Imaginary conversation with a Bushie - a thought experiment after reading these articles:
Talking Politics with People Unlike Ourselves
Reaching Beyond the Choir
YOU: I understand you support Bush. I don't meet many people like you and I would really like to understand. Can you tell me, please, what is it that makes you like Bush?
RESPONSE (You listen to familiar talking points and sound bites with a patient smile and nodding your head)
YOU: I see. Well, I know you don't know Bush personally, so I am wondering what made you make up your mind. Where do you get your information?
RESPONSE (You listen politely until the responder mentions the media)
YOU: Well, all the media sources are biased, even those that try hard not to be. We all know that, and always check who owns the outlet etc. Some are conservative, some are liberal, and we all know not to believe anything at face value. So, where do you go to check the facts?
RESPONSE (At this point you will know if the person is in la-la land, in which case you politely change the subject or walk away hoping that you have planted a seed of doubt, or you may decide that the person can be worked on further)
YOU: Well, with all the media being big corporations owned by politically biased owners, nothing they say can be trusted. Books are one source of factual info. Internet is even better. Whenever I hear something on the news, I go and check it on the Web. There are governmental websites, like White House, Senate, House etc., where one can find actual documents, bills etc. There are independent websites dedicated to media analysis and fact-checking that are very useful. There are conservative sites that check the liberal's pronouncements, and there are liberal sites that check the statements from the conservative media. Would you be interested in some of those? I can get you some Web-addresses to bookmark. ...etc. remaining polite, not engaging in ANY debates on policies, personalities, sound-bites etc., just planting the seeds of doubt and giving the person the opportunity to check out the stuff on his/her own terms, thus feeling less threatened by you.
Also see this:
P.S. I know, I know, I'm crazy, but.....I saw Spiderman 2 the other day and could not help myself but notice what a nurturant family the Parkers are and what a horrendously strict father the Green Goblin (Osborn) is, with Lakoffian consequences on the boys - one finding strength and courage inside himself, the latter depending on an external locus of authority.
For a good discussion and LOTS of good links to articles about "framing" and use of language in service of ideology (and winning elections) go here: