[Paleopsych] Frank Luntz: 14 words Republicans should not say

Steve Hovland shovland at mindspring.com
Wed Mar 2 05:12:18 UTC 2005

I heard about this on Air America about 3 am and
jumped out of bed to find this.  So as far as I know
this is real.  There is also a pdf of a 160 page
briefing book supposedly from Luntz.

This is the page:


The link to the briefing book download is the word
"Republicans" in orange.

Steve Hovland

-----Original Message-----
From:	Lynn D. Johnson, Ph.D. [SMTP:ljohnson at solution-consulting.com]
Sent:	Tuesday, March 01, 2005 8:23 PM
To:	Steve Hovland
Subject:	Re: [Paleopsych] Frank Luntz: 14 words Republicans should not say


Steve Hovland wrote:

>Sometimes it is not what you say that matters but what you don't say. Other 
>times a single word or phrase can undermine or destroy the credibility of a 
>paragraph or entire presentation. This memo was originally prepared 
>exclusively for Congressional spouses because they are your eyes and ears, 
>a one-person reality check and truth squad combined. However, by popular 
>demand, I have included and expanded that document because effectively 
>communicating the New American Lexicon requires you to STOP saying words 
>and phrases that undermine your ability to educate the American people.
>So from today forward, YOU are the language police. From today forward, 
>these are the words never to say again.
>1. NEVER SAY Government
>INSTEAD SAY: Washington
>The fact is, most Americans appreciate their local government that picks up 
>their trash, cleans their streets, and provides police and transportation 
>services. Washington is the problem. Remind voters again and again about 
>Washington spending, Washington waste, Washington taxation, Washington 
>bureaucracy, Washington rules and Washington regulations. Then remind 
>voters that if Washington created this mess, it is Washington's 
>responsibility to fix it. "If we expect to succeed, we must look to 
>ourselves and not to Washington to raise our kids, start our businesses and 
>improve our day-to-day lives." If you must talk about government, use the 
>context defined by President Bush: "Government should help people improve 
>their lives, not try to run their lives."
>2. NEVER SAY Privatization/Private Accounts
>INSTEAD SAY: Personalization/Personal Accounts
>Many more Americans would "personalize" Social Security than "privatize" 
>it. In fact, two-thirds of America wants to personalize Social Security 
>while only one-third should privatize it. Why? Personalizing Social 
>Security suggests ownership and control over your retirement savings, while 
>privatizing it suggests a profit motive and winners and losers. BANISH 
>PRIVATIZATION FROM YOUR LEXICON.(Emphasis mine, caps lock theirs)
>3. NEVER SAY Tax Reform
>INSTEAD SAY: Tax Simplification
>While a majority of Americans are generally in favor of tax reform, 
>one-third of the population fears that they would end up paying more in 
>taxes if the tax code was in fact reformed. However, almost all Americans 
>believe they would personally benefit from a tax code that was 
>simplified-in terms of money they owe, time they spend and anxiety about 
>the IRS. When more Americans fear the IRS than root- canal surgery, 
>something should be done to simplify the tax code.
>4. NEVER SAY Inheritance/Estate Tax
>INSTEAD SAY: The Death Tax
>While a sizable 68% of America thinks the Inheritance/Estate Tax is unfair, 
>fully 78%think that the Death Tax is unfair. And while a narrow majority 
>would repeal the inheritance/estate tax, an overwhelming majority would 
>repeal the death tax. If you want to kill the estate tax, call it a death 
>5. NEVER SAY A Global Economy/Globalization/Capitalism
>INSTEAD SAY: Free Market Economy
>More Americans are afraid of the principle of globalization than even 
>privatization. The reason? Globalization represents something big, 
>something distant and something foreign. It's the same reason why Americans 
>like their local government but dislike Washington-the closer you are, the 
>more control you have. So instead of talking about the principles of 
>globalization, instead emphasize "the value and benefits of a free market 
>economy." Similarly, capitalism reminds people of harsh economic 
