December 11, 2019

Republicans are extremists, and should be labeled as such

Republican and other US conservative political messaging is relentlessly negative.

And the Trump era has taken this to a new level of screeching. The “fake news” press are “enemies of the people”. Patriotic bureaucrats are a “deep state” “swamp”. Impeachment is a freedom-destroying “coup”. Anybody who opposes Trump should be locked up for treason. Above all, Democrats are nuts and want to take your freedoms away.

Democrats can use negative messaging too. But they face obstacles, including:

I think that Democrats should tie more messaging to the concept of extremism, a label that has many, many proof points. For example:

Indeed, given the loyalty-test campaigning that occurs in so many Republican primaries, a large fraction of the resulting candidates could simply be called “Trump-enabling extremists”.

Other than being true, what’s so promising about the “extremism” frame?

And conveniently, the “extremism” frame is:

Of course, all simple positioning or messaging strategies have drawbacks. For one thing, as I wrote in my post about slamming Republicans for their liking of dictators(hips) and their dislike of democracy:

The “extremism” frame … is a poor fit here – for when democracy itself is at risk, the good guys should be even more extreme than the bad.

Also, “extremist/extremist/extreme” could be more awkward to work into conversation than certain other perjoratives, such as “crazy”, “idiot”, “traitor”, or “f****** a******”

Where I think the “extremism” framing could shine is on social media, and in advertisements of all kinds. Particular formulations might include:

Yeah, this could work.

Related link


3 Responses to “Republicans are extremists, and should be labeled as such”

  1. Republicans vs. democracy : The Monash Report on December 11th, 2019 12:56 pm

    […] betrayals, far beyond what is being said about impeachment. But how should we tell this story? The extremism frame, which works for much anti-Republican messaging, is a poor fit here – for when democracy […]

  2. The other side is crazy, and wants to steal your freedoms : The Monash Report on December 13th, 2019 4:21 am

    […] favor all sorts of crazily extreme […]

  3. Election 2020 – party vs. party, all hands on deck : The Monash Report on December 13th, 2019 5:07 am

    […] likely to understand or acknowledge that danger, yet another post suggests hammering the theme of Republican extremism. The words “crazy” and “cruel” resonate too, and are often easier than “extreme” to […]

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