Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Channel that Nobody's Watching

Still amazed at the silence, and worse, on the Left about immigration.

But before I get into that, I'm going to say one more time that if the Left doesn't learn how to frame our issues soon, the only future we'll have is the swirly.

It's a GIANT mystery to me that whereas advertising and marketing people have known about subliminal influences, our multisensory sensory "learning channels," and other mechanics of the power of words for ages, the leaders of the Democratic Party have not yet discovered this world. WTF!?

If I had a spare million lying around, I'd give it to the person who could both answer this question persuasively and change this situation. Skill in framing issues isn't just about influencing perceptions. It also has a role in why we hear more White House talking points on cable news than leftwing ones. In a word, it's easier to repeat a good talking point than half a page of flabby jabber. In other words, the last good Leftwing point I remember is, "It's the economy, stupid." And that was what, twenty years ago?

Framing is ultimately about action and inaction. That's what we don't seem to appreciate. Framing an issue determines who will act on it as well as the direction that action will take. Pro-choice or pro-life? This was a brilliant piece of framing that was designed to redirect public support from women's right to control our bodies ourselves, and to position abortion as an act of murder. It did so in seven letters and a hyphen.

"Illegals" or "refugees"? Framing the immigration issue in terms of legal and illegal immigration takes the eye off the real issues--not accidentally. The fundamentals--those things that can change the situation if honestly and creatively addressed--are individual and regional desperation, political and corporate corruption, systemic workforce exploitation, and Rightwing nationism/racism. But the Right's brilliance at framing the issue has determined how the country is responding to it. As a result, Americans feel morally superior, judgmental, and punitive, not empathetic, outraged, and supportive.

In such a climate, no form of political solution, and certainly not "comprehensive immigration reform" is possible, because no form of comprehensive immigration reform is wanted. And that's the bottom line.

The Left is speaking to the country on a channel that nobody's watching.

How do we change that? When?