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Reply #: George Lakoff ; Disaster Messaging. [View All]

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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-10 08:27 AM
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George Lakoff ; Disaster Messaging.
http://www.truth-out.org/disaster-messaging61170



Democrats are constantly resorting to disaster messaging. Here's a description of the typical situation:

* The Republicans out-message the Democrats. The Democrats, having no effective response, face disaster: They lose politically, either in electoral support or failure on crucial legislation.

* The Democrats then take polls and do focus groups. The pollsters discover that extremist Republicans control the most common ("mainstream") way of thinking and talking about the given issue.

* The pollsters recommend that Democrats move to the right: adopt conservative Republican language and a less extreme version of conservative policy, along with weakened versions of some Democratic ideas.

* The Democrats believe that, if they follow this advice, they can gain enough independent and Republican support to pass legislation that, at least, will be some improvement on the extreme Republican position.

* Otherwise, the pollsters warn, Democrats will lose popular support - and elections - to the Republicans, because mainstream thought and language resides with the Republicans.

* Believing the pollsters, the Democrats change their policy and their messaging and move to the right.

* The Republicans demand even more and refuse to support the Democrats.


We have seen this on issues like health care, immigration, global warming, finance reform, and so on. We are seeing it again on the Death Gusher in the Gulf. It happens even with a Democratic president and a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress.

<snip>

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