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checks-n-balances Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:03 AM
Original message
"Don't Think of What's the Matter with Elephants in Kansas!"
After seeing how oft-quoted these two books are - I'm talking about

What's the Matter with Kansas? by Thomas Franks

and

Dont Think of an Elephant! by George Lakoff

They sound like must-reads for Dems right now, and they may possibly have many common thoughts/ideas between them.

Anyone here at DU read both of them?

If so, what are the most compelling points they make and how can the Democratic Party benefit from them? Are they contradictory, or can their wisdom be distilled to benefit a re-establishment of democracy?

I hope to read both someday, but for now,

Would some of you kind dems please discuss these gems?

Thanks in advance!
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pocoloco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:15 AM
Response to Original message
1. I have an extra copy of "Dont Think of an Elephant!" by George Lakoff
that you are welcome to read and pass on if you like.


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joelogan Donating Member (140 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
2. Most DUers actually are in opposition to the ideas of Frank and Lakoff

Frank and Lakoff favor a return to economic populism, i.e., raising tax rates on the rich (more than just rolling back the tax cuts) and using that revenue to pay for universal healthcare and for social safety net payments. They also favor cutting back on free trade.

Economic populism runs counter to what Kerry espoused. Kerry said this summer: "I am not a redistribution Democrat." Economic populism is about redistribution of wealth. And that is what Frank and Lakoff are promoting (Frank more than Lakoff, in general).

But most DUers are not in favor of that agenda. THey are more like Kerry. MOST DUers.

I love Frank and Lakoff. But most DUers just ignore them, and they will probably say "socialists" when they read your post. Just my opinion :-)

Now if you want to get a really good response, start a thread speculating about the Cheney Penis Size news story....


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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. That must be why...
...he wanted to keep Bush*'s tax cut for everyone except for people making over $200,000 a year.

:eyes:
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joelogan Donating Member (140 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Moving from top rate of 35% to 39% is NOT economic populism
And that is not even considering the many many loopholes. Heck, even the Kerry family only paid something like 5-10% tax on their multimillion dollar income last year. Anytime you live in a country where any zillionaire pays 5-10% income tax, that is NOT, in any way shape or form, an economic populist country. And raising that rate 4% does not even come close to making it economic populist.

Now, your post implies that Kerry is an economic populist. PLease explain to me how you justify that!

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JI7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. he discussed the loopholes many times
and how corporations and the wealthy benefit from them and wanting to take that away from them.
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joelogan Donating Member (140 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:52 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. Regardless, 39% top rate is NOT economic populist
Further, he promisied he would not raise taxes on those making less than 200K. Not economic populist, that.
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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. OK then, show us where these authors specifically advocate...
Edited on Sun Nov-14-04 11:43 AM by LoZoccolo
...moving the top bracket higher.

Who cares what the percentage rate of the top bracket is, anyways? The question should be whether or not it can fund our programs and if our programs work, not whether or not whoever loses a big enough chunk. If it all hinges on a particular number then yeah, I don't care about economic populism. I may agree with much of the rest of it, but I couldn't care less if the top bracket matches a specific number I have in my head right now.
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #4
14. The tax rate used to be ABOVE 70% not long ago
and yet what so many fail to realize, or at least for some reason fail to want to bring up is that the big wealthy names in our society -- the Carnegies, the Kennedy, the BIG names in old-time American wealth and power. All of these guys somehow managed to survive the horrible burdens of immense wealth, and came out of it quite nicely, thank you very much.

And they'll do it again, this time. They'll survive quite nicely under the horribly unfair burden of 35%, 38%, or national sales tax.None of these tax rates even touches them. No one is pointing the absurdly obvious point, that when you have tons and tons of money, the kind of money these guys have, it builds upon itself so fast that all they have to do hand it over to another guy (who is probably also doing quite well off this whole deal), and he makes sure the bills are paid the investments are performing.

