Litkicks Message Board Archive

Language: A Key Mechanism of Control by Newt Gingrich

Posted to Poetry and Politics




Newt Gingrich's 1996 GOPAC memo

As you know, one of the key points in the GOPAC tapes is that "language matters." In the video "We are a Majority," Language is listed as a key mechanism of control used by a majority party, along with Agenda, Rules, Attitude and Learning. As the tapes have been used in training sessions across the country and mailed to candidates we have heard a plaintive plea: "I wish I could speak like Newt."

That takes years of practice. But, we believe that you could have a significant impact on your campaign and the way you communicate if we help a little. That is why we have created this list of words and phrases.

This list is prepared so that you might have a directory of words to use in writing literature and mail, in preparing speeches, and in producing electronic media. The words and phrases are powerful. Read them. Memorize as many as possible. And remember that like any tool, these words will not help if they are not used.

While the list could be the size of the latest "College Edition" dictionary, we have attempted to keep it small enough to be readily useful yet large enough to be broadly functional. The list is divided into two sections: Optimistic Positive Governing words and phrases to help describe your vision for the future of your community (your message) and Contrasting words to help you clearly define the policies and record of your opponent and the Democratic party.

Please let us know if you have any other suggestions or additions. We would also like to know how you use the list. Call us at GOPAC or write with your suggestions and comments. We may include them in the next tape mailing so that others can benefit from your knowledge and experience.




Optimistic Positive Governing Words

Use the list below to help define your campaign and your vision of public service. These words can help give extra power to your message. In addition, these words help develop the positive side of the contrast you should create with your opponent, giving your community something to vote for!


active(ly)
activist
building
candid(ly)
care(ing)
challenge
change
children
choice/choose
citizen
commitment
common sense
compete
confident
conflict
control
courage
crusade
debate
dream
duty
eliminate good-time in prison
empower(ment)
fair
family
freedom
hard work
help
humane
incentive
initiative
lead
learn
legacy
liberty
light
listen
mobilize
moral
movement
opportunity
passionate
peace
pioneer
precious
premise
preserve
principle(d)
pristine
pro- (issue): flag, children, environment, reform
prosperity
protect
proud/pride
provide
reform
rights
share
strength
success
tough
truth
unique
vision
we/us/our



Contrasting Words

Often we search hard for words to define our opponents. Sometimes we are hesitant to use contrast. Remember that creating a difference helps you. These are powerful words that can create a clear and easily understood contrast. Apply these to the opponent, their record, proposals and their party.

abuse of power
anti- (issue): flag, family, child, jobs
betray
bizarre
bosses
bureaucracy
cheat
coercion
"compassion" is not enough
collapse(ing)
consequences
corrupt
corruption
criminal rights
crisis
cynicism
decay
deeper
destroy
destructive
devour
disgrace
endanger
excuses
failure (fail)
greed
hypocrisy
ideological
impose
incompetent
insecure
insensitive
intolerant
liberal
lie
limit(s)
machine
mandate(s)
obsolete
pathetic
patronage
permissive attitude
pessimistic
punish (poor ...)
radical
red tape
self-serving
selfish
sensationalists
shallow
shame
sick
spend(ing)
stagnation
status quo
steal
taxes
they/them
threaten
traitors
unionized
urgent (cy)
waste
welfare


Source

Newt is a lot of things, but he is not stupid. Of course, when somebody like Noam Chomsky George Lakoff writes about how Conservative's use language to control the national dialogue, it's just a load of liberal rubbish.