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View Diary: Using Right-Wing Talking Points to Achieve Left-Wing Goals (151 comments)

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  •  This is why the left is in shambles... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Angela Quattrano, TomP, Matt Z

    Because of silly pseudo-Lakoffian meme-think among frankly white, non-poor blogger types who are NEVER the ones who have to worry that when they talk about FREELOADERS and trigger other right wing images that THEY are the ones that people will be thinking of.

    See, that's the problem. If you had ever been the one who got stereotyped as the freeloader, you wouldn't think so fondly of this nonsense. Having worked in communities where the residents are always thought of that way, I am disgusted by the thought that anyone calling themselves progressive would even venture down this road…but I aint surprised.

    Not to mention, if some folks on this site would think beyond mere electoral politics to the bigger issue of movement building, you'd realize the folly in this strategy. You are making multiple mistakes:

    1. Assuming the goal is changing right wingers. Screw them. They are not the key to victory, as a movement or at elections. Even Lakoff isn't talking about converting the right wing heathens. He is talking about people in the middle with strong leanings in both directions. In fact, under Lakoffian thinking, it would be folly to trigger these right wing memes with those types because even if it worked on one policy issue like ACA, it would trigger the meme with regard to other issues (like taxes, income support, food stamps, etc) and thereby harm the left, and in the electoral sense, President Obama.

    2. Thinking some stupid f'ng anecdote about one conversation you had with some stupid ass cousin or co-worker is generalizable to the whole f'ng electorate. It isn't. Even if you got some fascist bottom feeder to salivate at your brilliant rhetoric about freeloaders, a) I'll bet dollars to donuts they won't vote for Obama in November, and b) this says nothing about what methods would be needed for those moderate or uncommitted folks who are really needed, either for movement building OR November

    3. You ignore the fact that Dems have already embraced much of the right wing worldview and all that has done is strengthen…wait for it: the right. Given a choice between one side whose foot soldiers talk about "freeloaders" in health care, and a guy whose foot soldiers talk about the same "freeloaders" in regard to taxes, education, nutrition assistance, cash welfare, Head Start, immigration, etc., guess who wins…if you don't know the answer to this question, you are too intellectually damaged to engage in this dialogue.

    This is pathetic, seriously...

    Guilt is what you feel because of the kinds of things you've done. Responsibility is what you take because of the kind of person you are...

    by tim wise on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 04:12:49 PM PDT

    •  Actually, I have been stereotyped as a freeloader (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheOpinionGuy, Matt Z

      for years. I was on SSI disability and had no way to buy basic necessities. I had "freeloader" thrown at me all the time. Never mind that I was below the poverty line.

      But you believe what you like. I'm trying to find ways to actually make changes instead of just bemoaning the fact that right-wingers will not hear what we have to say if we frame it in our terms - a fact that is based in quite a bit of research. You know, facts? Supported by evidence?

      I understand that you need to feel offended that your way doesn't work even though it really should. I know. I tried for years to make wingers hear the left-wing side of things. But it doesn't work, and we can either wring our hands and clutch our pearls, or we can actually DO SOMETHING about it by finding something that does work. This is just an opening gambit. Note that I asked people to suggest ways to twist right-wing memes to left-wing goals and many have. Where's your contribution to the discussion?

      Science can tell you how to clone a dinosaur. Humanities explains why this is a bad idea.

      by Killer of Sacred Cows on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 04:47:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  u didn't pay attention (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Matt Z

        Convincing right wingers is not the point, in movement building or elections. Even Lakoff's framing argument has nothing to do with them; it's about middle mind folks, for whom these memes are not necessary and in fact HARMFUL because they cement, in them, the right wing part of their framed brain, which then backfires…

        Do you not see how this would backfire here in the election? If our side is saying "freeloaders" about one issue -- health care -- putting aside the unethically of it, and the implicit racism and classism, it won't work because the other side is talking about income tax "freeloaders," "welfare freeloaders," immigrant "freeloaders," unemployment insurance "freeloaders" etc…even on its own terms, this strategy is stupid…

        Guilt is what you feel because of the kinds of things you've done. Responsibility is what you take because of the kind of person you are...

        by tim wise on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 04:50:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I still don't see a suggestion from you. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Matt Z

          I see a lot of complaints, and a lot of criticism, some of which is even valid - but do you have actual suggestions on how to approach this problem that will WORK?