35%? 38%? Everything we have in this country, the modern look and feel of it we've all grown up with and have long since take for granted, was built during times of what are supposedly "crushing" tax burdens. From Hyannis Port to Carnegie Hall, huge institutions of personal and quasi-public wealth. That was including the "death tax," the tax on large estates which affected all but the smallest percentage of our population, so small that the constituency of Skittles eaters would hold more far political power in a truly representative democracy. But for that wealth thing.

Dammit, the people writing these damn laws, telling us they're being crushed by the taxes, are the same people benefitting from the lower rates. We all know that, it is a practically a cliche of civics. And like that other time-worn cliche, that "third rail," most discussions of higher tax rates on those with the most wealth to spread around are ultimately discussions of a politician's swan song.

I'm not attempting to create the new tax code. I'm not pretending I'd even know where to begin. I'm not advocating a return for 70%-plus tax rates. I am just viewing this thing from a what I see before my own eyes perpective. I am merely trying to point out how ridiculous it is to assume that we can continue to keep building this society, keep advancing, if the people with the money actually don't put some of it back on the table in some sort of mutually beneficial proportionality, similar to the way it was when this country actually accomplished things, apparently in spite of its wealth.

I wish they'd quite bitching about their fucking tax "burden."
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freeplessinseattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. maybe so, but "Elephant" has some interesting psych theories
that appealed to me at least, as a counseling student (I'll have to counsel freepers, too, but that could be a good thing, heh, heh ;)

here's an excerpt from an excerpt I posted in the NF book forum:

The strict father model begins with a set of assumptions:

The world is a dangerous place, and it always will be, because there is evil out there in the world. The world is also difficult because it is competitive. There will always be winners and losers. There is an absolute right and an absolute wrong. Children are born bad, in the sense that they just want to do what feels good, not what is right. Therefore, they have to be made good. What is needed in this kind of a world is a strong, strict father who can:

Protect the family in the dangerous world,
Support the family in the difficult world, and
Teach his children right from wrong.

What is required of the child is obedience, because the strict father is a moral authority who knows right from wrong. It is further assumed that the only way to teach kids obedience that is, right from wrong is through punishment, painful punishment, when they do wrong. This includes hitting them, and some authors on conservative child rearing recommend sticks, belts, and wooden paddles on the bare bottom. Some authors suggest this start at birth, but Dobson is more liberal. "There is no excuse for spanking babies younger than fifteen or eighteen months of age." The rationale behind physical punishment is this: When children do something wrong, if they are physically disciplined they learn not to do it again. That means that they will develop internal discipline to keep themselves from doing wrong, so that in the future they will be obedient and act morally. Without such punishment, the world will go to hell. There will be no morality.

Such internal discipline has a secondary effect. It is what is required for success in the difficult, competitive world. That is, if people are disciplined and pursue their self-interest in this land of opportunity, they will become prosperous and self-reliant. Thus, the strict father model links morality with prosperity. The same discipline you need to be moral is what allows you to prosper. The link is the pursuit of self-interest....

Now let me talk a bit about how progressives understand their morality and what their moral system is. It too comes out of a family model, what I call the nurturant parent model. The strict father worldview is so named because according to its own beliefs, the father is the head of the family. The nurturant parent worldview is gender neutral.

Both parents are equally responsible for raising the children. The assumption is that children are born good and can be made better. The world can be made a better place, and our job is to work on that. The parents' job is to nurture their children and to raise their children to be nurturers of others.

What does nurturance mean? It means two things: empathy and responsibility. If you have a child, you have to know what every cry means. You have to know when the child is hungry, when he needs a diaper change, when he is having nightmares. And you have a responsibility you have to take care of this child. Since you cannot take care of someone else if you are not taking care of yourself, you have to take care of yourself enough to be able to take care of the child. All this is not easy. Anyone who has ever raised a child knows that this is hard. You have to be strong. You have to work hard at it. You have to be very competent. You have to know a lot. In addition, all sorts of other values immediately follow from empathy and responsibility. Think about it.

