I pulled this from www.huffingtonpost.com — a commentary by George Lakoff of UC Berkeley, who for years has been talking/writing about “framing” public statements from a liberal or progressive (I detest these labels now) viewpoint. Read what he thinks about the communications problem that’s damaging President Obama’s policy prospects.
What he asserts in the quote I pulled out below has become a truism of the political dialogue in the nation. But why exactly do the conservatives have (or, are perceived to have) such a strong advantage when it comes to talking about politics, especially since so many people with advanced formal education believe in a different philosophy of governing? I think it has a lot to do with attitudes about civic engagement and to what endeavors people are willing to devote their talent, energy, time, and reputations.
The conservatives have a superior message machine: Dozens of think tanks with communications facilities, framing experts, training institutes, a national roster of speakers, booking agents to books their speakers in the media and civic groups, and owned medias like Fox News and a great deal of talk radio. Their audience will hear, over and over, “No one should have their taxes raised.”
There is no comparable progressive message machine. But even if one were to be built, the Democrats might still be using messages that are either ineffective or that help the conservatives. Why?