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Tue Oct 9, 2018, 09:39 AM

How to fight against Republican tropes like "Angry Mob."

We have a newbie on DU who shared some very insightful information regarding tropes, which are comments or accusations that are meant to rally their base and/or diffuse a response from us. The poster originally posted in reference to a thread I wrote which stated that Al Gore was encouraged to avoid an investigation into the 2000 election "for the good of the country..." The latter was identified as a trope.

The newbie also identified "Angry mob" as a trope. In both cases, the remedy to a trope is to expose the obvious diffusion or tact and fight against it.

Here is the post in its entirety:

PandoraAwakened (10 posts)
109. Recognizing & Combatting "Tropes"

A "trope" is a common (and usually overused) theme or device employed in written and spoken language. Its purpose in the context of politics is to persuade, distract, and/or obfuscate from truth.

Kudos to the OP for bringing up one of the most egregious tropes of modern American political history: "Move on for the good of the country," which inevitably translates into a cornucopia of INACTION, including don't investigate, don't legislate, don't think, talk, or write about _____________ (see other replies to this post for several excellent historical examples with which you can fill-in-the blank).

I have heard it bemoaned for decades that Democrats are bad at messaging and I've unfortunately seen this to be too often true. I think one of the main reasons for this is a failure to understand language devices, such as tropes. This is both a failure to recognize when a trope is being used to frame the narrative and a failure in understanding how to combat a trope to reframe the narrative.

If you are still confused as to what I am talking about relative to the topic of this thread, let me give you a different example that should help bring this into sharp focus: There are two Republican tropes used after every mass shooting to ward off gun legislation and, indeed, to shut down all future discussion of such: The first is the "thoughts and prayers" trope, inevitably followed by the "now is not the time" trope (a variation of the "don't investigate for the good of the country" trope). Now do you understand? These are simply disingenuous rhetorical devices employed to make everyone look away. It's really that simple, and as evidenced over and over again, such tropes are highly effective.

So, how do you counter tropes? Well, thankfully, Shakespeare, one of history's greatest manipulators of the English language, provides a very clear blueprint for taking down a trope: You ridicule the hypocrisy of the trope publicly, loudly, mercilessly, unceasingly, and without apology until the trope itself is the object of derision, laughter, and scorn.

The most recent, modern example of how this works can be seen in how students nationwide have employed the "We call BS" campaign against all tropes that uphold and sustain gun violence. As evidence of the effectiveness of calling a trope onto the carpet, note that newsrooms everywhere have tapped down on their anchors' use of the "thoughts and prayers" trope lest they become memes and objects of derision themselves across the social media landscape.

So, while I can see how well-intentioned people might easily fall for the fake emotional appeal to not investigate this or that "for the good of the country," once you come to understand this for the trope that it is, one that even Shakespeare heartily mocked repeatedly, then it becomes your duty to educate and enlighten fellow Democrats about this ploy.

If a Dem is playing along with the "just move on" trope, call out the trope for what it is (and you can do this without ever mentioning the name of the hapless Dem). Make fun of and laugh at the hypocrisy of the trope repeatedly and mercilessly until they stop letting others who are just a little more clever about the use of rhetorical devices continue to play them for fools.

At that, to those who still wish to see no evil, hear no evil "for the good of the country," I CALL BS! Let the investigations begin and MAKE AMERICA LAUGH AGAIN!

https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=11253550

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Reply How to fight against Republican tropes like "Angry Mob." (Original post)
Baitball Blogger Oct 9 OP
Qutzupalotl Oct 9 #1
Atticus Oct 9 #2
PandoraAwakened Oct 11 #5
Land Shark Oct 9 #3
Haggis for Breakfast Oct 10 #4

Response to Baitball Blogger (Original post)

Tue Oct 9, 2018, 10:05 AM

1. We Support the Tropes



...But we donít have to. Thanks for this post!

Comedians are powerful allies in this fight, since they have good BS detectors.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Original post)

Tue Oct 9, 2018, 10:29 AM

2. Real Americans don't question tropes. nt

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Response to Atticus (Reply #2)

Thu Oct 11, 2018, 07:03 PM

5. The Link Between "Good Germans" and "Real Americans"

Good one! "Real Americans do/don't [fill-in-the-blank]" is an evolution of the "Good Germans" trope that was implemented to assuage the guilt of a mixed-bag group of apathetic/scared/complicit German citizens who collectively enabled the authoritarian Hitler to subvert their own democracy and wreak havoc around the world.

The intentional myth that the "Good German" trope helped to create following WWII was that there was somehow this majority population of Germans who had no-o-o-o-o idea what the Nazis were up to. It was a necessary form of propaganda to employ to allow the German people to overcome an existential break in their national psyche after all was said and done.

What I find quite intriguing is that the "Real Americans" trope has been rolled out well in advance of the inevitable break to come if the U.S. continues on its current authoritarian trajectory. Even more intriguing is that polar-opposite groups are both using this same trope---one in a battle against fascism and the other in a march toward authoritarianism. Fascinating, to say the least. It may very well be that the group who wins the narrative with this very trope is the one who will have their way.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Original post)

Tue Oct 9, 2018, 03:50 PM

3. Thanks for this practical advice on tropes. nt

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2018, 09:06 PM

4. Could we then call this

trope deployment ?

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