Watch this video (roughly an hour and twenty minutes)
This was a recent panel in a symposium held in the New York Public Library called "There You Go Again: Orwell Comes to America", which invited experts from fields as diverse as linguistics and government to speak about manipulation and propaganda.
This particular panel, comprised of George Lakoff (Co-Founder and Senior Fellow, Rockridge Institute and the Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics, UC Berkeley), Frank Luntz (political pollster and consultant; author of "Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear."), and Drew Westen (professor of psychology/psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Emory University; author of "The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation."), moderated by Nicholas Lemann (dean and Henry R. Luce Professor, The Journalism School, Columbia University), was on the topic of "Deceiving Images: The Science of Manipulation".
Much has happened since this symposium, just five short months ago, but some of the conclusions drawn are fascinating.
In a nutshell, this video helps explain why Democrats have had such horrible times trying to win elections. In particular, pay close attention to George Lakoff's discussion, and to the reaction people have to Frank Luntz, who, while a reprehensible little man, has some valuable insight into the political process and for that, deserved a respectful-if-chilled reception.
He speaks about Kerry and Gore losing their elections, and then gets roundly heckled by folks who point out those elections were stolen.
No matter how true that is (and certainly, cases can be made for both), the simple fact is, neither election should have been close enough to steal and here, Luntz is golden in explaining how the GOP managed to turn the election to that plane. This is stuff we NEED to hear and only goes towards proving Luntz's points about communications.
It's Sunday. There's no football on. You can spend some time watching.
And then go throw LinkTV a few bucks for showing it. You can even pick up two DVDs that will show you how the Republicans plan on stealing this year's election, including BBC reporter Greg Palast's "The Election Files 2008" which includes early efforts to cage voters this year, as well as reports on Diebold failures from 2006 and how that company has been having elected officials who reported them fired! That's right: elected officials are being fired on the orders of a private corporation.