Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Don't think of a draft

Vintage Breslin:

Oh, but these young people never vote, the tales read. They will this time, and because of a one-word issue.


Every time Bush, or one of these generals he has, stands up and says there will be no military draft, everybody young figures this means there probably will be one by January, which will put them in the real battlegrounds. They rush to register, and then today they go to the polls to vote.

Ha! I am reminded of George Lakoff's latest (and highly recommended) book, "Don't Think Of An Elephant". The title comes from an exercise Lakoff uses with his students. He tells them not to think of an elephant, which of course causes them to think of an elephant. The point being that a blatant attempt to dissuade people of a notion always has the consequence of making people think of that very thing. The classic example he uses is Richard Nixon's "I am not a crook" moment. The minute Nixon said that the American people had no choice but to think of Nixon in terms of being a crook. The denial fed the very thing he was trying to deny.

Breslin has correctly pointed out that the repeated denials by Bush and his sycophantic generals that there won't be a draft has only succeeded in pushing the issue to the front of young voter's minds.

For once the framing works for the Democrats.


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