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Bushspeak under the magnifying glass

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  • Mikey_C
    replied
    The left hand path. Interesting - because the verbal means used to distort and transform consciousness by Bush and friends are the outer arts of magic.

    Leave a comment:


  • ReaveTheJust
    replied
    sinister from Sinistral - that means left doesn't it?

    I think the term dates from medieval times when left handed people were suspected of being in league with the Devil and burned.

    as a righty, I'm one of God's children of course :D

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  • Doc
    replied
    Sinister is a great word for that practice, particularly because the people you mention do it to intentionally mislead the public or while saying nothing yet still appearing to say something. And people wonder why the public doesn't trust government. Perhaps if government officials earned it...

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  • Mikey_C
    replied
    I expect he was trained by his handlers to speak in this way. I understand that Margaret Thatcher used Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Some interesting analyses have also been made of Blair's speech patterns. It's kind of sinister, really.

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  • Jerico
    replied
    I must have a hiatus. Pondering the fact that Bush is still president is like looking directly at the face of Cthulu.


    ____________-
    Mad! I'm going mad!

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  • Doc
    replied
    Great post, Jer! (By the way, we seem to have taken a hiatus at the same time--maybe we're secretly the same person :D )

    Bush (or more likely Rove) has proven to be a master of framing his arguments in an indisputable, but often irrelevant, context. He's taken the "if you're not with us, you're against us" logic of the first grade playground to dizzying heights.

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  • Jerico
    started a topic Bushspeak under the magnifying glass

    Bushspeak under the magnifying glass

    A Clinical Psychologist Analyzes Bush's Language Friday, 5:30 PM


    An interesting email made the rounds after the election calling attention to a 2003 article in The Nation by Dr. Renana Brooks called "A Nation of Victims." In the article, Brooks, a clinical psychologist and founder and director of the Sommet Institute for the Study of Power and Persuasion, makes the argument that George W. Bush uses dependency-creating language to dominate others and advance his right-wing agenda. Brooks says, "[Bush] employs language of contempt and intimidation to shame others into submission and desperate admiration." Brooks cites three tactics she says Bush uses to accomplish this: empty language, personalization and negative framework.

    Empty language refers to broad statements that are so abstract and meaningless that they are virtually impossible to oppose. Brooks claims Bush's 2003 State of the Union address contained 39 examples of empty language, such as his reducing the complex relationship between malpractice insurance and skyrocketing healthcare costs to the simple statement, "No one has ever been healed by a frivolous lawsuit."

    Personalization focuses the attention of the listener on the speaker's personality. "Bush projects himself as the only person capable of producing results," Brooks says. She cites examples of Bush referring to himself or his personal characteristics as the answer to the country's problems, such as "I will not forget this wound to our country or those who inflicted it. I will not yield; I will not rest; I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security of the American people." Brooks contrasts that language with John F. Kennedy's "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

    Finally, Bush uses the linguistic technique of negative framework to create and maintain pessimistic images in his listeners' minds until his political opposition "feels such a high level of anxiety that it appears pointless to do anything other than cower." Brooks compares Bush's language after the 9/11 attacks to Franklin Roosevelt's speech the day after the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor. Bush's speech included such lines as, "Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen…. I ask you to live your lives, and hug your children. I know many citizens have fears tonight…. Be calm and resolute, even in the face of a continuing threat." Roosevelt, on the other hand, took a more optimistic approach saying, "No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in the righteous might will win through to absolute victory." Brooks says that Bush "describes the nation as being in a perpetual state of crisis and then attempts to convince the electorate that it is powerless and that he is the only one with the strength to deal with it." Brooks encouraged Bush's political opponents to combat his pessimism with statements that encourage hope and optimism.
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