Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 142 Share on LinkedIn 38 Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit 126 Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend (306 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites   No comments

Counter-frame It! How to Stop Using Their Words

By       (Page 2 of 2 pages)     Permalink

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; , Add Tags  (less...)  Add to My Group(s)

Rate It | View Ratings
Author 53
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Susan Strong

2. Measly tweaks that just remind hearers of the original phrase. For a long time I have watched in horror as the Left repeats "Obamacare" over and over, perhaps rebelliously oblivious to the fact that the word actually calls up strong resistance in many Americans. More recently, some on the Left have been saying "Obama cares" instead. But just try saying that out loud at normal conversational speed. Can you tell the difference? No, you can't. This is a measly tweak that does more harm than good.  Much better is a new phrase out there now: "I love Obamacare." (It's stronger than "I like Obamacare.") That format makes a clear change in the meaning.  

3. Turning a tin ear to the public sense of a word or phrase, and talking only to ourselves, in "Leftspeak." My best example of this is "single payer." Lately when people ask me about this phrase after I give a talk or do a workshop, my answer is simply "You mean "unmarried' payer?" They get it when I say that; I don't have to say anything more. Another much more dangerous example still in play is the phrase the "No on Proposition #32" campaign in California is using: "Stop special exemptions." Every grass roots California Democrat I know is horrified by this slogan, because they know the general public won't understand it. The stakes couldn't be higher, because this proposition is in fact another union-busting move by big corporations. There is still time for the "No on 32" people to come up with something better, and I certainly hope they do. (Try looking at the free American Framing resources on The Metaphor Project website, guys!)

 4. Believing that the words of a slogan or sound bite don't matter, because the talking points will do all the heavy persuading. After so many years of being beaten by Right wing sound bites that evoke strong emotions, it's amazing that anybody on the Left still holds this idea. But there's abundant evidence that many do. Instead, if you are very, very lucky, your smart, emotionally effective Left sound bite will awaken rational curiosity in some Americans, and they will actually be open to hearing your talking points too. But as former President Clinton once said, "If they can't say it in a phrase, we're sunk."  

It's time for all of us, Democrats, liberals, progressives, and yes, even radicals, to smarten up, get off our comfy Left couches, and create the truly dynamic American counter-frames we desperately need now.


Next Page  1  |  2


Rate It | View Ratings

Susan C. Strong, Ph.D., is the founder and executive director of the Metaphor Project. She is also the author of our new book, MOVE OUR MESSAGE: HOW TO GET AMERICA'S EAR, available on our website. The mission of the Metaphor Project is helping (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Counter-frame It! How to Stop Using Their Words (2565 views)

Total Views: 2565

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: