Lakoff was Right

McCain’s attempt to brand Obama doesn’t need to make sense, it just needs to be repeated. Check out this video via Andrew Sullivan:

there’s a point at about 2:30, when a woman talks about Obama and Bill Ayers. She clearly knows nothing about it, and reverts to simple telegraphic speech to make her point “Obama. Ayers. Connection. What else do you need to know?”

This is the type of simple-associative connections at the core of Republican campaign strategy, as explained by George Lakoff. They’ll set up a frame where ‘Obama’ ‘Ayers’ and ‘Terrorist’ are powerfully linked, along with several other word-images (probably something about ‘bin Laden’ and ‘evil’) that activate each other in a network of ideas. Once the frame is set up, even attempts to refute the claim using the same words will reinforce the associations. That’s why folks will believe some of this crap, without being able to tell you anything about what it means, or why it’s true.


One response to “Lakoff was Right

  1. It’s this “simple-associative” kind of strategy that instills fear and evokes hatred. Words like “socialist” and “Muslim” become completely hollow and void of actual meaning, thus making it possible for people to attach any racist/bigoted meaning to them. This video is the most terrifying display of racism and ignorance that I’ve seen in a long time.

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