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Wed Apr 22, 2015, 06:51 PM

 

Political Stuff

My sister sent me this in email. As usual, she's spot on.

What I've learned from Drew Westen's book "The Political Brain":

The biggest problem liberals have is our ineffective messaging. We use facts and logic to argue our case (the limbic system though neo-cortex to amygdala route), but those who buy into the Republican message are influenced by things that jerk their emotional chain (limbic system straight to the amygdala):
1) fear (especially fear of losing face by admitting they've been wrong);
2) resentment of the so-called 'elite' (which the GOP has defined as 'educated' rather than as 'filthy rich'), and of anyone who gets anything from taxes (public employees and anyone being helped by a government safety net program).

What we have to do is play the GOP cards against them, but honestly. (Don't give them too many facts -- facts don't impress them; fear and resentment do.)

Resentment: Talk about the huge government subsidies to corporations making billions -- and their bosses (the filthy rich). Talk about the legislators who work a handful of days a year, give themselves raises, are being paid nearly $200,000 a year and have gold-standard benefits for life -- from tax dollars (the lazy bums). Talk about the pork going to any state other than the one your 'listener' lives in (their tax dollars supporting others).

Fear: (Fit your argument to the circumstances of the person you're speaking with.) Loss of Social Security and Medicare. Another trillion dollar unwinnable war financed with money borrowed from China. Loss of income to local businesses as the middle class shrinks and low-wage workers can't afford to patronize them. Their children unable to afford college. Their hunting and fishing public property sold to private companies.

Above all, avoid causing them to lose face. Talking to them feels like they're being preached to; talking with them shows respect. Ask them questions and listen respectfully to their answers -- sometimes they actually talk themselves out of what they think, because in order to talk about it, they have to think about it. Create a conversational environment which says that anybody can be deceived by a really slick operator, it doesn't mean they're stupid.

The Democrats' messaging is the major reason we've lost elections, with the result that the GOP winners have been able to rig the election system to ensure they win. We have a lot to overcome now. I highly recommend Westen's book!



Westen's book reviewed here.

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Scuba Apr 2015 OP
okaawhatever Apr 2015 #1
seveneyes Apr 2015 #2
jeff47 Apr 2015 #3

Response to Scuba (Original post)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 06:58 PM

1. Thanks for that. Another one I use is if corporations get more tax breaks who is going to make it

up? The middle class. If the multi-national corps don't pay taxes, we do.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 07:02 PM

2. The jizz of the problem can not be solved by verbosity alone

 

The essence of the human equation is ...




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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Wed Apr 22, 2015, 08:43 PM

3. That analysis presumes only two political camps.

With ~50% turnout, it's pretty obvious politicians are not reaching large numbers of people at all.

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