First, if you empathize with your child, you will provide protection. This comes into politics in many ways. What do you protect your child from? Crime and drugs, certainly. You also protect your child from cars without seat belts, from smoking, from poisonous additives in food. So progressive politics focuses on environmental protection, worker protection, consumer protection, and protection from disease. These are the things that progressives want the government to protect their citizens from. But there are also terrorist attacks, which liberals and progressives have not been very good at talking about in terms of protection. Protection is part of the progressive moral system, but it has not been elaborated on enough. And on September 11, progressives did not have a whole lot to say. That was unfortunate, because nurturant parents and progressives do care about protection. Protection is important. It is part of our moral system.

Second, if you empathize with your child, you want your child to be fulfilled in life, to be a happy person. And if you are an unhappy, unfulfilled person yourself, you are not going to want other people to be happier than you are. The Dalai Lama teaches us that. Therefore it is your moral responsibility to be a happy, fulfilled person. Your moral responsibility. Further, it is your moral responsibility to teach your child to be a happy, fulfilled person who wants others to be happy and fulfilled. That is part of what nurturing family life is about. It is a common precondition for caring about others.

There are still other nurturant values.

If you want your child to be fulfilled in life, the child has to be free enough to do that. Therefore freedom is a value.
You do not have very much freedom if there is no opportunity or prosperity. Therefore opportunity and prosperity are progressive values.
If you really care about your child, you want your child to be treated fairly by you and by others. Therefore fairness is a value.
If you are connecting with your child and you empathize with that child, you have to have open, two-way communication. Honest communication. That becomes a value.
You live in a community, and that the community will affect how your child grows up. Therefore community-building, service to the community, and cooperation in a community become values.
To have cooperation, you must have trust, and to have trust you must have honesty and open two-way communication. Trust, honesty, and open communication are fundamental progressive values in a community as in a family. These are the nurturant values and they are the progressive values. As progressives, you all have them. You know you have them. You recognize them.



Every progressive political program is based on one or more of these values. That is what it means to be a progressive. There are several types of progressives. How many types? I am asking as a cognitive scientist, not as a sociologist or a political scientist. From the point of view of a cognitive scientist, who
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American Tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. On what basis have you concluded this?
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joelogan Donating Member (140 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. by counting the number and character of responses to various threads
If there is a thread about Bush or Kerry or some other person, in general it gets more (a lot more) responses than a thread about economic populism.

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freeplessinseattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. how scientific! lack of interest/responses doesn't ="opposition" (nt)
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American Tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. Actually, I am more likely to respond to a thread with which I disagree
Sometimes I just don't feel obligated to post when something clearly has my tacit approval and I've nothing to add to it. But, that's just me.
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freeplessinseattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. Yes, we're all individual in some ways,
but we're all here, aren't we?
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Iris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #2
23. I didn't see the poll about Economic Populism.
Could you link me to it because NO ONE ASKED ME!
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CBHagman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 11:31 AM
Response to Original message
12. Just bought the Lakoff book last night.
Will report back as I get through it. :-)
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vixannewigg Donating Member (18 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. What's the Matter with Kansas
I am in the middle of reading "What's the Matter with Kansas" right now. I went to buy "Don't Think of an Elephant" last week, but they were sold out!

Basically, the book says that people in the midwest are appealing to the "social" issues that the Republicans raise....like abortion and gay rights. Although it might be in a man's best economic interest to vote for the democratic party, he is voting for the republican party because he feels like the democratic party does not represent him (a bunch of elitist liberals who don't care or relate to the the common man). The book seems to say that this is wrong of the republican party, because it's simply not true. It's not the party of the "common man." But it is a doing a good job of convincing people of this.

Hope that's an accurate summary. I've been reading so many different things lately, I might have blended some different reading material together in my mind.
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checks-n-balances Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Thanks to both you and "freeplessinseattle" (Ha!) for responding to my
question and not to the people who, in effect, hijacked this thread.

