By Scott Wittkopf
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!