Marketers and politicians alike can take a lesson from Republicans on how to “frame” an issue, debate or person using just a few words. This article from UCBerkeley News, Linguistics professor George Lakoff dissects the “war on terror” and other conservative catchphrases, shows how the Republicans are masters of using language. As a student of marketing, I’ve always wondered why the Democrats have not had more success telling their story and “branding” their party or candidates. (And been amazed at the success of the Republican party to “define” certain phrases… such as Bush 1′s ability to take a nice word like liberal and turn it into a dirty word like the “L” word.) Lakoff does a great job explaining how it works and how progressives need to learn how to start talking. At the bottom of the article are links to more on this topic, including this one: Framing the Dems, How conservatives control political debate and how progressives can take it back.
This article also shines a giant spotlight on the media conglomeration problem and the danger of combining the power of words with the power of a concentrated media. See Outfoxed (Quicktime) or Outfoxed (WindowsMedia) if you haven’t already.