Verbal Essence

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Frank Luntz
Frank Luntz

“I’m so scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I’m frightened to death. They’re having an impact on what the American people think of capitalism.”

The “I” in that sentence is Frank Luntz, Republican strategist and notorious spin meister. The “They” is the Occupy movement. Which scares him. A lot.

In fact, Frank Luntz is so spooked that he gave the Republican Governors Association 11 helpful tips for talking about the Occupy movement. Just to clarify, these are real:

    1. Don’t say ‘capitalism.’
    2. Don’t say that the government ‘taxes the rich.’ Instead, tell them that the government ‘takes from the rich.’
    3. Republicans should forget about winning the battle over the ‘middle class.’ Call them ‘hardworking taxpayers.’
    4. Don’t talk about ‘jobs.’ Talk about ‘careers.’
    5. Don’t say ‘government spending.’ Call it ‘waste.’
    6. Don’t ever say you’re willing to ‘compromise.’
    7. The three most important words you can say to an Occupier: ‘I get it.’
    8. Out: ‘Entrepreneur.’ In: ‘Job creator.’
    9. Don’t ever ask anyone to ‘sacrifice.’
    10. Always blame Washington.
    11. Don’t say ‘bonus!’

In his own sinister, truth strangling, Orwellian way, Frank Luntz is right. Words do matter. I just have a few notes:

1.Don’t say ‘capitalism.’
(Say “baby pandas” instead. So when capitalism is justifiably criticized, you can reply, Why do you hate baby pandas??)

2. Don’t say that the government ‘taxes the rich.’ Instead, tell them that the government ‘takes from the rich.’
(Yeah, because that’s what teachers, firefighters and cops do best. Take from the rich.)

3. Republicans should forget about winning the battle over the ‘middle class.’ Call them ‘hardworking taxpayers.’
(The fact that the middle class died during the second Bush Administration makes this easier.)

4. Don’t talk about ‘jobs.’ Talk about ‘careers.’
(Because a good joke always helps to sell your point.)

5. Don’t say ‘government spending.’ Call it ‘waste.’
(There they go again, trying to keep poison out of our air, water and food….)

6. Don’t ever say you’re willing to ‘compromise.’
(Remember: It’s my way or the highway. And we don’t like highways either…)

7. The three most important words you can say to an Occupier: ‘I get it.’
(The next three? “I just resigned.”)

8. Out: ‘Entrepreneur.’ In: ‘Job creator.’
(The actual creation of actual jobs? Irrelevant. Plus? The word Entrepreneur sounds suspiciously French)

9. Don’t ever ask anyone to ‘sacrifice.’
(Call it: Retroactive right-sizing previous income discrepancies)

10. Always blame Washington.
(If only Republicans could get a foothold there somehow…)

11. Don’t say ‘bonus!’
(Call it— an additional financial responsibility Wall Street shoulders for the rest of us.)

Got more addenda to this list? Please share in the comments.

Verbal Essence

Updated