Monthly Archives: July 2012

Language: A Key Mechanism of Control

Back in 1996, Newt Gingrich, then Speaker of the House, (shown above with “Sugar Daddy” Sheldon Adelson NY Times / Brian Lehrer the last surviving member of the Gangsters what built Las Vegas) wrote “Language: A Key Mechanism of Control” (here and here). This was a memo on the use of language to frame an issue. It’s a primer on the use of propaganda to win political campaigns by deamonizing your opponent. Hitler would be proud. But don’t take my word for it – read on. The full text of Newt’s memo is below.

Language: A Key Mechanism of Control

Newt Gingrich’s 1996 GOPAC memo 

   As you know, one of the key points in the GOPAC tapes is that “language matters.” In the video “We are a Majority,” Language is listed as a key mechanism of control used by a majority party, along with Agenda, Rules, Attitude and Learning. As the tapes have been used in training sessions across the country and mailed to candidates we have heard a plaintive plea: “I wish I could speak like Newt.”

   That takes years of practice. But, we believe that you could have a significant impact on your campaign and the way you communicate if we help a little. That is why we have created this list of words and phrases.

   This list is prepared so that you might have a directory of words to use in writing literature and mail, in preparing speeches, and in producing electronic media. The words and phrases are powerful. Read them. Memorize as many as possible. And remember that like any tool, these words will not help if they are not used.

   While the list could be the size of the latest “College Edition” dictionary, we have attempted to keep it small enough to be readily useful yet large enough to be broadly functional. The list is divided into two sections: Optimistic Positive Governing words and phrases to help describe your vision for the future of your community (your message) and Contrasting words to help you clearly define the policies and record of your opponent and the Democratic party.

   Please let us know if you have any other suggestions or additions. We would also like to know how you use the list. Call us at GOPAC or write with your suggestions and comments. We may include them in the next tape mailing so that others can benefit from your knowledge and experience.

Optimistic Positive Governing Words

   Use the list below to help define your campaign and your vision of public service. These words can help give extra power to your message. In addition, these words help develop the positive side of the contrast you should create with your opponent, giving your community something to vote for!

  • active(ly)
  • activist
  • building
  • candid(ly)
  • care(ing)
  • challenge
  • change
  • children
  • choice/choose
  • citizen
  • commitment
  • common sense
  • compete
  • confident
  • conflict
  • control
  • courage
  • crusade
  • debate
  • dream
  • duty
  • eliminate good-time in prison
  • empower(ment)
  • fair
  • family
  • freedom
  • hard work
  • help
  • humane
  • incentive
  • initiative
  • lead
  • learn
  • legacy
  • liberty
  • light
  • listen
  • mobilize
  • moral
  • movement
  • opportunity
  • passionate
  • peace
  • pioneer
  • precious
  • premise
  • preserve
  • principle(d)
  • pristine
  • pro- (issue): flag, children, environment, reform
  • prosperity
  • protect
  • proud/pride
  • provide
  • reform
  • rights
  • share
  • strength
  • success
  • tough
  • truth
  • unique
  • vision
  • we/us/our

Contrasting Words

   Often we search hard for words to define our opponents. Sometimes we are hesitant to use contrast. Remember that creating a difference helps you. These are powerful words that can create a clear and easily understood contrast. Apply these to the opponent, their record, proposals and their party.

  • abuse of power
  • anti- (issue): flag, family, child, jobs
  • betray
  • bizarre
  • bosses
  • bureaucracy
  • cheat
  • coercion
  • “compassion” is not enough
  • collapse(ing)
  • consequences
  • corrupt
  • corruption
  • criminal rights
  • crisis
  • cynicism
  • decay
  • deeper
  • destroy
  • destructive
  • devour
  • disgrace
  • endanger
  • excuses
  • failure (fail)
  • greed
  • hypocrisy
  • ideological
  • impose
  • incompetent
  • insecure
  • insensitive
  • intolerant
  • liberal
  • lie
  • limit(s)
  • machine
  • mandate(s)
  • obsolete
  • pathetic
  • patronage
  • permissive attitude
  • pessimistic
  • punish (poor …)
  • radical
  • red tape
  • self-serving
  • selfish
  • sensationalists
  • shallow
  • shame
  • sick
  • spend(ing)
  • stagnation
  • status quo
  • steal
  • taxes
  • they/them
  • threaten
  • traitors
  • unionized
  • urgent (cy)
  • waste
  • welfare

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Filed under Bugsy Siegel, Nazis, Newt Gingrich, Propaganda, Sheldon Adelson

It’s About the Middle Class, and Elephants

James Carville and Stan Greenberg on “On Point,” Wednesday, 7/11/12. (here) said

  1. Obama is tied or only slightly ahead of Romney in the polls. 
  2. Obama and Romney present profoundly different visions of the challenges facing the United States and the world, and, consequently, strikingly different solutions.Actually, Romney offers no solutions, only vague promises that he can do things.
  3. In order to win re-election, President Obama has to focus on the future and the middle class. 

