Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How to Lie To the 99%

Frank Luntz is a GOP language guru who makes his living lying about Republican policies and phrasing them in a way that sane people won't find them revolting. He now has a memo on how to discuss issues that have come up due to the emergence of the Occupy movement. Let's take a look at what concepts Luntz felt rich assholes might not be able to figure out on their own. Credit to Yahoo news for transcribing Luntz' thoughts on each one:
1. Don't say 'capitalism.'
"I'm trying to get that word removed and we're replacing it with either 'economic freedom' or 'free market,' " Luntz said. "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."
The honesty of this one is telling, and also a sign that in the long run, the occupy movement is winning.
2. Don't say that the government 'taxes the rich.' Instead, tell them that the government 'takes from the rich.'
"If you talk about raising taxes on the rich," the public responds favorably, Luntz cautioned. But  "if you talk about government taking the money from hardworking Americans, the public says no. Taxing, the public will say yes."
This is the first of what you will begin to see is a pattern with Luntz. When something is stated factually, and extremely popular, don't just change the wording, but change the entire meaning of the sentence, then it becomes unpopular!
3. Republicans should forget about winning the battle over the 'middle class.' Call them 'hardworking taxpayers.'

"They cannot win if the fight is on hardworking taxpayers. 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."
It's always funny when he admits something is just completely lost for republicans. In this case, it's the third rail issue of "talking about the middle class".

4. Don't talk about 'jobs.' Talk about 'careers.'
"Everyone in this room talks about 'jobs,'" Luntz said. "Watch this."
He then asked everyone to raise their hand if they want a "job." Few hands went up. Then he asked who wants a "career." Almost every hand was raised.
"So why are we talking about jobs?"
Answer: Because when lots of people don't have jobs, whether or not they're going to have a career at said imaginary job isn't exactly their biggest concern at the moment.
5. Don't say 'government spending.' Call it 'waste.'
"It's not about 'government spending.' It's about 'waste.' That's what makes people angry."
He's right, it's not about government spending, because people actually like a decent number of things the government does. But if we lie and say that all government spending is waste, then they don't like it! See what he did there? The key was lying.
6. Don't ever say you're willing to 'compromise.'
"If you talk about 'compromise,' they'll say you're selling out. Your side doesn't want you to 'compromise.' What you use in that to replace it with is 'cooperation.' It means the same thing. But cooperation means you stick to your principles but still get the job done. Compromise says that you're selling out those principles."
Given the last 2 years of the Republican party I'm not really sure why he bothered to include this one.
7. The three most important words you can say to an Occupier: 'I get it.' 
"First off, here are three words for you all: 'I get it.' . . . 'I get that you're angry. I get that you've seen inequality. I get that you want to fix the system."
Then, he instructed, offer Republican solutions to the problem.
Shorter Luntz: Say "I get it". Then explain to them why you don't get it.
8. Out: 'Entrepreneur.' In: 'Job creator.'

Use the phrases "small business owners" and "job creators" instead of "entrepreneurs" and "innovators."
I don't even understand the difference here, other than the need to add job to every republican initiative for the sake of doing it.
9. Don't ever ask anyone to 'sacrifice.'
"There isn't an American today in November of 2011 who doesn't think they've already sacrificed. If you tell them you want them to 'sacrifice,' they're going to be be pretty angry at you. You talk about how 'we're all in this together.' We either succeed together or we fail together."
So Frank Luntz has better awareness on this issue than Barack Obama. Awesome.
10. Always blame Washington.
Tell them, "You shouldn't be occupying Wall Street, you should be occupying Washington. You should occupy the White House because it's the policies over the past few years that have created this problem."
Back to the "lying" theme we've seen repeated several times.
Don't say 'bonus!'
Luntz advised that if they give their employees an income boost during the holiday season, they should never refer to it as a "bonus."

"If you give out a bonus at a time of financial hardship, you're going to make people angry. It's 'pay for performance.'"
The best part of this list, is you can see a room full of the 1% in suits furiously taking notes at Luntz' shocking suggestions.
Guy #1:"So if you give out a bonus at a time of financial hardship, you're going to make people angry."
Guy #2: "Wow, I'm so glad we came to this, how else would we have figured that out???"

The idea that Luntz gets paid ungodly sums of money to tell rich people how to lie to non-rich people pretty much says all you need to know about the state of the world in 2011.

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