Here are two of the things I've gleaned so far from what I've heard about the two books:

1. According to Frank, people from "the Heartland" (i.e., Kansas and other "red states") have been voting (irrationally?) against their own economic interests, and perhaps other interests

and

2. According to Lakoff, they will continue to do so unless we stop letting the GOP/Rove frame the issues for us by reframing them ourselves.

IMO, Rove & Co. reframed the whole election by convincing most of the media that they "won" because of the "Moral Values" issue. In a way, this is bolstered a little by Frank's argument. However, I have seen him briefly on CSpan and he is NOT a neocon or a Repub.

Anyway, should I have started this thread in another forum? Is there one for book discussions?
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MissMarple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. We are generally discussing politics, I think it's OK.
So our starting off point is a couple of books. :shrug:

And as you can see from my signature line, I don't think most DUers dismiss Lakoff. He has cogent points that are useful whatever one's perspective.
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vixannewigg Donating Member (18 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. My thoughts on Frank
Edited on Sun Nov-14-04 04:27 PM by vixannewigg
I think what I've gotten out of reading Frank (so far) is that people who are voting for these reasons aren't being totally irrational. Their dissatisfaction is real and their desire to be part of a group and to be heard is very real. They feel like America is headed in the wrong direction culturally and morally because of what they see on TV and in the media and they tie this into economic and political dissatisfaction. They see corporate culture as "working class" and government as inherently liberal because businessmen DO things and government is GIVEN things by citizens. If they didn't see corporate culture as working class, they couldn't look at someone like George Bush as just a regular kind of guy. And that's important to them.

But Frank also says that it's our culture as a whole that has allowed this myth to be created. Remember that many, many people in America still believe very strongly in the American dream and have that pull yourself up by your bootstraps mentality that anything can be accomplished with enough strength and determination. This ideal is part of what the Republicans are feeding into. These are people who want to see themselves as in control and strong and effective. I think most people want to see themselves this way. But they feel that the blue parts of this country marginalize them. Yeah, it is somewhat irrational of them to vote this way, but no more irrational than why men won't ask for directions when they know they're lost.

And no one points out that that the TV and the media are all controlled by big business. It's not liberals who don't care about morality, but businesses who just care about the bottom line--money.

The book also points out that although many Republicans run on "social issues" like abortion, it is not really in their best interest to actually do anything about those issues. Without Roe v. Wade, the Republicans lose a major reason for people to vote for them. And the book also differenties between moderate Republicans (who vote for economic reasons) and conservative Republicans (who vote for moral/social reasons). The moderates do not necessarily want things like the freedom to choose to go away. They are willing to accept those issues on a party platform precisely because they don't expect anything to be done about them. But the conservatives consistently lose out time and again, because the issues that they care about are NOT the ones that the moderate Republicans (with most of the wealth and influence) care about.

From reading this book, it seems important that the democratic party--
1. Address the Republicans actual history on these social issues. For instance, show people who might vote Republican based on the abortion that the Republican party has not really lived up to its promises over the years. (Although I am afraid that Bush really WILL try to live up to those promises). Essentially, show these conservative voters that they are being misled....not necessarily in an attempt to get them to join the democratic party, but to fracture the Republican party and perhaps get conservatives to start their own independent party which will not have a shot of winning (kinda like Nader). I do have to say that I doubt the target audience would believe the Democrats though.

2. Point out over and over and over again that TV, movies, music and the media are NOT controlled by liberals who are simply out to corrupt America. Show that they are controlled by businesses who are out to make money.

Just my thoughts. Not that I know too much anyway.
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joelogan Donating Member (140 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. you missed a big one
Edited on Sun Nov-14-04 04:16 PM by joelogan
Hey, if you really wanna discuss it, I am MORE than glad to do so. It would be a nice break from all the frivolous threads around here!

Let's have at it, then?

Lakoff is very correct when he says that the framing needs to occur INDEPENDENT of a candidate. The frame already has to be in place BEFORE a particular camapign. The candidate walks into the frame and pushes buttons already set up by the frame.