          Where is your suggestion for how we should get the moderates to our side? Where is your suggestion for how we counteract the anger the folks who hate Obamacare are having? Got any suggestions? I'm all ears.

          Science can tell you how to clone a dinosaur. Humanities explains why this is a bad idea.

          by Killer of Sacred Cows on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 04:52:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  see below... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TomP, Matt Z

            I was posting an example of what I do in my work when you were writing this entry I think…

            I assure you solidarity talk and discussing the link between equity and everyone's interests works with those kinds of folks…

            I wrote about an example here a while back. The link is here:
            http://www.dailykos.com/...

            The person I am discussing in that piece, to whom I made the argument I explore in that piece (although I made it to him more briefly and directly, to be sure in an email), literally shifted, and not just on one position, but on his own economic insecurity and its source. I have seen this work, over and over again…people need to see how their fate is connected to the fate of others. If we don't push THAT meme, not only will elections turn out terrible, but more importantly, the left will be utterly destroyed, which will ensure only conservative Dems ever win anything because the left, needed to push them in that direction, will not exist at all…

            Guilt is what you feel because of the kinds of things you've done. Responsibility is what you take because of the kind of person you are...

            by tim wise on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 05:02:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Can you give specific examples? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Matt Z

              I'm looking for multi-pronged ways of attack. In my experience, talking to wingers about doing the right thing for all, or how we are all dependent on one another, never works. They stop right there, screech "SOCIALISM!" and shut their minds and their ears. So if you have a better method to get them to listen to solidarity, please share it. Obviously you do, or you wouldn't be here arguing with me that it's necessary, and more tools in the toolbox - always a better thing to have.

              Science can tell you how to clone a dinosaur. Humanities explains why this is a bad idea.

              by Killer of Sacred Cows on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 05:10:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  oh, and... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TomP, Matt Z

          I believe the important rhetoric is about solidarity; about the way that inequality (of income, wealth, education, health care, etc) weakens the overall community, and hurts everyone. This is what I talk about with audiences all over the country when I speak about race and class to them (and it was I do in my writing as well), and frankly, I assure you for every conversation you've had with someone who responded well to the use of right wing memes, I've got thousands who respond VERY well to the solidarity and collective interest meme…My entire body of work is about that, and I have seen many thousands of middle mind/uncommitted types (and even some conservatives) seriously change their perspectives with that approach: an approach that appeals to self interest (broadly defined), yes, so in that sense can be seen as a form of pandering, but one that does not sacrifice core principles or rely on hateful foolish rhetoric to do it. I'll put my entire career at this work against a handful of anecdotes on this website, any frickin day...

          Guilt is what you feel because of the kinds of things you've done. Responsibility is what you take because of the kind of person you are...

          by tim wise on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 04:54:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Tim, I *LOVE* your work, but.... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Killer of Sacred Cows, Matt Z

            Do you agree with the following four assertions:

            1) Certain brains are wired certain ways

            2) These brains CANNOT comprehend information if presented in unfamiliar terms. It is literally like a foreign language to them.

            3) If you use certain language, you will evoke feelings within the individual that make them cling to the ideas that are being presented.

            4) These ideas (surprise, surprise) CAN be left wing ideas!

            Let's start there....

          •  These are not mutually exclusive things (0+ / 0-)

            Think shotgun.

            This diary, like so many others, isn't about the one true way to do things.

            It is all about adding tools to the tool box.

            Building skill at better reaching people is never, ever a bad idea.  Some skills might be niche things, or they may not be matched to our personal attributes.

            The core thrust here was to do what works.  That means being open enough to actually assess whether or not things are working, and then flexible enough to act on that data.

            Where it's not working?

            Reach for some of those tools and give 'em a go.

            ***Be Excellent To One Another***
            IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

            by potatohead on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 02:06:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  thank you, Tim. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      You explain the objections well.  Let me add that it also is not good hearted.  Using hate and denigration as a means to a supposedly good ends won 't work and would destroy the heart of any movement.  It 's far too easy for some to use terms like freeloaders.  And this is the opposite of Lakoff : this reinforces right wing thinking.

      I'm from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner Wing of the Democratic Party!

      by TomP on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 08:52:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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