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George Lakoff Jan 2
Trump uses social media as a weapon to control the news cycle. It works like a charm. His tweets are tactical rather than substantive. They mostly fall into one of these four categories.
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George Lakoff Jan 2
Replying to @GeorgeLakoff
The tweets either get his framing established first, knowing that whoever frames first tends to win. Or when things look bad for him, he diverts attention or attacks the messenger. And when he wants to test public opinion, he puts out an outrageous trial balloon.
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George Lakoff Jan 2
Replying to @GeorgeLakoff
Each tweet gets his message retweeted so he dominates social media. Reporters, social media influencers, and many others fall for it hook, line, and sinker. Every time. They retweet, share, and repeat his messages ad infinitum. This helps Trump tremendously.
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George Lakoff
They may think they’re negating or undermining him, but that’s not how human brains work. As a cognitive scientist, I can tell you: repeating his messages only helps him.
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George Lakoff Jan 2
Replying to @GeorgeLakoff
First, it focuses all attention on Trump’s antics. This makes his nonsense seem like the most important thing in the world. It’s called the “focusing illusion” – and it’s a large part of why he got elected in the first place. It makes him larger than life.
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George Lakoff Jan 2
Replying to @GeorgeLakoff
Second, constant repetition of his Trump’s messages embeds them deeply in the brains of millions of people. Whether it’s locking up his opponents or threatening nuclear war, he has the power to control tens of millions of brains via tweets. He focuses them on his chosen topics.
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George Lakoff Jan 2
Replying to @GeorgeLakoff
Third, the constant attacks and outrage increase his credibility with his base. He can portray himself as a victim of the “establishment” – under constant attacks (which he provokes with tweets). He acts, his opponents only react. He is in heroic control.
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George Lakoff Jan 2
Replying to @GeorgeLakoff
I understand the desire to portray Trump as childish or deranged. But do you deal with a child or a deranged person by sinking to their level? Do you mock and scorn them, or trumpet their ridiculousness on the front page? No.
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George Lakoff Jan 2
Replying to @GeorgeLakoff
Imagine if we took a different approach to Trump’s social media antics. Imagine if we put them in a small, quiet corner of the newspaper. Imagine if they were only a minor throwaway item at the end of the newscast. Imagine greeting them with calm clarity, not instant outrage.
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George Lakoff Jan 2
Replying to @GeorgeLakoff
Imagine keeping a steely focus on what actually matters: the dismantling of our government; Republicans robbing the middle class and poor to pay off the rich; Robert Mueller’s criminal investigation into the Trump Organization’s betrayal of America.
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George Lakoff Jan 2
Replying to @GeorgeLakoff
Imagine if we took back OUR power from this disgraceful man. Imagine if WE decided what was important, rather than dancing to Trump’s tune. Imagine if a tweet were just a tweet (or evidence in a criminal case), rather than the dictator of our reality.
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George Lakoff Jan 2
Replying to @GeorgeLakoff
We have the power stop him. But we must stop letting him control our media -- and our minds. It’s time to give Trump a Twitter Time Out. Let’s shrink him down to size. Let’s take this weapon out of his hands.
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George Lakoff Jan 2
Replying to @GeorgeLakoff
Think of Trump as a puppeteer, his tweets as the strings, and anyone who retweets/shares him as the puppet. Cut the damn strings!
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George Lakoff Jan 2
Replying to @GeorgeLakoff
Two items trending on Twitter right now. One is what Trump wants you to focus on. But THIS is the REAL story he wishes to distract from. Please read it, share it, and keep it real. Release the transcripts!
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