Lynn D. Johnson, Ph.D.
ljohnson at solution-consulting.com
Thu Mar 3 04:19:48 UTC 2005
This was quite interesting, and I enjoyed trying to respond. I hope I
don't further agitate you. I actually am seeking a real dialog. A few
Michael Christopher wrote:
>>>What the Left fails to see is that there needs to be
>some value and truth underlying the branding or the
>effort will fail. The Right currently argues that the
>Left has lost its way and is mindless and reactive.<<
>--Right. You have to hijack REAL values in order to
>make all that branding and framing seem moral and
This sentence doesn't make sense. The word "hijack" seems out of place
in a discussion about branding and positioning. Perhaps I stirred up
some anger in you, but I am reporting a very serious perception. The
right now sees the left as idiots who don't know history. There is a
good deal of discussion on the right about how the left has become a
reactionary force, against all change.
I actually am quite sympathetic about that view, as you see below.
>Then you can say out of one side of your mouth
>"I have Christian values" and out of the other side of
>your mouth call your opponent names and trash their
>reputation. A real Christian would put an end to such
>tactics before they started.
I didn't see anyone saying "I have Christian values." I didn't see where
anyone was trashing reputations. The idea about branding is to associate
a service or product with an easy-to-remember word or image. It has to
be positive, not negative.
Paul the Apostle said, "I become all things to all people so that I may
by some means bring some to Christ." The story in Acts about Mars Hill
is a classic. You may already know that the KJV translation is
completely wrong. "Ye men of Athens, I see that ye are too
superstitious" Wrong. The Greek word for superstition and religion are
the same. The context shows what Paul meant; he was complimenting the
Greeks on their devotions. "Ye are very religious" is the right
translation, and modern translations and foreign language translations I
have read have that meaning. So Paul was positioning himself so that
he'd be listened to.
>A phony one would use
>them covertly while appearing untainted in public.
>I.E. never call anyone a four letter word when you
>know the mic is on.
Again, I don't understand the anger here. Christians are "men of
passions" which again is an allusion to the book of Acts. As Paul says,
we wish to do good and we do evil; we wish to avoid evil and we do good
(Romans, around chapter 8). So a Christian might call someone a name,
like Bush did during the first campaign about the NYT reporter. It is
not right, and he should repent, and probably did. Christianity is for
flawed people; perfect people don't need it. What is your point?
>As long as you have a golden tongue,
who? Bush? Ha!
>nobody bothers to
>look at what your priorities actually are. Rhetoric
>becomes reality, while reality becomes a distraction.
Actually I have thought this is exactly what is lacking in the Left. I
read DailyKos today and was repelled by the reliance on rhetoric and the
flimsy data. Perhaps I am wrong, but when I try to read Left sites, it
seems they are full of heat, not light. I actually would like to see
some good ideas from the Left, as I believe in dialog, but instead I see
a lot of ad hominum and guilt-by-association stuff. I see some on the
right, but when I read townhall.com, I see more reasoned arguments.
>In the case of really good bipolar framing, any truth
>that makes you look bad is dismissed as propaganda by
>the other side. Ideally, your opponent will sink to
>your level and get caught calling you names and using
>fuzzy logic with polished rhetorical ornamentation. If
>Democrats use the techniques used in this cycle by
>Republicans, I truly hope they show genuinely
>Christlike behavior, and take the moral high ground.
>If they engage in the same machine-like lockstep
>namecalling and distortion, I'll feel even more
>alienated from the two party system.
Again, I am not seeing the problem here. The Right has some ideas that
they genuinely believe will help society, reduce unemployment, reduce
poverty, empower individuals, and raise the standard of living. They try
to make those ideas sound as appealing and positive as possible. The
Democrats see Bush as a bad president, and hope for his failure. Check
out today's opinion journal:
Rather good dialog on this.
Please read Horowitz' Radical Son, where he talks toward the end of
the book about how tolerant the right turned out to be of diversity,
dissent, and dialog. He was astonished, since as a leftist he had always
thought the opposite was true.
Who specifically called whom a name? Who specifically is using fuzzy
logic (which I thought was a type of artifical intelligence used in
computers)? Please give me an example.
>What I really want is something other than liberals
>and conservatives. People who have some values on each
>side of the fence and are willing to hammer out
>agreements so that everyone's core concerns are met.
Many Republicans are moderates. I would suggest that the Democrats have
driven many moderates out of their party, which I think has been a huge
mistake. Zell Miller. Sam Nunn. JFK and Truman wouldn't fit in today's
Democratic Party. I don't see how Harry Reid can be a Democrat, but he
is at least trying to reduce the Democrat=Abortion linkage.
>It would help a great deal if people had more direct
>input as to where their tax money goes, since the
>bipolar cycle is fuelled by resentment against
>taxation and government intrusion. Whichever side is
>angry, it's angry because it feels forced to
>contribute its money to a system which they feel
>doesn't have their interests at heart.
I actually just finished a book on anger - I mean, I wrote it - and I
would differ here. Individuals are ultimately responsible for their own
emotional state. To blame it on outside forces is unreasonable and
disempowering. Anger reduces one's ability to think - see Barbara
Fredrickson's work at the U. Michigan. "If you can keep your head when
all about you . . . "
>And it becomes
>dangerous when that resentment against taxation bleeds
>over into other issues and colors them, prevents them
>from being made clear in discussion. When someone
>resents paying taxes, their views on social security
>might be just a little bit biased in the direction of
>ending rather than reforming it, and then rhetoric has
>to be "cleaned up" so it sounds like reform.
Again, I don't follow. There is a serious demographic problem with
social security. I don't hear anyone wanting to end it.
>military strategy might be biased by an unacknowledged
>resentment over paying taxes to support military
Are you referring to the anti-war left?
>The issue of resentment over taxation
>should be illuminated and not used to fuel bias in
>other contexts, so that other issues can be dealt with
>on a more honest plane.
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