Framing the argument

It was George Lakoff that first brought this phrase to my attention in his short but revealing book. “Don’t Think of an Elephant.”

The book explained how the Republicans have been so successful in recent years by properly framing the arguments.

And this morning, while surfing the news networks, I see many examples of this talent. Many right-wing talking heads are taking on the networks in a barrage of public relations work intended to get the public’s support in this government shutdown.

Even twitter is being used, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal tweeted “The dysfunction in Washington is the fault of President Obama.”

Another Republican spokesperson was on Al Jazeera this morning and said, and I am paraphrasing here, The President has to support Speaker Boehner and work with him to solve this problem.

The radicals under Boehner’s control have shutdown the government and they are asking the President to negotiate with them.

This is like someone telling you I am going to kill your children unless you give me all your money; and if you do not give them all your money you are not compromising.

We must use any means possible to keep reminding the public that it is the Republicans that are attempting to hold us all hostage to their excessive demands.

This is not an easy task, the MSM is under a tight rein of corporate control, but we must continue in our efforts to keep this incident properly framed.

Keep in mind that we all tend to listen to and watch those that enforce our beliefs, so hard-core tea party types will never hear our message. That is acceptable; they will never believe anything that disagrees with their preconceived notions no matter what.

We can however, work on the fence sitters, those that are not really sure of what they think about events and conditions.  We can do this by rapidly responding to any and all miss-information and half-truths we see or hear on any media outlet.

On social media we do not have to get in an endless internet debate; we should just properly frame the issue with facts and be done with it. An example of social media framing can be seen in a discussion last night. A poster continually talked about entitlements and how they had to be curtailed to get our government out of debt. Another poster quickly corrected him stating these are not entitlements; these are earned benefits which we the working people have paid for. He also pointed out the real entitlements may very well be the subsidies given to corporate giants in the form of tax breaks.

Personally one of my favorites is calling the WAR department the WAR department, not using the more acceptable term defense department that has been used for years.

Together we can do it, carry on my friends, carry on!


5 thoughts on “Framing the argument

  1. I just got back from the hair salon and had an interesting conversation on the shut down. Everyone seemed to be very much aware of the difference between Obamacare & the Affordable Care Act and it’s due to Jon Stewart and Steve Colbert’s efforts. I mentioned several advantages of the ACA and everyone was receptive as well as my plug for a single payer health care system. A soft sell and reasonable tone go further than the screaming propaganda of Fox & Co. Judging from the polls, the tide is turning. However much we may have been impatient with Obama for his tendency to always compromise, now that he is standing firm, people respect him for it and I think we should send an encouraging email or phone call to the White House. Remember the old saying, “Beware the wrath of a patient man!” It remains to be seen if the House Gang of 15 yield. They have nothing to lose by refusing to compromise. They almost certainly do not worry about their own reelection. They have filled their packets (offshore, I”m sure) with bribes, and can hold out forever since their consciences are non-existent. The only hope is to apply pressure on the non-aligned GOP House members such as Portman. A few phone calls & emails would not be a bad idea. Democracy only works if the people are vigilant!


    • Very well said Lesley, and your soft sell is an excellent point. I did post an open letter to Obama asking him to stand firm. I will now send an email to the WH thanking them for doing so.


    • Lesley, I just tried to call the White house. The phone service had a message, due to lack of funding this service is not available.
      Sent an email thanking the President for standing firm.


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