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View Diary: "Twelve Traps to Avoid" By George Lakoff and the Rockridge Institute (197 comments)

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  •  It sure solved my problem (14+ / 0-)

    when I was trying to decide between Thai and Indian food the other night.  The answer was right on page 743!

    Actually, the book is only about 160 pages and we make clear in the preface (though not in this diary) that we are not providing "quick-and-dirty, short-term fixes to immediate tactical problems."  Those are important elements, too, but our focus is a long-term strategy to help this nation get in touch with its progressive origins and values.

    •  In earnest... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MO Blue

      ...we've been getting quite a few, er, Liberal Bible Salesmen around these parts lately.

      Marketing to the converted is a lucrative business. :)

      •  Repetition (8+ / 0-)

        We smart liberals tend to think that once a point is made, everyone understands it and it doesn't need to be said any more.

        But no. Repetition is valuable. Repetition with slightly different wording. Repetition of 98% known material and 2% new material. Lakoff, the scientist, says that repetition actually changes physical structures in the brain. Ball players who are great natural athletes still take BP. Musicians practice their scales. Repetition.

        My ex was a high school teacher. She said that to get the kids to comprehend that they had homework, she would tell 'em the assignment, then tell 'em again in different words, then write it on the board, then remind 'em again later and point to the assignment on the board and tell 'em to write it down. Then she'd say it again on their way out the door. Everything but making it into a little song.

        That stuck with me. Practical wisdom.

        •  Making a little song helps too (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cskendrick, Robert Davies, DBunn

          In fact we really need some good short catchy campaign songs.  Start countering the behid the speaker slogans with some earworms.

          Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

          by barbwires on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 09:24:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  How About set to "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            stilwell, flumptytail

            They SUCK SO MUCH WORSE than WE DO
            They SUCK SO MUCH WORSE than WE DO
            ...and so forth......
            (Don't worry I'm not quitin my day job..)

            WIN ELECTIONS or Buy Guns.

            by Robert Davies on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 09:38:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Isn't that what (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            barbwires, DBunn

            soundbites are? Just without the music. But to be truly earworms, they need to be alliterative, musical, phrases. Things that trip off the tongue.

            They DO NOT need to be detailed. Actually, the vaguer the better. You want to resonate with emotions, not logic.

            •  but, like any music (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              barbwires, Robert Davies

              ... one needs far more than a melody, though that's what we tend to retain ... the beat, the bass/rhythm section's expression of structure, contrapuntal interplay all make for a better musical earworm ... so, too, with politics ...

              [Freddie:] All we need is a drummer,
              for people who only need a beat
              I'm gonna add a little guitar
              and make it easy to move your feet
              [Larry:] I'm gonna add some bottom,
              so that the dancers just won't hide
              [Sly:] You might like to hear my organ
              playing "Ride Sally Ride"
              You might like to hear the horns blowin',
              Cynthia on the throne, yeah!
              Cynthia & Jerry got a message they're sayin':
              [Cynthia:] All the squares, go home!
              [All:] Dance to the Music, Dance to the Music

              thank you, Sly ...

              If you want a symbolic gesture, don't burn the flag; wash it. -- Norman Thomas

              by wystler on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 10:01:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Thus, my arsenal o parody songs :) (0+ / 0-)
        •  Repetition of Lakoff terms would be good here (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mperloe, tikkun, DBunn, Bob Guyer

          Smart succesful liberals have figured out that once a point is made it drifts out of the brain to make room for the next point. As agreeable as any idea may seem, it doesn't stick on first encounter. People have to learn by doing.

          Repeating Lakoff's points over and over is worthwhile also. I just read the list, which I have read many times before both in the book and online. But they are not burned into my  brain by a long shot. They should be clear enough in all our heads that we recognize the traps immediately when we see them, and know how to avoid them.

          A lot of comments on dKos are really about delporing that someone has fallen into one of these traps. Or sometimes arguing that Democrats should pile into one of the traps.

          What would be really helpful is for commenters to use Lakoff's name for the trap explicitly. Keep doing it until it is "muscle memory."

          That exercise is good both for the commenter, who gets to practice "doing." It's good for the reader who gets some repeat exposure.

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