The frame is best when not set up by the party, but when it is set up by entities seemingly independent of the party. The rightwing propaganda machine set up the economic agenda frame starting decades ago. That machine gets certain ideas (and phrases based on those ideas) out into the political air, and the GOP candidates reaped that work when they run for office. The rightwing propaganda machine effectively turned the population rightwards. The politicians and the Republican Party (AND the Democratic party and politicians) just follow behind.

And a frame is not just some cute or clever phrase. It includes an entire rationale and background for a phrase or a set of phrases. THe rightwing economic agenda was first built on the bedrock of studies funded by foundations and think tanks which are the center of the rightwing propaganda machine. The results of these studies are propagated by another faction of the rightwing machine--the writers and talk radio hosts. THe foundations often discovered and funded this writing and talk radio talent--it brought them along.

So the data, these studies are the basis of the frames. Low taxes are now seen by most people as a Good Thing, thanks to the rightwing machine, which funded a bunch of studies and publicized them. Of course the studies are likely flawed.

Now that this low-taxes-and-low-regulation "fact" is so well known, then framing of the political debate can be accomplished using this fact. The GOp candidate's "Tax and spend liberals" epithet only works because the rightwing machine has set the backdrop by propagating the results of dubious studies years ago.

So before you can use all this framing stuff, some other things need to happen. First you need to acknowledge that the Dems cannot combat the GOP frames until the REFUTE THE CENTRAL THESIS OF THE RIGHTWING--namely that low taxes on the rich are better than high taxes on the rich. Luckily, we have lots of evidence that high PROGRESSIVE taxation in capitalist countries leads to good results: the highest progressive taxing countries have the highest quality of life: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, France, Netherland, Belgium, etc. But our Dem politicians never ever mention this. And neither is there a leftwing propaganda machine to publicize this fact, to built a counter paradigm, a counter-world.

And there is probably a good reason for that: the leadership of the Democratic party is RICH. Progressive taxation hurts them. They do not like progressive taxation. They and their families have no problem whatsoever having a very high quality of life without any help from anyone.

I hope you are starting to get a handle on the real problem!


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MissMarple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. Being "rich" doesn't preclude support of progressive taxation.
Many wealthy individuals and families support it. Many feel a moral responsibility to give back to a society that has fostered their "good luck".

And, we are taking a few baby steps here. We aren't seeing the institutional support that the Republicans have built over the last thirty years. But we are the grassroots, and maybe the progressive/liberal leadership needs to shift into a higher gear to respond to this gift of public support. We have some ideological infrastructure, it's something to build on.

Lighten up...and welcome to DU. :hi:
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joelogan Donating Member (140 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. being a snake doesn't preclude being nonpoisonous n/t
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MissMarple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. William Buffet and Bill Gates Sr. aren't alone in their sentiments.
Edited on Sun Nov-14-04 06:18 PM by MissMarple
www.responsiblewealth.org

"Forbes 400 Richest Americans: They Didn't Do It Alone

Self-serving stories of 'self-made' success may nourish the ego, but they mask the real ingredients of wealth creation and a strong economy. Where would the Forbes 400 be without public investment and infrastructure from Google founders building on the Internet to Ross Perot and government contracts? Sep. 24, 2004

Tax Subsidy Delivers $9 Million Windfall to Google Founders While Google's IPO makes its founders instant billionaires on paper, Responsible Wealth today announced that federal tax subsidies contributed more than $9 million to their immediate $73 million profit.

How do People Get Wealthy? In addition to their own moxie, creativity and hard work, some wealthy Americans recognize that other factors such as societal investment, privilege, historical timing and luck had a role in their success.
Read about them in "I Didn't Do It Alone: Society's Contribution to Individual Wealth and Success."

And here's another: www.resourcegeneration.org .

I just love google. I didn't know about any of these folks except for the Buffet and Gates effort. Human nature has wonderous variety.

