Controlling the Message

     LZ Granderson writes a rather lengthy article, published on September 13th, explaining the Republican party’s ability to control the message about Obama’s Stimulus II package and the state of the economy. While he makes several valid points about how this package will in fact help the economy, the major argument focuses on Republic rhetoric.

     Beginning the argument he gives two examples of how GOP politicians choose to use certain words instead of others to denote generally negative or positive meanings. So, instead of describing Obama as “educated,” they use the adjective “elitist,” and rather than talking about “the rich,” they call this section of the public “job creators.” Obviously, Democrats and Obama himself prefers to be regarded as an educated man and they would also like to describe those with money as the rich, rather than the overly optimistic term “job creators.” Using certain terms in political rhetoric gets the public to perceive something in a certain light. This gives them the upper hand, with both strategic influence and control of the message.

     In fact, the overall theme of LZ’s argument describes how the Republican party (described as a “modern-day Houdini”) has changed the term “stimulus” into a four letter word, …one that Obama himself won’t even utter anymore. And the dreaded word? Jobs. GOP politicians constantly refer to the Stimulus II plan as Obama’s “Job’s Bill,” obviously in an overly negative tone and pessimistic terms. Therefor, in order to avoid regurgitating these bad feelings spoon fed to the public by his opponents, Obama now has to sell this package avoid the word “jobs” all together.

     This article  underscores how important rhetoric is in politics, and well, in any message one tries to promote. It is also very important to be the ones to control the message, because let’s face it, offense is definitely prefered over defense in the political sphere. Constantly struggling to promote a Stimulus plan without uttering the word “jobs” is most difficult, because while a stimulus isn’t all about creating jobs, it is a large factor in it and motivation for it.


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