course.
More seriously, I think the problem isn't "dog whistles" and secret signs, it is "teen whistles" and (tone) deafness Emitting tones, perhaps without knowing it, which many people can't hear, but which are grating to those who can. They don't draw in the initiated, but instead drive away those who still hear them and can't tune them out.
Leaving aside the talk about "dog whistles" as just strategic posturing and a tactic of defining your opponents, my suggestion would be that the Republican party needs to become more self-aware. Think about how they sound like and stop driving people away.