"Resource Generation works with young people with financial wealth who are supporting and challenging each other to effect progressive social change through the creative, responsible and strategic use of financial and other resources.

Our purpose is to promote innovative ways for young people with wealth to align their personal values and political vision with their financial resources. We strive to strengthen cross-class alliances with people and organizations working for social and economic justice. Currently, RG works with over 500 young people with wealth across the country.

Resource Generation is led by a cross-class board and staff, and involves experienced activists and trainers from diverse class backgrounds in the development and implementation of all our programs."

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ZombieNixon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 04:09 PM
Response to Original message
19. I've read "What's the Matter with Kansas?"
and I've ordered "Don't Think of an Elephant." Whether or not you agree with Frank and Lakoff is less the point than what you can glean about how they purport getting the message across. The most important thing I got from Frank is that we really need a way to nullify the Republican's wedge issues with our own language. For instance, they're all on about abortion, so we start calling the deficit "fiscal child abuse." It conjures up images of children, which appeals to people's emotional senses. Just my .02.
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vixannewigg Donating Member (18 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #19
24. Moderates Like Me
What I find interesting is that although the Republicans would lose voters by giving up those "moral issues", they might also gain voters. I specifically vote Democrat in reaction to what I see as the Republicans desire to take away abortion, limit rights for gay people and confuse the separation between church and state. My family has money. I vote Democrat despite how it might hurt me financially, not out of some great desire to help others, but because I selfishly like my freedoms! The Republicans were supposed to stand for those personal freedoms, but somewhere along the way everything got reversed and now it's the Republicans trying to take my rights away and the Democrats fighting for those rights. I wonder how many other people there are out there like me. If the Republicans ditched the conservative social issues, it would make it much, much harder someone like me to choose. (Maybe not this time, since I do think Bush is a chimp and has really hurt the way we are perceived in the world...but in general.)

I was actually going to start a new thread to ask this, but I don't have enough posts to start a thread yet.
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checks-n-balances Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
26. Thanks, all - great job helping me understand this!
Edited on Sun Nov-14-04 05:21 PM by demo@midlife
It sounds like the main point of both of these books are:

"How do we help 'Middle America' to hear our REAL message?

then,

How can we convince them that the GOP/RW message is WRONG for them and WRONG for America?

Actually, I've been thinking for a long time about how we deal with this. There are so many stupid memes/myths out there propagated by the right wing and the wealthy, like:

"Poor people are just lazy"

"Some people just WANT to be homeless"

"CEOs and people who run the companies work much harder than anyone else, so they deserve lower taxes and the higher pay that they get"

"Rich people are blessed by God"

"America is God's chosen nation"

"America is always right" (not usually spoken, but definitely implied)

"To criticize America is to aid & abet the enemy"

"People aspire to be rich, so we should hold them up as examples"

"Public schools are not worth supporting"

"The New Deal should go the way of the dinosaur"

"Get the U.S. out of the U.N!"

"Better to fight the terrorists here than over there" (that one has been around since Viet Nam)

And other epithetical labels:

"Limousine liberals"

"Communists"

"Socialists"

"Do-Gooders"

"God-haters"

"Liberal media"

"Activist judges"

"Gay lifestyle"

"Welfare cheats" vs. "The deserving poor"
(and what about "The undeserving rich"??)

And lately, haven't we all heard enough about:

the "brutal dictator"

the "war president"

the "most liberal Senator"

"frivolous lawsuits"

"out of touch with the mainstream"

"Old Europe"

"terrorist sympathizers"

"Southern Democrats were the ones who opposed Civil Rights" (Helllooo - these people are now REPUBLICANS!)

ad nauseum.

SO MANY MYTHS TO DEBUNK, SO LITTLE TIME!!

Whatever we do, we DON'T have to be Orwellian and twist the truth or be dishonest like the opposition. We just have to state the fact in shorthand bytes and have them repeated over & over by whomever speaks for progressives through the media.

On edit: grammar corrections & additions

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