Blog

Project: Attack the Conservatives Who Have Integrity

I think the secret to undoing Fox propaganda and Trump is a concerted social media attack on moderate conservatives. We often have social-media backwards: all attention is good attention. At least half the definition of a leader of either side is based on who the other side argues with. If I shout that Trump is wrong, my conservative relative defends Trump. If I should that McCain is wrong, he defends McCain. Find better conservative magazines, find reasonable articles that express a viewpoint we still disagree with, and blast (in a SMART way) away.

Framing Advocacy Group

Progressives need a grassroots movement to ask our congresspeople what their approach to framing is on particular issues. Instead of saying "please support bill X" in cases where they already do, get them hundreds of letters asking "What is your approach to framing issue X? Do you agree with George Lakoff's suggestions? Which other politicians are you coordinating with to get the message out coherently?" We should put pressure there -- it might not take much! Please add your comments. Do you want to be part of Cognitive Politics and lead this? Create a facebook group with me?

Name and Frame this trend: Creating pools of people with challenges, isolating them, and refusing to help

Help name and frame a big, unnamed trend in politics: On both health-care and school's choice, a central goal of Republican policy is to have those with challenges — pre-existing conditions or kids who struggle — placed into pools of people with challenges, and people without challenges not have to help. If you have a pre-existing condition, or are a kid with ADHD, the Republicans want you to bear all the consequences for yourself and others with challenges. Social Darwinism is an old term not out of place, but not "who-what-when" enough for an effective reframing.

A Moment on the Math: Xenophobia or Economic Anxiety; on the failure of regressions and the disutility of averages

PRRI released a study showing that Trump voters were more motivated by xenophobia and racism than economic anxiety. Except it didn't. This blog aims to explain what regressions are (the statistical method used by PRRI) in a way non-math-nerds can understand and apply (hopefully often). After discouraging overuse of regressions, I'll end by discouraging overuse of averages.

Landing Punches vs Going Low: Michelle Obama on School Lunches

Michelle Obama goes high. She goes high while she rips Trump for allowing unhealthy school lunches again.
Her talk on school lunches pulls no punches: I would feel ashamed to be on the receiving end. What specifically does she do to stay clean while landing her punches, while so often progressives wind up just rolling in the dirt with Trump supporters?

Overcoming Partisanship: Foot in the Door via Health Care

What is the most egregious and well documented part of the new health care act? Something that would speak to [almost] every decent American as needing to be fixed? Perhaps something where you have a personal story or connection?

What could be a “foot in the door” issue, if you wanted to start a conversation across party lines? Could we make a request that this one egregious part of the bill be stopped, and get good people to do so together across party lines?

Please leave your suggestions! Bonus for a story-with-footnotes style, instead of just the policy.

Techniques: 

Reframing "You Bought It" to "Stand Together"

Robert Reich wrote Update for Trump Voters, which I believe is in the style of "basket of deplorables" — the kind of messaging that reinforces team boundaries, so that wavering Trump voters might stick with him because the only other option is a team that is actively insulting them. My blog is almost all Reich's words, rewritten from a theme of "you bought it" to "stand together." Let's explore how to turn snark into a more real and connected anger.

My rewrite of "You Bought It" follows:

Did you support Trump? Politicians of many stripes often try to turn ordinary people against each other. We built this country together, but now politicians purposefully divide us. I don't want America divided:

8. He said Clinton was in the pockets of Goldman Sachs, and would do whatever they said. Then he put half a dozen Goldman Sachs executives in positions of power in his administration. Politicians of many stripes have their pockets full, let's clean house together. Stand against corruption, and we'll stand with you.

1. Trump said he wouldn’t bomb Syria. Then he bombed Syria. Stand against his lies, we'll stand with you.

2. He said Mexico would pay for the Wall, now he has asked Congress to spend our tax money on it. Stand up, we'll stand with you.

3. He said he’d clean the Washington swamp. Then he brought into his administration more billionaires, CEOs, and Wall Street moguls than in any administration in history, to make laws that will enrich their businesses. Stand against corruption, we'll stand with you.