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Tips for Talking about Politics

Especially in these divided times


General Tips
















How to talk about specific topics





















All of these ideas are based on the work of retired UC-Berkely linguist, George Lakoff (his Facebook). He's a progressive, but Democrats usually ignore his work. However, Republicans use his work to their advantage all the time.

When you talk about Republican ideas in the negative, it only strengthens the ideas in peoples' brains.


We have to put forth a positive, inspiring vision. How did "Hope & Change" work out for Obama? It won him 2 elections. He did not just campaign as the anti-McCain and anti-Romney. However, he was not as good at using inspiring language during his presidency to sell the public on his ideas.

Don't focus on the facts. People who strongly support one person or party are completely unswayed by the facts, and this is backed up by science.


Repetition and Simplicity are key. Most Americans don't follow politics closely, nor do most have a deep understanding of politics.

The more something is repeated, the stronger the connections are in the brain. It becomes part of what you naturally understand.

Why do people vote against their own economic interests? People vote their values and their identities. If they value a strict hierarchy of Man over Nature, Man over Woman, Rich over Poor, etc., then they will vote that way. 

Most Americans believe in Democratic positions on the issues, but don't always vote Democratic. We need to talk about our beliefs in ways that tap into the way that moderates and conservatives view the world. Re-frame/Re-phrase how we talk about our values. Republicans are extremely skilled at this.

Some people will support Trump forever. They will never be swayed. Either drop the topic, or talk about your vision for our state and country. Don't just talk about how awful Republicans are. It is a losing strategy.

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