Sunday, February 27, 2005

Democrats learn to frame debate, or quit talking like Repukitans

"If we're going to change the message, we need to have consistency from amongst the people," said Linda Melski of Marshfield, who organized a grass-roots meeting Saturday at Wildwood Station in Marshfield. "It's one of those issues changing the style in which you present an issue. Changing your language structure takes time and practice."Groups are being organized across the nation as part of Democracy for America, a political action committee inspired by Howard Dean's 2004 campaign for president.

Several meetings have taken place in Stevens Point and Marshfield, and organizers hope they will grow in size and popularity.George Lakoff, a University of California-Berkeley professor of linguistics and cognitive science, has a video and book that address how to win elections by changing the message."One of the problems progressives have is, they are divided, and we must unify," Lakoff said on the video, "How Democrats and Progressives Can Win." Democracy for America chapters are using his four rules of engagement to restructure their responses on local, state and national issues. Those rules are: Show respect; reframe the issue in context of progressive values; think and talk at the level of those values; and say what you believe. Cont.

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