Family values, the common good, democratic principles, our birthright, parental choice, a caring society, fiscal responsibility -- these are examples of 'glittering generalities', namely positive, emotive words and phrases that appeal to us, but don't tell us very much about what is meant. Such words and phrases appeal to emotions such as love of country and home, and desire for peace, freedom and justice. They are 'glittering' because they grab the attention and are shiny and sparkly on the surface, but they are 'generalities' in that they are vague and meaningless.
Not surprisingly, they are particularly beloved of politicians, advertisers and propagandists. Advertisers will boast of a product being 100% natural, and most consumers will think that that's a positive -- but there are plenty of natural products that are poisonous or unhealthy; 100% natural is a glittering generality. A politician will claim to stand for choice, freedom, or traditional values -- things that no-one could object to, but the words and concepts are not explained -- deliberately so.
Glittering generality is an older phrase than you might think. The OED's first citation for it is from 1849. The OED's definition of 'glittering generality', which it describes as originally from the US, is "a platitude or cliché; used (esp. in pl.) of superficially convincing but empty phrases characteristic of the language of politicians, advertisements, etc."
In the late 1930s the US-based Institute for Propaganda Analysis referred to 'glittering generalities' being one of seven common propaganda devices, designed to stop people developing their own critical thoughts.
Thanks to Helen for drawing my attention to this phrase, and passing on links.