Thursday, December 1, 2011

Frank Luntz's Sweet Nothings

Frank Luntz totally gets it: the way to successfully communicate a message comes from choosing the right words to use. Gauge your audience and pick the right words, and you've won the war.

Luntz was the man who ascertained that the average American had the reading comprehension level of a ten year-old, so immediately all the Republican party literature was re-designed so simply that a child would understand it. Politicians were told a simple code: KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid.

Now, Luntz is instructing Republican governors how to respond to Occupy protestors. His suggestions?

Don’t Mention Capitalism: Luntz said that his polling research found that “The public…still prefers capitalism to socialism, but they think capitalism is immoral. And if we’re seen as defenders of quote, Wall Street, end quote, we’ve got a problem.”

Empathize With The 99 Percent Protesters: Luntz instructed attendees to tell protesters that they “get it”: “First off, here are three words for you all: ‘I get it.’ … ‘I get that you’re. I get that you’ve seen inequality. I get that you want to fix the system.”

Don’t Say Bonus: Luntz told Republicans to re-frame the concept of the bonus payment — which bailed-out Wall Street doles out to its employees during holidays — as “pay for performance” instead.

Don’t Mention The Middle Class Because Americans Don’t Trust Republicans To Defend It: “They cannot win if the fight is on hardworking taxpayers,” Luntz instructed the audience. “We can say we defend the ‘middle class’ and the public will say, I’m not sure about that. But defending ‘hardworking taxpayers’ and Republicans have the advantage.”

Don’t Talk About Taxing The Rich: Luntz reminded Republicans that Americans actually do want to tax the rich, so he reccommended they instead say that the government “takes from the rich.”

It pays to increase your word power. Conversely, do you now see how "end of life counseling" was spun into "death panels?" This is an art that the Republicans have cultivated since Lee Atwater replaced the n-word with "community schools" and "enforced busing."

In point of fact, some of the Democrats, their supporters and that ubiquitous foe within, the Professional Left, have proven to be somewhat adept at wordsmithery too.

For example:-

The President is spineless. (He's black).

The President is weak. (He's black).

The President is a corporate sell-out to Wall Street. (He's black).

The President is a closet Republican. (He's black).

The President dithers. (He's like Lightnin' on Amos'n Andy).

The President is a terrible negotiator. (He's black).

The President caves. (He's black).

The President is an elitist. (He's an uppity black).

The President is arrogant. (He's an uppity black).

The President thinks he's smarter than the rest of us. (He's an uppity black).

We either need our own Frank Luntz or we need to learn to stop shooting ourselves in the foot or maybe we need to purge the Professional Left.


  1. You are the perfect example of how a person can both be smart, and very small minded all at once. so criticizing the president basically amounts to having some sorta hiden or sub-conscious racism? sounds like a pretty obsessive, totalitarian assumption to me. how does saying that his politics are too timid have anything to do with the fact that he is black? If you may, who is pulling the race card here?

  2. Honey, you are in denial or you don't understand the concept of "dog whistling." I suggest you read up on Lee Atwater.

    How does an insinuation of timidity have anything to do with him being black? Do you KNOW any U S social history? Emasculation of the black man has been occurring regularly in this country since slave days. Black men were presented as mentally and morally weak and any such language being used in connection with this seminal presidency is pure, unadulterated dog whistling. If you don't know that, you're either in denial or ignorant or both.

    Racism exists on the Left as well as on the Right. That's a fact. Live with it.