Frank Luntz’s right wing talking points

You have to give the Republicans credit. When they realize they’re losing the battle of words, they change the words and issue a memo to their mouthpieces. Frank Luntz is their Orwellian thesaurus. Here’s the spinmaster’s rewriting of the Republican jargon to deal with issued raised by Occupy Wall Street, so you should be hearing it now on Fox News or whenever you hear a representative of the GOP speaking (from Yahoo News):

1. Don’t say “capitalism.”

“I’m trying to get that word removed and we’re replacing it with either ‘economic freedom’ or ‘free market,’ ” Luntz said. “The public . . . still prefers capitalism to socialism, but they think capitalism is immoral. And if we’re seen as defenders of quote, Wall Street, end quote, we’ve got a problem.”

2. Don’t say that the government “taxes the rich.” Instead, tell them that the government “takes from the rich.”

“If you talk about raising taxes on the rich,” the public responds favorably, Luntz cautioned. But “if you talk about government taking the money from hardworking Americans, the public says no. Taxing, the public will say yes.”

3. Republicans should forget about winning the battle over the “middle class.” Call them “hardworking taxpayers.”

“They cannot win if the fight is on hardworking taxpayers. We can say we defend the ‘middle class’ and the public will say, I’m not sure about that. But defending ‘hardworking taxpayers’ and Republicans have the advantage.”

4. Don’t talk about “jobs.” Talk about “careers.”

“Everyone in this room talks about ‘jobs,'” Luntz said. “Watch this.”

He then asked everyone to raise their hand if they want a “job.” Few hands went up. Then he asked who wants a “career.” Almost every hand was raised.

“So why are we talking about jobs?”

5. Don’t say “government spending.” Call it “waste.”

“It’s not about ‘government spending.’ It’s about ‘waste.’ That’s what makes people angry.”

6. Don’t ever say you’re willing to “compromise.”

“If you talk about ‘compromise,’ they’ll say you’re selling out. Your side doesn’t want you to ‘compromise.’ What you use in that to replace it with is ‘cooperation.’ It means the same thing. But cooperation means you stick to your principles but still get the job done. Compromise says that you’re selling out those principles.”

7. The three most important words you can say to an Occupier: “I get it.”

“First off, here are three words for you all: ‘I get it.’ . . . ‘I get that you’re angry. I get that you’ve seen inequality. I get that you want to fix the system.”

Then, he instructed, offer Republican solutions to the problem.

8. Out: “Entrepreneur.” In: “Job creator.”

Use the phrases “small business owners” and “job creators” instead of “entrepreneurs” and “innovators.”

9. Don’t ever ask anyone to “sacrifice.”

“There isn’t an American today in November of 2011 who doesn’t think they’ve already sacrificed. If you tell them you want them to ‘sacrifice,’ they’re going to be be pretty angry at you. You talk about how ‘we’re all in this together.’ We either succeed together or we fail together.”

10. Always blame Washington.

Tell them, “You shouldn’t be occupying Wall Street, you should be occupying Washington. You should occupy the White House because it’s the policies over the past few years that have created this problem.”


Don’t say “bonus!”

Luntz advised that if they give their employees an income boost during the holiday season, they should never refer to it as a “bonus.”

“If you give out a bonus at a time of financial hardship, you’re going to make people angry. It’s ‘pay for performance.'”

OK, so how can we use some of these tips in a GOP talking point.

Let’s say you hear Newt Gingrich say something like: “Job creators in our free market system want to offer young Americans careers. But if Washington take money from the rich and waste it, who’s to stop it from later taking money from hard working taxpayers.”

Now, I’ve used seven Luntz tips in this statement, so the translation is: “Entrepreneurs in the capitalist system want children to work. But if Washington taxes the rich to make sure there’s adequate government spending, who’s to stop it from taxing the middle class?”

The speaker will conveniently not mention that government spending is more likely to benefit the middle class than the rich, because the rich can already pay for everything they need and don’t care about programs that benefit the general public. But beyond that, the damage is done. The concept of child labor is obfuscated in Luntz jargon.


3 thoughts on “Frank Luntz’s right wing talking points

  1. Pingback: Unspinning Frank Luntz | An Endless War

  2. Pingback: Occupy Wall Street is NOT Political- It’s about EXPOSURE « I'm Dating A One Percenter

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