CURRENT MOON

Monday, February 21, 2011

Better Framing Skillz; We Needz 'Em

Never have so many loved 14. #wiunion #killthebill #solidarit... on Twitpic

One of the things I've loved about what's going on in Wisconsin has been the chance to hear all kind of great old protest/union songs. I grew up on those and they make me happy and weepy every time. Those songs don't ever really go away. They wait until they're needed to inspire the next generation of people who stand up for the rights of workers.

Here's a new song by Ken Lonnquist that's quite clever. Goddess knows, I can't sing a note, and I'm no one to criticize Lonnquist.

I'd like to use this song, though, to make a point about framing, something at which "our side" is terrible and at which the Republicans excel.

Note the repeat lyrics: "Fourteen Senators, sneaking 'cross the border."

I'm from the South, where ladies do not sweat, they glow. And I can assure you that union supporters and heroes of representative democracy do not "sneak" across the border. They march across the border. They protest across the border. They stand across the border. They represent across the border. They storm across the border. They do not sneak across the border.

For a moment, compare and contrast:
Forteen Senators, sneaking 'cross the border
Fourteen Senators, capitol disorder.
Fourteen Senators, new Wisconsin heroes.
What's the score?
Senators, fourteen/Governor Walker, zero.

vs.
Fourteen Senators, marching 'cross the border
Fourteen Senators, capitol disorder.
Fourteen Senators, new Wisconsin heroes.
What's the score?
Senators fourteen/Governor Walker, zero.

And maybe we could say, "Republicans in disorder," instead of implying that Democrats created disorder in the capitol, something that just "sounds bad." Besides, the protestors have been incredibly peaceful and orderly.

Go read Don't Think of an Elephant by George Lakoff. We keep losing because, in part, the other side is better at framing issues than we are. It's stupid to keep losing to people who are in the wrong simply because we can't be bothered with how we frame our issues.

Mr. Lonnquist, great song and the pictures in the video are wonderfully inspiring. Thanks for celebrating the courage of those fourteen Wisconsin Senators. They really are heroes. My point is not at all meant to disparage this quite creative and v fun work.

But we've got to get better at this, people. It matters. If you don't think so, just repeat: "death tax vs. unearned wealth tax," "partial birth abortion vs. emergency medical procedure." "Sneaking vs. marching."

Picture by the divine Scout Prime on TwitPic.

6 comments:

VforVirginia said...

Excellent. That bothered me, too.

Fletcher Newsletter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ntodd said...

Amen. I've been complaining about the AP et al framing what the Dems are doing as 'fleeing' and 'hiding'. Now somebody on the right side buys into it? Ach!

Literata said...

Thank you for pointing this out! I was furious at the Faux News framing of it as fleeing.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

And maybe we could say, "Republicans in disorder," instead of implying that Democrats created disorder in the capitol, something that just "sounds bad."

Especially because Scott Walker created the 'crisis' by filling the pockets of his backers.
~

The Kenosha Kid said...

The right wing turned the Affordable Care Act into "Obamacare" (run, hide!), but we can't turn the Budget Repair Bill into something scary? Are we even trying?