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> Lakoff & Framing- selling Democratic ideas., Picking the words to save a party...
post Aug 2 2005, 07:44 AM
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Joined: August-14-04

From: New York
Gender: Male
Politics: Liberal
Party affiliation: Democrat

George Lakoff-
For those of you who don't know this up and coming superstar on the typewriter, his book "Don't Think of an Elephant," has recently made its way onto the front cover of the NY Times magazine. You'd have to purchase the article by now, but I'll throw yall a few articles that reference it:

BAM!- http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/archives/11340
BAM!- http://ottsun.canoe.ca/News/Columnists/Sea...02/1155919.html

He's a lingustic master, a rival of Chomsky's, trying to help the democratic party understand why we're lagging behind by suggesting a simple change of language and perception.

In terms of viability, Lakoff's book reminds me of The Atkins Diet (The publisher of which, has recently gone belly up)- Accompanied by terrific hype, does delivers great results, but not quite the effortless 'miracle discovery' everybody and their Dateline-taping grandmother have made it out to be.

His work essentially states that the Republican party has defined the way voters and even democrats themselves percieve the democratic party and the issues of the day- via talking points, cable news and AM 'Hate' radio. Furthermore, when voters are told facts which contadict their accepted frame, the facts bounce off and the frame remains. Kerry spoke in facts, i.e. the number workers laid-off, the '200 billion spent in iraq'; Bush spoke in frames, for example, "The Economy is turning the corner," or "Osama Bin Laden doesn't want a free and safe Iraq because he and I Understand The Stakes." (Suggesting Kerry does not understand, and that Osama Bin Laden wants Kerry to win.)

My Questions!

1. Why are democrats losing the media game- is it a matter of media infrastructure, uncharismatic candidates, an unorganized platform, or are our issues just impossible to sell? Out of power, do we silently take this chance to scrap issues and re-organize, or can this party really muster a great campaign on our father's and grandfather's issues?

2. Re-thinking the democratic party: how do we percieve ourselves, the public, and the different types of republicans out there? Who are we, what do we want, and how do we phrase that, or I'm sorry, 'frame that?' If you need a few issues in particular to get you going, here's some starters we've been having trouble with- Terrorism! (what exactly is our platform there?) Gay Marriage! (how do we sell THAT!?) Patriot Act! Guat. Bay! (Civil Liberties or being soft on terrorists?) Abortion! (Can we win without the Church? I sure hope so!) Keeping NPR and PBS Alive! (just who should care?)

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