Don't Be Distracted By Trump's Tweets

  • Week of March 26, 2017

Some of you may have heard that we held our first ever Wonkathon. If you didn't, check out this article. These Wonkathons will help us create actions that are informed by experts so that our activism remains strategic.

One expert who we "wonked out" with is George Lakoff, a UC Berkeley professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics who has written for decades on political messaging. Lakoff has been beating his fists on the table for years in hopes that the Democrats (that includes all-of-us) will stop framing our messages in a way that advances the conservative agenda. We didn't listen--instead we repeated (and reinforced) Trump's messages. Lakoff explains,

"Repetition is a way of changing people’s brains...There wasn’t anything Hillary did that was crooked. But he kept saying it until people believed it. And they believed it because it was heard enough times to strengthen the neural circuitry in their brains. It wasn’t just stupidity. It’s simply the way brains work."

By repeating that Hillary wasn't crooked, Democrats in fact reinforced his message!

All-of-us must now hear Professor Lakoff and realize that Trump's tweets are a distraction tactic. This tactic won't work because we will stop repeating his lies. Instead all-of-us will frame and drive the message, starting with the truths that we will expose, and repeat, about Russia. 

We know that this is complex stuff, but the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time! So let's get started with some bite-sized framing strategies today--we'll serve up more in weeks to come. To take our country back, we must keep the force of George Lakoff with all-of-us.

Here's how: 

1. Review this 1-page article, in which Lakoff describes the strategy behind Trump's recent tweet falsely accusing President Obama. Understand that this is a distraction strategy, and stop falling for it. (2 minutes)

2. Review this 1-page Trump Tweet Playbook to learn how to react to Trump's tweets. This is not just for reporters, implement this 3-step method in all your communications about Trump. Wall-of-Us will (See Action 3 this week). (1 minute)

3. Check out this video of George Lakoff at our recent Wonkathon. (15 minutes)

4.  If you want to understand more, watch this interview of George Lakoff on the Tavis Smiley show. (25 minutes)

5. For more resources, "friend" Professor Lakoff on his Facebook page or follow him on Twitter (@GeorgeLakoff). Lakoff will soon be building a website for his new Citizens' Communication Network, a free resource that will provide framing advice for all-of-us.