HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Editorials & Other Articles (Forum) » How to Help Trump, by Geo...

Sun Dec 25, 2016, 12:15 PM

How to Help Trump, by George Lakoff

'Without knowing it, many Democrats, progressives and members of the news media help Donald Trump every day. The way they help him is simple: they spread his message.

Think about it: every time Trump issues a mean tweet or utters a shocking statement, millions of people begin to obsess over his words. Reporters make it the top headline. Cable TV panels talk about it for hours. Horrified Democrats and progressives share the stories online, making sure to repeat the nastiest statements in order to refute them. While this response is understandable, it works in favor of Trump.

When you repeat Trump, you help Trump. You do this by spreading his message wide and far.

Nobody knows this better than Trump. Trump, as a media master, knows how to frame a debate. When he picks a fight, he does so deliberately. He tweets or says outrageous things, knowing they will be repeated millions and millions of times. When the news media and Democrats repeat Trumpís frames, they are strengthening those frames by ensuring that tens of millions of Americans hear them repeated over and over again.

Quick: donít think of an elephant. Now, what do you see? The bulkiness, the grayness, the trunkiness of an elephant. You canít block the picture Ė the frame Ė from being accessed by your unconscious mind. As a professor of brain science, this is the first lesson I give my students. Itís also the title of my book on the science of framing political debates.

The key lesson: when we negate a frame, we evoke the frame. When President Richard Nixon addressed the country during Watergate and used the phrase ďI am not a crook,Ē he coupled his image with that of a crook. He established what he was denying by repeating his opponentsí message. . .

This illustrates one of the most important principles of framing a debate: When arguing against the other side, donít use their language because it evokes their frame and not the frame you seek to establish. Never repeat their charges! Instead, use your own words and values to reframe the conversation.'>>>

https://georgelakoff.com/2016/12/15/how-to-help-trump/

7 replies, 4526 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 7 replies Author Time Post
Reply How to Help Trump, by George Lakoff (Original post)
elleng Dec 2016 OP
Kolesar Dec 2016 #1
Basic LA Dec 2016 #2
elleng Dec 2016 #3
Igel Dec 2016 #5
Leith Dec 2016 #4
Igel Dec 2016 #6
yurbud Dec 2016 #7

Response to elleng (Original post)

Sun Dec 25, 2016, 12:17 PM

1. Left wing rallies and demonstrations seem like a good counter to this

Drumpf should be put on the defensive about climate policy, Black Lives Matter, ... more

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to elleng (Original post)

Sun Dec 25, 2016, 02:39 PM

2. Right wingers are "Strict Father Authoritarians"

Last edited Sun Dec 25, 2016, 07:11 PM - Edit history (1)

That's how Prof. Lakoff describes them. They respond not to Facts, but to Authority. We mistakenly think facts will finally sway them. But they crave a strict father who rules despite facts.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Basic LA (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 25, 2016, 03:18 PM

3. Right. Glad you've read Lakoff.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Basic LA (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 26, 2016, 07:30 PM

5. That's the frame.

But like much of that variety of cog ling, it only accounts for the facts it wants to.

Give them a counter-example or 20 and you get one of several responses. A claim that it's irrelevant to the real truth; an appeal to authority; or a quick redefinition of key terms.

Lakoff would have Lenin and Mao and the SWP be classified as "conservatives." Or redefine "conservative" in a way that makes most political discussion meaningless, without bothering to point out that what's already been said has been rendered moot, if not falsified. Or those are just random occurrences without any bearing on the present because, well, things are different in undefinable ways.

At least the earlier practitioners of "fuzzy" cog link like Sebeok knew the limits of their analysis. Lakoff never did and after the linguistics wars were done he carved out a guerrilla's niche for himself, like the Whorf-Sapir hypothesis found its niche and can't be shaken if though the supposed factual basis for the thing was long ago found to be fatally ridden with errors.

Lakoff did get in a nice plug for his book, though.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to elleng (Original post)

Sun Dec 25, 2016, 08:06 PM

4. Don't Blame Liberals for orange boy

He acts like a self-made man, let him take credit for the gollum with a wig schtick. He built that all by himself.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Leith (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 26, 2016, 07:36 PM

6. Lakoff's point isn't entirely wrong.

It's just rendered absurd by him.

I've long thought that most of reporting of Trump's outrageous behavior and utterances and that of his followers (which continues to the present) is misconceived: Surely if the public hears how racist/sexist/ignorant/etc. Trump's speech is when carefully parsed and placed in the proper framework they'll recognize how much a fool he is.

They understand him differently. He uses a different code, a different register. Repeating what he says strikes those that don't like him one way, because they interpret his speech using their own code. Those who support him hear him in keeping with *their* code. Grice would point out that there's precious little cooperation on the part of those who dislike him, and that reduces the willingness to try to understand (much like a lawyer and a hostile witness, or a politician faced with a hostile reporter, you see a range meanings and interpretations that the other person might be offering and pick the one that suits you in making him out to be as bad as possible).

Not an intelligent way of doing things if you want cooperation, dialog, understanding, and democracy. But very human.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Igel (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 03:07 PM

7. good analysis.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread