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Old article detailing Bush's manipulative speech technique

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nothingshocksmeanymore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 01:55 AM
Original message
Old article detailing Bush's manipulative speech technique
Edited on Thu May-06-04 01:56 AM by nothingshocksmeanymo
Found this old article while looking for a link for another issue. In it, the author makes some sound arguments for the manner in which Bush manipulates his audience with his speeches. Interesting reading and it raises the question...how should the opposition counter this?

I am snipping from the middle of the article to get to the heart of what he actually is doing:

<snip>
Poll after poll demonstrates that Bush's political agenda is out of step with most Americans' core beliefs. Yet the public, their electoral resistance broken down by empty language and persuaded by personalization, is susceptible to Bush's most frequently used linguistic technique: negative framework. A negative framework is a pessimistic image of the world. Bush creates and maintains negative frameworks in his listeners' minds with a number of linguistic techniques borrowed from advertising and hypnosis to instill the image of a dark and evil world around us.

Catastrophic words and phrases are repeatedly drilled into the listener's head until the opposition feels such a high level of anxiety that it appears pointless to do anything other than cower.

Psychologist Martin Seligman, in his extensive studies of "learned helplessness," showed that people's motivation to respond to outside threats and problems is undermined by a belief that they have no control over their environment. Learned helplessness is exacerbated by beliefs that problems caused by negative events are permanent; and when the underlying causes are perceived to apply to many other events, the condition becomes pervasive and paralyzing.

Bush is a master at inducing learned helplessness in the electorate. He uses pessimistic language that creates fear and disables people from feeling they can solve their problems. In his Sept. 20, 2001, speech to Congress on the 9/11 attacks, he chose to increase people's sense of vulnerability: "Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. ... I ask you to live your lives, and hug your children. I know many citizens have fears tonight. ... Be calm and resolute, even in the face of a continuing threat." (Subsequent terror alerts by the FBI, CIA and Department of Homeland Security have maintained and expanded this fear of unknown, sinister enemies.)

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/130534_focusecond...
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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 02:00 AM
Response to Original message
1. Interesting, but giving the fool far too much credit
Now Rove, that's another issue
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Syrinx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 02:04 AM
Response to Original message
2. did you catch Mike Malloy's "famous" rant on this?
It was excellent, was posited in terms of 1984, twenty years "too late."
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nothingshocksmeanymore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 02:18 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. I think I may have tuned in that day
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Syrinx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 02:39 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. it was great
I think I have it in mp3, and I'll send it to you if you want. I don't think Mike will mind. :)
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anarchy1999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 02:10 AM
Response to Original message
3. Bush is not the master, his speechwriters, they are the ones to "fear".
Bush is an unmitigated disaster, even when reading from the teleprompter.
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nothingshocksmeanymore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 02:18 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. I agree it is a group effort but even in clips from the debates
without the use of a teleprompter, he is well versed and well coached in delivery.
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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 02:12 AM
Response to Original message
4. The Puppet Master fingerprints are all over this one.
There is no way W would write these things. He can barely follow the scripts hence the Uh uhh duh uh hesitations as his brain scrambles to recall the memed phrase.
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raysr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 02:23 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. That SOB
Edited on Thu May-06-04 02:24 AM by raysr
isn't a master at anything. If he's doing this it is unknowingly.
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Lisa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 03:13 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. he's cunning ...
I suspect many of us have encountered those who appeared to be stupid -- often too lazy or not talented enough to do well in school or important jobs -- but who were extremely savvy about manipulating people. There are a lot of different kinds of "intelligence", and I suspect that * IS a "master" at getting people to do what he wants, through intimidation, confiding, pretending to be jolly, etc.

I agree that part of it is unknowing (he just instinctively senses that if he acts a certain way, people will obey, out of greed or fear) -- but there's some proof that he can turn it on and off when he wants. Notice how quickly he sheds that affable "Dubya" persona when somebody criticizes him or doesn't want to play along?
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murielm99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 04:06 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Have you ever read a book called The Chocolate War?
There is a character in the book just like that -- Archie, a high school manipulator extrordinaire. He runs a secret club called the Virgils. He is clever, not smart. He knows how to play people.

This is a young adult novel, that captures perfectly, the inner workings of a New England private school.

Bush has always reminded me of Archie. The neocons are his Virgils.
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anarchy1999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 05:05 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Cunning is not the word I use, Evil, the absolute personification of EVIL!
That is my word for BUSH! Bush is the evil he always speaks of ridding the world of. Oh jeez, must be time to say good-night, I scared myself.
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