>competition that yields losers as well as winners. Conversely, the free 
>market economy provides opportunity to all and allows everyone to succeed.
>6. NEVER SAY Outsourcing
>INSTEAD SAY: Taxation, Regulation, Litigation Innovation, Education
>When you use the words of your opposition, you are basically accepting 
>their definition and therefore their conclusion. We should NEVER use the 
>word outsourcing because we will then be asked to defend or end the 
>practice of allowing companies to ship American jobs overseas. Rather, we 
>should talk about the "root cause" why any company would not want to hire 
>"the best workers in the world." And the answer: "over-taxation, 
>over-regulation, too much litigation, and not enough innovation or quality 
>education." Because it rhymes, it will be remembered.
>7. NEVER SAY Undocumented Workers
>INSTEAD SAY: Illegal Aliens
>The Dems have adopted the phrase "undocumented worker" but you shouldn't. 
>Call them exactly what they are. In fact, instead of addressing 
>"immigration reform," which polarizes Americans, you should be talking 
>about "border security" issues. Securing our borders and our people has 
>universal support.
>8. NEVER SAY Foreign Trade
>INSTEAD SAY: International Trade
>For many reasons unrelated to this issue, the word "foreign" conjures up 
>negative images. Americans simply don't like "foreign oil," or "foreign 
>products" or "foreign nationals." International is a more positive concept 
>than either foreign or global.
>9. NEVER SAY Drilling for oil
>INSTEAD SAY: Exploring for energy
>It's the picture people paint in their minds, the difference between an 
>old-fashioned oil rig that gushes up black goop vs. 21st century technology 
>and innovation that provides us the ability to heat our homes and drive our 
>cars. When you talk about energy, use words like "responsible" and 
>"balanced" and always address your concern for the environment.
>10. NEVER SAY Tort Reform
>INSTEAD SAY: Lawsuit Abuse Reform
>The term "tort" has very little meaning to the average American, and at 
>best reminds one of a French pastry. "Lawsuit Abuse" is something most 
>Americans understand and resent. If you really want to make your case, add 
>the word "frivolous."
>11. NEVER SAY Trial Lawyer
>INSTEAD SAY: Personal Injury Lawyer
>It is hard to distrust a trial lawyer because we see them portrayed so 
>favorably on L.A. Law and Law & Order. But personal injury lawyers, also 
>known as ambulance chasers, remind people of those annoying, harassing 
>commercials we see at 1:00 a.m. cajoling us to sue someone. If you want to 
>get the full bang for the buck, call them "predatory personal injury 
>12. NEVER SAY Corporate Transparency
>INSTEAD SAY: Corporate Accountability
>I constantly hear the need for "transparency" coming from members of the 
>financial services industry as well as members of Congress. But if you 
>asked the American people, corporate accountability is a much higher 
>priority. The fact is, a majority of Americans can't even explain what 
>transparency actually means. But everyone understands and demands 
>accountability from all sectors of the economy ? and the government.
>13. NEVER SAY School Choice
>INSTEAD SAY: Parental Choice/Equal Opportunity in Education
>Americans are still evenly split over whether they support "school choice" 
>in America's schools. But they are heavily in favor of "giving parents the 
>right to choose the schools that are right for their children," an there is 
>almost universal support for "equal opportunity in education." So frame the 
>issue right and you get the support you need.
>14. NEVER SAY Health care "Choice"
>INSTEAD SAY: "The Right to Choose"
>This is an important nuance so often lost on political officials. Almost 
>all Americans want "the right to choose the health care plan, hospital, 
>doctor and prescription drug plan that is best for them," but far fewer 
>Americans actually want to make that choice. In fact, the older you get, 
>the less eager you are to have a wide range of choices. One reason why the 
>prescription drug card earned only qualified public support was that it 
>offered too many choices and therefore created too much confusion for too 
>many senior citizens.
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