George Lakoff explains Donald Trump's framing strategies

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George Lakoff explains Donald Trump's framing strategies

Post by Erik_Kowal » Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:23 am

In this detailed article from July 2016, George Lakoff analyses how Donald Trump's arguments and use of language play on the psychology of his target audience. He has also written a follow-up article.

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"Any unscrupulous, effective salesman knows how to use you brain against you, to get you to buy what he is selling. How can someone “use your brain against you?” What does it mean?

All thought uses neural circuitry. Every idea is constituted by neural circuitry. But we have no conscious access to that circuitry. As a result, most of thought — an estimated 98 percent — is unconscious. Conscious thought is the tip of the iceberg.

Unconscious thought works by certain basic mechanisms. Trump uses them instinctively to turn people’s brains toward what he wants: Absolute authority, money, power, celebrity."
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Re: George Lakoff explains Donald Trump's framing strategies

Post by Wizard of Oz » Fri Oct 21, 2016 2:47 pm

Name a politician who doesn't want exactly those things and I will show you a failed politician. World over it is the same. Some just do it better than others. Some just get to be President.


WoZ on electioneering
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Re: George Lakoff explains Donald Trump's framing strategies

Post by Phil White » Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:16 pm

As most regulars will know, I have immense respect for George Lakoff. But here I think he is wrong.

He devotes most of the column inchesfootage discussing essentially the same arguments he proposed in "Don't think of an elephant", and they are undoubtedly sound. In a few paltry paragraphs at the end of the article, he suggests what Democrats should do about it. And his suggestions amount to proudly proclaiming the benefits of taxation, welfare, state spending and so on. Which would be fine if that were what the candidate actually believed in. If these were Clinton's values, the Democrats could proudly, calmly, positively sell them to the electorate.

But they are not. No more than they are the values of Britain's Labour Party, the French Socialists, Germany's SPD or the majority of the once-great parties of the democratic socialist tradition across the world. It is not the framing of the values of these parties into an effective message that is the problem. It is the loss of these values in favour of an unthinking acceptance of the economics and politics of the free market.

Having spent a large part of his article explaining how the language Trump and the conservatives use draws on metaphors that reflect deeply held values, Lakoff fails to see that the values he proposes at the end of the article are not those held by the candidate. No amount of positive language will convince the electorate otherwise.
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Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

End of topic.
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