Trump has turned words into weapons. And he’s winning the linguistic war | George P Lakoff and Gil Duran

From spygate to fake news, Trump has turned words into weapons. The press must do more to dull their power

Donald Trump has been a salesman for nearly half a century. He is now selling himself, his worldview and his self-serving views of the law and the truth. His principal tools are language and the media. By faithfully transmitting Trumps words and ideas, the press helps him to attack, and thereby control, the press itself.

Trump knows the press has a strong instinct to repeat his most outrageous claims, and this allows him put the press to work as a marketing agency for his ideas. His lies reach millions of people through constant repetition in the press and social media. This poses an existential threat to democracy.

Recommended For You

eCom Cache

Ever wished you could get access to all the winning eCom products that you can launch right now and start crushing it? Easily... this is exactly what "eCom Cache" platform brings to the table.

YOUR BUSINESS PAGE

An easy to use system that creates social-powered business landing page in seconds.

Language works by activating brain structures called frame-circuits used to understand experience. They get stronger when we hear the activating language. Enough repetition can make them permanent, changing how we view the world.

Even negating a frame-circuit activates and strengthens it, as when Nixon said I am not a crook and people thought of him as a crook.

Scientists, marketers, advertisers and salespeople understand these principles. So do Russian and Islamic State hackers. But most reporters and editors clearly dont. So the press is at a disadvantage when dealing with a super salesman with an instinctive ability to manipulate thought by 1) framing first 2) repeating often, and 3) leading others to repeat his words by getting people to attack him within his own frame.

Language can shape the way we think. Trump knows this. Here are some of his favorite manipulation techniques.

First, he weaponizes words. The modifier crooked convicted Hillary Clinton without a trial. The medias constant repetition sealed the verdict. Fake news proclaims that the news is fake. The use of fake is designed to delegitimize the press itself. Trump also uses strategic name-calling to undermine the Russia investigation, tagging it as a witch-hunt by the deep state in an attempt to shift blame. Its false, but when the press repeats it, his narrative wins.

The media perpetuated a Trump lie by repeating spygate, which falsely characterized the FBI informant as a spy. Once made, such a mistake by the press is hard to correct.

Recommended For You

ViraLightning 7-Day Trial

ViraLightning Software

StockKosh Reseller Premium 25

25 StockKosh Reseller Accounts. Resell them and earn as much money as you want.

WP GDPR Fix Developer 10 Sites

Once you have the developer and agency rights to WP GDPR Fix all you have to do is tell your clients you have something that makes GDPR compliance easier.Next legally implement it on your client’s website. You can charge them a one time fee or a monthly r

A possible immediate correction might have been to use RussianSpyGate, repeatedly focusing on the Russian contacts of Trumps campaign aides Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, with the FBI informant checking on Russian spying in the Trump campaign. This would have had to be done over and over, with reporters bring it up whenever spygate was used. Not an easy fix.

Then there are what cognitive scientists call salient exemplars well-publicized individual cases, where wide publicity leads the public to take them as having a high probability and typifying a whole class. Trump turns them into weaponized stereotypes. He is a master at defaming entire groups of people as liars, rapists, terrorists or in the case of US law enforcement and intelligence agencies agents of corruption.

He knows how to avoid taking responsibility for a claim. Maybe. I dont know. Well see. Yet the claim has been made and stands, with no responsibility for it.

In The Art of the Deal, Trump discusses using truthful hyperbole exaggerated claims suggesting a significant truth. His hyperbole can be either positive (great, terrific, the best) for what he likes or negative (a disaster, the worst ever) for what he dislikes. The worst trade deal ever frames trade agreements as deals, where deals are seen as zero-sum games that you either win or lose and winning is the only good outcome. Doesnt it feel good to win! Youll win so much, youll feel tired of winning!

Deal and winning are not just words. They are central to his worldview. Those who win deserve to win; those who lose deserve to lose. Those who dont win are losers. This is a version of individual responsibility, a cornerstone of conservative thought. There is a moral hierarchy. Those who win are better than those who lose.

America first means that America is better than other countries, as shown by its wealth and power. And that wealth and power should be used to win to acquire more wealth and power in all its deals even with our allies. Power includes the power to bully or punish for example, to impose tariffs or pull out of treaty or at least threaten if others dont go along with him.

The
The White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, during the daily press briefing. Photograph: Shawn Thew/EPA

Recommended For You

SociDeck Starter

SociDeck is a feature-packed social media management software that converts social conversations into conversions by allowing users to manage their 3 biggest social media accounts- Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at one place.

Lifetime.Chat Reseller 3-Pay 50

Reseller Privileges to 50 Accounts of Lifetime.Chat

Timeless Traffic Reseller Basic

Timeless Traffic Reseller Basic

Trumps tweets are not random, they are strategic. There are four types: 1) Pre-emptive framing, to get a framing advantage. 2) Diversion, to divert attention when news could embarrass him. 3) Deflection: Shift the blame to others. And 4) trial balloon test how much you can get away with. Reporting, and therefore repeating, Trumps tweets just gives him more power. There is an alternative. Report the true frames that he is trying to pre-empt. Report the truth that he is trying to divert attention from. Put the blame where it belongs. Bust the trial balloon. Report what the strategies are trying to hide.

Cornered by the Russia investigation, Trump is working overtime to twist the facts, the law, and reality in general, to benefit himself. As the indictments and the evidence pile up in favor of a case for Trump-Russia collusion in the 2016 election, hes made it clear that he considers himself above both the law and the truth. As president of the United States, anything he says true or false is faithfully parroted by the press. This needs to change.

Trump is subjecting American democracy to a brutal test. Our survival requires that the press halt its unwitting complicity in his power grab. The press has become complicit with Trump by allowing itself to be used as an amplifier for his falsehoods and frames. When the press gives Trump absolute power to dictate coverage, it abdicates its role as a pillar of democracy.

How can the press do a better job? Here are some basic suggestions:

First, journalists must understand how propaganda works on the brain and grasp the cognitive science that marketers of propaganda have implicitly mastered: frames, metaphors, narratives and brain basics.

Second, keep a steely focus on the fact that American democracy is under attack by a foreign power, possibly with collusion from the sitting presidents campaign. This is a crisis. Certain rules dont apply in a crisis, especially the rule that the press must amplify the presidents words, whatever they are.

Third, stop letting Trump control the news cycle. Newsgathering should be a serious affair controlled by editors whose power rivals any politicians. Stop chasing his tweets and elevating every sideshow. Start every story with truth and the context of whats really important to citizens in a democracy. More BBC, less TMZ.

Fourth, dont spread lies. Dont privilege Trumps lies by putting their specific language in the headlines, the leads or the hashtags. Dont repeat the lies assuming people will automatically know theyre lies. People need to know the president is lying, but be careful about repeating the lies because a lie repeated often enough becomes the truth. Repetition of lies spreads them.

The job of the free press is to seek the truth and report the truth, especially the morally important truths and their consequences. If the press fails to do this job, not only does it lose its freedom, but we all do.

Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

Thank you for taking the time to read our article.

If you enjoyed our content, we'd really appreciate some "love" with a share or two.

And ... Don't forget to have fun!

Recommended Products

Lifetime Stock Video Reseller 500

Reseller Privileges to 500 Accounts of Lifetime Stock Video

Viral Traffic Machine - OTO 5 - Super Affiliate Edition

Viral Traffic Machine - OTO 5 - Super Affiliate Edition

TigerPress Volume 4 Expansion Pack DS

Reduced expansion pack containing the 3 x HTML themes and bonuses.

Leave a Reply