In my most recent diary, 5 Words And Phrases Democrats Should Never Say Again, I talked about how critical "framing" is in defeating the GOP.
Remember the major success they had with their "death panels" at frightening people who actually supported all of the policies within the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into vociferously opposing the entire bill? Here's Dr. George Lakoff, professor of linguistics at UC Berkeley:
One of the reasons that it is not happening is that there is a failure to understand the difference between policy and morality, that morality beats policy, and that moral discourse is absolutely necessary. This is a major reason why the Democrats lost the House in 2010. Consider how conservatives got a majority of Americans to be against the Obama health care plan. The president had polled the provisions, and each had strong public support: No preconditions, no caps, no loss of coverage if you get sick, ability to keep your college-age child on your policy, and so on. These are policy details, and they matter. The conservatives never argued against any of them. Instead, they re-framed; they made a moral case against "Obamacare." Their moral principles were freedom and life, and they had language to go with them. Freedom: "government takeover." Life: "death panels." Republicans at all levels repeated them over and over, and convinced millions of people who were for the policy provisions of the Obama plan to be against the plan as a whole. They changed the public discourse, changed the brains of the electorate — especially the "independents" — and won in 2010.We have the moral high ground on this issue and we need to frame it that way. The Ryan plan will devastate seniors and continue the downward spiral of the middle class into poverty.
And we must say it that way.
Democrats must use the same tactic to take down Paul Ryan and his new plan that the GOP used to poison health insurance reform.
We must call the Ryan plan exactly what it is: The Ryan Path to Poverty.
It is a Path to Poverty for seniors and it is a Path to Poverty for America.
The Ryan Path to Poverty
We need to use that term and only that term when talking about, or posting about, the Ryan Plan. And say it without a shred of irony, but in full earnestness.
The Ryan Path to Poverty.
Republicans know there isn't a shred of hope of actually getting this past the Democratic Senate and Administration, but there's a strategic reason they're trotting it out now: They plan on using this as a campaign tool for the rest of the 2012 election cycle.
We need to turn it against them so it backfires.
Tweet, Facebook and call your representatives in congress and tell them that whenever they get on the air or go out into their districts, that this is how we expect them to talk about this issue.
Paul Ryan and the Republicans are proposing a Path to Poverty for America.
As Paul Ryan likes to preach about in his new taxpayer-funded campaign ads, we do have a choice between two futures. One future, under Paul Ryan’s “Path to Poverty”, ends Medicare for our senior citizens, provides tax breaks only to Paul Ryan’s campaign contributors and places the weight of making up the loss in revenue on our already struggling families. The other future is one that puts people over corporations and begins the long haul of an economic recovery that doesn’t place the blame and burden on our working families.Look below the jump for a list of prominent Democrats in the media and Democratic Senators to blast this to on Twitter (still working on a Twitter list of Dems in the House).
Please consider tweeting the following to anyone and everyone on this list. Getting this into the hands of our media and representatives on The Hill will move us a long way towards ensuring this falls into mainstream use. Thank you so much!
The Single Most Important Words Democrats MUST Start Using Immediately #TheRyanPathToPoverty http://ow.ly/...
|Dylan Ratigan @DylanRatigan||Bernie Sanders @SenatorSanders|
|Bill Press @bpshow||Jay Rockefeller @SenRockefeller|
|Bill Maher @billmaher||Maria Cantwell @US_Sen_Cantwell|
|Randi Rhodes @randiradio||Mark Warner @MarkWarner|
|Stephanie Miller @SMShow||Senator Patty Murray @MurrayCampaign|
|Thom Hartmann @Thom_Hartmann||Sen. Patrick Leahy @SenatorLeahy|
|John Fugelsang @JohnFugelsang||Senator Tim Johnson @SenJohnsonSD|
|Joshua Holland @JoshuaHol||Senator Jeff Merkley @SenJeffMerkley|
|Nicole Sandler @nicolesandler||Ron Wyden @RonWyden|
|Robert Reich @RBReich||Senator Kay Hagan @SenatorHagan|
|Paul Krugman @NYTimeskrugman||Chuck Schumer @ChuckSchumer|
|Thomas L. Friedman @NYTimesFriedman||Tom Udall @SenatorTomUdall|
|The Colbert Report @ColbertReport||Senate Energy Cmte @SenateEnergy|
|Stephen Colbert @StephenAtHome||Frank R. Lautenberg @FrankLautenberg|
|The Daily Show @TheDailyShow||Sen. Jeanne Shaheen @SenatorShaheen|
|David Shipley @davidjshipley||Senate Finance Cmte @SenateFinance|
|Markos Moulitsas @markos||Al Franken @alfranken|
|Fareed Zakaria @FareedZakaria||John Kerry @JohnKerry|
|Moyers & Company @MoyersStaff||Barbara Mikulski @SenatorBarb|
|Bill Moyers @BillMoyers||Tom Harkin @SenatorHarkin|
|Keith Olbermann @KeithOlbermann||Senator Dick Durbin @SenatorDurbin|
|Maureen Dowd @NYTimesDowd||Daniel K. Akaka @SenatorAkaka|
|Joan Walsh @joanwalsh||Daniel Inouye @Daniel_Inouye|
|Matt Taibbi @mtaibbi||Senator Chris Coons @ChrisCoons|
|Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald||Mark Udall @MarkUdall|
|Andrew Sullivan @sullydish||Senator Mark Begich @SenatorBegich|
|Gerald F Seib @GeraldFSeib||Sheldon Whitehouse @SenWhitehouse|
|James Fallows @JamesFallows||Jon Tester @jontester|
|Ezra Klein @ezraklein||Debbie Stabenow @stabenow|
|Mother Jones @MotherJones||Ben Nelson @SenBenNelson|
|Kevin Drum @kdrum||Sen. Robert Menendez @SenatorMenendez|
|Kurt Andersen @KBAndersen||Claire McCaskill @clairecmc|
|Michael Pollan @michaelpollan||Senator Joe Manchin @Sen_JoeManchin|
|Lawrence O'Donnell @Lawrence||Kirsten Gillibrand @SenGillibrand|
|Ed Schultz @WeGotEd||Senator Bob Casey @SenBobCasey|
|Ed Schultz @edshow||Senator Tom Carper @SenatorCarper|
|Goldie Taylor @goldietaylor||Senator Ben Cardin @SenatorCardin|
|Melissa Harris-Perry @MHarrisPerry||Richard Blumenthal @SenBlumenthal|
|Charles M. Blow @CharlesMBlow||Senator Carl Levin @SenCarlLevin|
|Rachel Maddow MSNBC @maddow||Senate Democrats @SenateDems|
|Reverend Al Sharpton @TheRevAl||Sen. Barbara Boxer @SenatorBoxer|
|Andrea Mitchell @mitchellreports|
|Ben Smith of Buzzfeed @bensmith|
|Prof. George Lakoff @GeorgeLakoff|