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Monday, August 20, 2012

Facts. Huh! What are They Good For? Absolutely Nothing. | Paul Buchheit, NationofChange

As a writer, editor, (temporarily) retired professional communicator, and progressive political junkie and activist, I like this column.

Buchheit cites as inspiration George Lakoff, who's written provocative books and articles about using appropriate language to frame (progressive) issues so they are most meaningful to the target audience. He also refers to another writer, Joe Romm, who I blogged about recently.

Buchheit writes:
George Lakoff is right. Republicans are winning the language wars. As half of America is charmed into voting against their own interests, we progressives keep telling them the facts. Instead, we should be concerned about what Joe Romm calls "language intelligence," the ability to convince people of something by moving them both intellectually and emotionally. The Republicans do it so well. They've hijacked the big issues with inflammatory phrases like "class warfare" and "death tax." We have to learn to fight back.
His suggestions, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, I think:
  • class carnage--inflicted by the super-rich
  • ancestral theft--by modern-day entrepreneurs who profit from products developed through public research.
  • earned benefits--to replace "entitlements"
  • quadrillionaire's fee--to replace "financial transaction tax"
  • medikillers, billionaiders, jobbywackers--names for Republican candidates like Romney and Ryan
  • "Swindle or Dwindle"--a new Wall Street slogan
Or, finally, a modernized adage for "a new gilded age":
Nation in plight, banker's delight,
slapped with a warning: nation in mourning.
I'm sure there can be others!

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