There was also a good deal of nonsense in the hearings; this is Congress, after all. Red Solo cups kept coming up—they served as Congresswoman Blackburn’s metaphor for the sort of policies companies can’t sell anymore—and the Wizard of Oz, because Sebelius used to be governor of Kansas. At one point, it felt like a miracle that no one asked about Toto biting Miss Gulch and what that would do for her premiums.
And yet we are approaching a stripped-down discussion of what is actually at stake in Obamacare, what has gone wrong (and what the Administration did wrong), and why it was worth it. There is a better sense of how health care in America might actually change. It will not be invisible, and it has already been for the better. There will be a lot of winners. There may be losers, and there is nothing wrong with hoping that certain insurance companies are among them—the ones that, until now, were able to sell predatory plans that looked solid but left people stripped bare financially if they actually became sick. But the President can’t pretend it’s not an honest fight. ...AmyDavidson,NewYorker
The thing is, we need to quit playing the game on the right's field. That's been the problem for well over a decade. We sheepishly adopt their vocabulary and, for the most part, adhere to their rules of grammar. Bad mistake.
Don’t try to counter a claim or accusation by repeating it and then denying it or labeling it as false. When you repeat your opponent’s claim, you are reinforcing the neural connections that your opponent is trying to establish.
For example, assume you are running for Congress and have proposed a health care reform measure. Your opponent is trying to create a strong neural connection between your proposal and socialized medicine because many voters already feel negatively toward social medicine.
Here’s the response you should not use … the one that simply repeats and therefore reinforces your opponent’s claim:
“My opponent says that my health care proposal is socialized medicine. That’s not true. The truth is that my proposal …”
Don’t use your opponent’s language. It helps him, not you.
Here’s a better response … the one that avoids repeating your opponent’s accusation and that focuses on establishing the neural pathways you want to establish:
“My opponent hasn’t uttered a true word about my health care proposal. I believe in free-markets and free-choice. My proposal is a free-market proposal that gives everyone the freedom to choose their own health care plan and their own doctors.”
Of course, in devising your response, the truth does matter. Don’t make a claim that is not truthful and defensible.
Start with the underlying value and connect it to your policy proposal without repeating your opponent’s accusation or using the language he has used to activate neural pathways that could associate your proposal with concepts that evoke negative emotions. ...MarkFarinella,PoliticsOfTheMind
Farinella is a former Democratic political consultant, now at the University of Chicago. He's writing there -- and reminding us -- about George Lakoff's studies in cognitive science and of Democratic messaging.
Farinella's post came via Andy Hailey at WAWGBlog. Hailey writes:
“Obamacare” to conservatives, and their value of “liberty to pursue self-interests” and ‘pro-life’ stance, is a threat through government takeover of health care and death panels for grandma. Both are lies, but that’s what they have been told by their authority figures. For progressives, “who value caring for fellow citizens,” the ACA ( I would have named it Health Care Freedom Act.) is the first step to Medicare for all citizens. ...Hailey,WAWGBlog
The longer we continue to play on the field the right has set up, the deeper we get mired in their fabrications. At the very least, we need to call their field what it is: astroturf. Even though they like to pretend they're playing on amber waves of grain.
We could start by fighting the idea that the website "glitches" are a disaster. They're not. No more than the absence of WMD's in Iraq was merely a "glitch."