Daily Dose: Justin Trudeau’s UN Speech Used Progressive Values To Effectively Undermine Trump

By Scott Wittkopf
Frame4Future.com (9/21/17)

A big thanks to Steve Arnold, who texted me from Canada this afternoon, bringing Justin Trudeau’s United Nations speech today to my attention. After hearing it, I was so struck by the ideas, language, and effective evoking of empathy, that I set aside the original topic for today. Trudeau’s speech provides a unique opportunity. Unique because virtually no one in the US communicates a progressive message like Trudeau.  This speech emphasizes the effectiveness of really good framing to both provide a positive, hopeful message for people to believe in; while at the same time undermining an opponent – in this case, Donald Trump.

Many of you have been following my work (as well as Lakoff et al) for quite some time, so I thought it would be fun to make this interactive! By now, you should know what both core ideas the two cognitive frames are based on – progressive based on empathy and caring for others, conservative based on authoritarian hierarchy and self-interest. Here are both speeches – Justin Trudeau’s and Donald Trump’s in their entirety. Even if you don’t have time to watch the full speeches, watch the first few minutes – you’ll catch the framing ideas and metaphors very early on. 

So first, watch all, some, or parts of each video – and pay attention to framing ideas, metaphors, and language. First, Trudeau: HERE. 

Now, Trump, HERE.

 After listening, share your thoughts and questions in the comment section of this blog.  Here are some questions to guide the discussion (there are no wrong answers or bad questions):

1. What specific progressive/conservative framing ideas did you hear evoked by the speakers?

2. How did Trudeau counter/undermine Trump’s very conservative message?

3. What ideas of Trudeau’s could you use with your groups/organizations or in your communities?

I will follow along on the comments, and add my own to the discussion. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

(This is an excerpt from Frame for the Future’s “Daily Dose”, emailed daily to subscribers. To learn more about how to effectively communicate progressive values, and for subscription options, go to http://www.frame4future.com.)

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