I’m sitting here in my suburban living room on Melony Drive in Salt Lake City thinking I could do a better job communicating effectively than my Democratic representatives in Washington. The Democratic leadership is terrible at framing. Framing is the ability to phrase something in a nutshell that has immediate and emphatic meaning to the body politic. We just don’t seem to be able frame although the opportunities are myriad.
Ask yourself, for instance, how many times you have heard the phrase, “Imagine the Republican response if Obama did this . . .” Well, why don’t we level the same vehement response? Our lack of ability to effectively respond is why the Never Trumpers and the Lincoln Project are necessary. These groups are made up of ex-Republican operatives that know how to play hardball. They know how to frame. Democrats sputter in outrage at an effective Republican frame, with no response other that to repeat the frame by denying it. Democrats play puffball. Gently, with hand-wringing and apology (Democrats are decent people, after all).
After four years of Trump, the worst, most indecent person alive, Republicans are zealously throwing democracy under the bus rather than accepting his clear loss of the election. I could come up with a more vivid metaphor, like the Rs are throwing democracy in the ditch, pissing on it, then kicking dirt on the remains, but this is a family website.
Take three obvious examples.
Trumpians are going all around the country denying the uber-legitimate American democratic election. It has never happened before. Imagine the rage if Obama did it . . .
Trumpians have committed negligent homicide of hundreds of thousands of Americans. If we had the same pandemic death rate as South Korea, we would have lost around 7,000 people. Instead our loss is closer to 300,000. An immense, obvious tragedy that Republicans are directly responsible for. Imagine the foaming Republican furor if Obama did that . . .
Trumpians are coddling Russia, a probable owner of Trump’s personal and business debt, and using the Justice Department to cover up their sins. Trump was impeached for it. Republicans shrugged and had nothing to say. Imagine the cross-eyed fury if Obama did that . . .
Good framing is exemplified by how Rs throw around the word “socialism.” Not even Bernie Sanders is a socialist but the word works like instant venin. It works on the Republican rubes even though America has wildly popular socialist programs they depend on. Like the military and the VA, like Medicare and Medicaid, like Social Security, like public schools. But if an R accuses a D of socialism, the R apes start throwing their shit and flipping out in their cage. What phrase do we have like that? None? Why not? Why can’t we masterfully frame?
Is it up to me, a retired gnat fart in a windstorm, sitting in my living room on Melony Drive, to come up with effective frames? Come on, Ds!