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|(US) 8/06 - Pre-emptive framing, it's...
Frequent Voting Rights Forum Participant
Post Number: 789
Best of Black Box? N/A
Votes: 0 (A keeper?)
|Posted on Tuesday, August 15, 2006 - 4:58 am: ||
The old cliche is that nothing is as important as a first impression. When you showed up for that first date on the porch, rang the bell and waited for the parent(s) to look you over and decide whether you could go out with their kid, you were, however clumsily, trying to frame the issue positively.
Framing early (before the person(s) you're framing it to has any chance to frame it differently) is a well hidden facet of the tactic: a pre-emptive subtle offense (pre-emptive encroachment) can beat a good, bad or indifferent defense, often before the defense takes the field.
For each person that hasn't formed a strong opinion on an issue (and even some that have), being the first person to reach them with coherent ideas and facts can do a lot to sway them to your view, or at the least sympathy toward your view.
Unfortunately voting reform has had a problem with a coherent message. If we can build a starting point that everyone (or nearly everyone) can agree on, then singing the same song from the same choir book will make the choir's song intelligible to people instead of hundreds of people singing different songs (imagine on half of the choir singing 'Give peace a chance' and the other singing 'Imagine', now imagine the whole choir singing only one or the other).
This is why the Republicans have been so successful in framing, they refuse to use anybody else's language and they harp on their explanation, without rebuttal, for a tremendously long time, tying it to a buzz word so that using the buzz word seems to be acceptance of the argument, and always proceed in actual argument as though their arguments about the framing are a given.
Once the agreement has been reached, some of it should go out on every document that we send out concerning voting reform and a lot that doesn't.
We need to take over the framing, as Black Box has done on the site, here, with the appended information that Bev, Kathleen and Jim use. State the following (either together or in rotation) in everything that you send out:
1. Take it as a given that what you are doing is important to everybody.
2. Take it as given that the interplay of people working on election reform should be broadcast to everybody.
3. Take it as given that you, as a voter are entitled to as much information as anyone else (including the elections officials) to assure yourself that voting is done in an open manner and is done appropriately to produce the actual intent of the people voting.
4. Take it as given that all people involved in elections (reformers and professionals) are working toward ideal elections, where every ballot is counted as it was cast and every voter legally allowed to vote gets the opportunity.
5. Take it as given and expound it loudly that the only way to have honest elections is if 'we're all from Missouri' you have to show me that the election has been executed and managed in fair ways. A PR cartoon for this is a guy with one eye close and the other bug-eyed, looking at a DRE from 2 inches away, saying "My vote's WHERE?!"
There are bound to be more, let's get suggestions in general, get people from other voting reform groups here and gel this up. Could this be another item for the tool kit, Bev? Let's all get all we can into people's general consensus of what the situation is as soon as possible.