I agree. I also think Obama is doing a good job, particularly on foreign policy. Bin Laden is dead and American combat troops have left Iraq. Operation “Olympic Games” is slowing down Iran’s nuclear ambitions. (Part of the reason for this may be that the Rush Limbaugh, the Koch Brothers, Rupert Murdoch Sheldon Adelson, the Republicans in Congress and on the Supreme Court, etc. – can’t stymie the President on foreign policy the way they can on domestic policy.)

Carville and Greenberg focused on the economy.

  • Unemployment is at 8.2%, 
  • Under-employment is another 4% to 8%, 
  • That’s 13 million unemployed and another 6.5 million to 13 million underemployed. 
  • Wages, for people who work for a living, are stagnant or dropping. 
  • Energy costs are going up, real estate taxes are going up, housing values are, at best, stabilizing.
  • College costs are rising, and the career prospects for recent college grads are in the toilet. 

Carville and Greenberg basically said “In order for Obama to win re-election, he needs to present a vision for the future that addresses these issues.” I agree there too, however, I see a herd of elephants in the room that I didn’t hear them talk about:

  1. Obama’s mother was a white woman from Kansas, his father, however, was African, and Barack Houssein Obama is a funny name for a US President. Still, enough people were inspired by his candidacy, rhetoric, and character to vote for him in 2008.  Martin Luther King, Jr., would have been proud.Yet Obama is an African American. Still, it seems to me, white boy that I am, that there may be some people who are “concerned” about Obama’s race, and this is the real sentiment under all that “Birther” nonsense.
  2. While he’s African-American, he doesn’t talk like Jesse Jackson, Martin Luther King, Jr., or Mohammed Ali. He’s a cerebral, analytical, lawyer. If Bill Clinton was the first black President, then Obama is the first Jewish President. Actually, he’s the first Vulcan President, or at least the first since Wilson. Obama’s a “Servant Leader.” Ambitious but not arrogant. Sure of himself but not full of himself. Not full of self-doubt and insecurities, but full of an awareness that while he’s unique and wonderful, so is everyone else.  He’s a President who, if – when – his wife says “take out the garbage;” he takes out the garbage. I can see George H. W. Bush doing that, and Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton (course he would smile at Hillary and she would melt), and Al Gore, but not George W. Bush or Willard Mitt Romney. They would have help to do that – servants. (“W” would joke with them, give them nicknames, and dimly be aware of the ages of their children. Romney wouldn’t even know their names.) Most of the folks in Washington don’t understand this. Clinton might. And Richard Lugar, the soon to be former Senator (R) from Indiana.
  3. Fox News, the GOP, the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson (Newt Gingrich’s Sugar Daddy), Rush Limbaugh, etc. have been focused, since before the inauguration in January, 2009, with trying to make Obama fail, pretending that trying to force the President to fail is not the bad for the United States. When in reality 
  4. Our environment is increasingly polluted. And our economy – and the global economy – is on a largely unsustainable path.  We have, mostly in the last 50 years, burned so much coal, oil, and methane that we have added about two trillion tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, increasing the concentration of CO2 by about 50%, from about 260 ppm to 390 ppm. The scientific consensus is that this is sufficient to change climate and weather.  As Bill McKibben put it, we have changed Earth into Eaarth.

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Filed under James Carville, Mitt Romney, On Point Radio, Pres. Obama, Servant Leader, Stan Greenberg

I Have A Dream

“I have a dream where one day my four little children are judged by the content of their character not the color of their skin.” – Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. (here)

Dr. King made that statement on August 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington DC.

Election Day, 2008, was that day. Enough voters judged Barack Obama by the content of his character, not the color of is skin, that he was elected President of the United States.

Let’s hope for the same in November, 2012, and going forward.  And that all are judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.  As Dr. King said,

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
                Free at last! Free at last!

                Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

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Filed under American Exceptionalism, Barack Obama, I Have A Dream, Martin Luther King Jr

The Affordable Health Care Act – and Socialism

All the misleading hoopla about the Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare,” or as Rick Santorum put it, “Romneycare,” leaves out several actual facts.

1.  The law forces insurance companies to insure young adults on their parents’ policies.

2.  The law prohibits insurance companies from dropping people with pre-existing conditions.

If this is socialism, then I am a socialist.

3. The law requires 30 million of the 50 million Americans without health insurance, to buy it (the same way that the governments of New York, New Jersey, and the governments of many other states require people who want to register an automobile to buy car insurance). This should, over time, lower costs for the rest of us.

4. The law does not replace the health insurance industry with a government run program; it does not expand Medicare to cover all Americans. Similarly, it does not transform the Veteran’s Health Administration into a “Citizen’s Health Administration.”

Actually, expanding Medicare to cover all citizens, perhaps by transforming the Veterans Health Administration into a Citizens Health Administration sounds like a good to me.

However, as President George Bush said, “Every American has access to health care. All people need to do is go to the Emergency Room.”  What he failed to mention is that using a Hospital’s ER as a primary care clinic is very expensive.  When people without insurance do it, the hospitals make up for the loss by charging patients with health insurance for the costs of patients without health insurance. This is inefficient and expensive, and actually is socialism.

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Filed under Medicare, Obamacare, Socialism, VHA