Collusion Does Not Exist in Law: Stop Using It!

Propaganda relies on repetition. It matters little if this is an add for a commercial product, or the president repeating like a metronome. Advertising relies on this principle. Why the name of a product is mentioned a few times in every commercial spot. The idea is that you will signal to others your wealth, or status, with what you use. Cool people use x brand. Amazing people get behind a politician. It benefits the status of the commodity. It does not matter if we are talking computers, cars or Orange juice. These commercials have two objectives in mind. The first is to tell you about the new widget. The other is to break down your resistance to buying it.

Whatever you think of President Donald Trump, he knows this. The man came out of that very specific add culture due to his real estate business. Yes, he is a shyster, and a liar. Worst, he is a kleptocrat. But he is familiar with these principles of human psychology. He is using them every time he goes on the twitter machine. He is also engaging them when he speaks and repeats things he wants you to believe. His frames are becoming the center of all conversation.

And whether you fell for it, or not, he is good at it. The polling shows this, since the probe into his business is losing credibility among Americans, in particular Republicans.

Like a good add campaign, he is hardly telling the whole story. For example, there can never be collusion, for the term does not exist in American law. The preferred mark, in this case, is the base. If the audience can be expanded to those on the fringes of the base, it’s even better. And every time you repeat his frames you help Trump make the case. You are spreading this as a virus, whether you think its cool or not.

This is well known science, but many Americans are resistant to these principles. Well meaning people keep repeating these frames hardening this in the mind of readers. Here is the thing. The administration in general, and Donald Trump in particular have been strategic in how they go about it. But this add campaign can be defeated. In order to do that, you need to stop repeating the frames. The media should stop magnifying the tweets. However, if they are not going to, you must stop doing it. It is also not factual, so why repeat half backed lies?

Do not use his terms. Do not make fun of the words he chose. Be strategic. Understand psychology, and if you must, there are a slew of accurate legal terms you can use instead. Conspiracy is a good one to start with. Likely the president is facing this already and he is growing desperate to stop it. Every time you repeat the terms and hashtags you help Donald Trump. You need to create truthful frames, not reinforce the bad ones.

Expand your reading into these matters. Read and learn from people like George Lakoff.

And yes, we all fall prey to the tweets. I admit, I have done such. Every so often the anger at what he is doing to the country comes forth. However, I later regret it. Why? I know better.

Written by

Historian by training. Former day to day reporter. Sometimes a geek who enjoys a good miniatures game.

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