STOP Framing "us"

How a select few of "them" are Framing all of "us"

Archive for the tag “orwellian frame”

Paul Ryan’s “Path to prosperity” for the upper class is being paved by a “path to poverty” for the rest of us.

Paul Ryan and members of the GOP recently released their budget plan for America.  They are referring to this plan as a “path to prosperity.”  What they really mean is a “path to poverty” for everyone who is not in the top 1%.  After all, in the land of George Orwell, the “path to prosperity” can only mean one thing, it’s opposite, or a “path to poverty.”

This “path to poverty”, or GOP inflected austerity, is destructive to the working poor and middle class in this country, since it transfers wealth from all of “us” to a select few of “them” primarily by eliminating our social safety net.   This is accomplished by taking away guaranteed benefits currently being provided to protect the most vulnerable among us, including the poor, sick, disabled, and elderly populations, in order to give guaranteed benefits to the wealthiest among us, by permanently extending the Bush tax cuts for instance, which will add trillions more to a deficit “they” continue to pile on the backs of everyone else.

The irony is that the George Orwell Party has already “framed” the issue of taking from one group to give to another in their often-repeated “transfer of wealth” frame.  The radical right wing constantly repeats this Orwellian frame to convince the rest of us that Liberal Democrats are somehow taking from the rich to give to the poor.  In reality, the Paul Ryan budget plan and the rest of the GOP is in favor of what you would call Robin Hood in reverse, since their agenda is all about taking from the poor and middle class in order to protect and enrich the upper class.

Interestingly, the GOP’s plan for the money that will be generated by making drastic cuts to vital services affecting the working poor and middle class, such as ending Medicare, and handing over the Social Security trust fund ($2.6 Trillion) to the Wall Street Casino, will not be used to pay down the deficit, but rather to further pave the “path to prosperity” for a select few.  In this sense, Paul Ryan and members of the GOP are not necessarily lying when they say their budget will create a “path to prosperity”, they just left out the part about who will prosper and at who’s expense.

In order to get people on board with taking away guaranteed benefits that have been enormously popular ever since they were first enacted to protect the people from the abuses of the “privileged sector” in the past, the GOP must hide their true intentions by using positive sounding language when describing their budget plan and vision for America, and negative sounding language when describing anything that conflicts with their agenda.  It really is that simple!

In line with the memo Newt Gingrich crafted with the help of Frank Luntz, the GOP is using language such as “save” and “strengthen” in relation to Social Security and Medicare to present the illusion of being in favor of these programs.  In reality, the GOP is adamantly opposed to our social safety net, and regularly refers to such programs that benefit disabled children, the elderly, and the working poor, as “entitlement programs” that should be eliminated.  So, why should we believe Paul Ryan or any other Republican politician in Washington who claim they are in favor of helping our senior citizens, disabled children, and those who are trying to survive on non-livable wages?  The short answer is that we shouldn’t.



The deeper meaning behind Jim Demint’s (R-SC) hypocritical vote against the veteran’s jobs bill. HINT: it involves a new twist on an old “frame”.

The VOW to hire heroes Act of 2011, which was part 3 of President Obama’s jobs bill passed the Senate 94-1.  Who was that one person voting against helping our veterans?  The same person seen here in this clip, which he uploaded himself.

Talk about blatant hypocrisy!

More importantly are his comments for why he voted NO on the Vow to Hire Heroes Act.

“I cannot support this tax credit because I do not believe the Government should privilege one American over another when it comes to work”

So, what he is effectively saying (with the help of right-wing think tanks) is that poor, and middle-class veterans (ie, the out-group) are meant to fend for themselves, while he and other Republican legislators focus on protecting and privileging the ‘elite’ class (in-group) that makes up the top 0.1% in society.

This is evident in the rejection of two previous jobs bills by put forth by President Obama by EVERY Republican senator.  The first dealt with putting hundreds of thousands of teachers, firefighters and police officers back to work, and the second bill focused on fixing our crumbling infrastructure.

Both of these bills would have been paid for by raising taxes on income over and above $1 million in annual income.

What class of people makes over $1 million per year?  How many people are included in this ‘elite’ group?  How much was the proposed tax increase on this group?

Would it surprise you to know that the amount of people in this ‘elite’ class, or in-group making over $1 million per year is less than 0.1% of Americans.

The amount being asked of this ‘elite’ group to help our economy recover, create hundreds of thousands of jobs to educate our children and keep us safe is less than 1% on every dollar above and beyond the first $1 million.   Who is the group being privileged here?

Want more proof?  As indicated in a recent PBS article, Democrats told the press that this veteran’s bill would cost $1 billion, and would be paid for by adding a fee for VA home loans.  In essence, veterans themselves would pay for this bill, as opposed to asking those in the top .01% to spare some change.  No wonder Republicans overwhelmingly supported it.

The burden is once again placed squarely on the out-group, while protecting those at the top by not raising taxes a single penny on the privileged in-group.

Since it is obviously unpopular to privilege the ‘elite’ class at the expense of everyone else, specific language must be created, via numerous right-wing think tanks to come up with appropriate Orwellian style frames, so it makes sense to the majority of people.  This way, people are more likely to vote in favor of such a position.

For example, an oldie but goody is the “welfare recipient” frame, or the idea that Government is privileging those on welfare (ie, those who are characterized as sponging off the system). Makes sense right?  Why should we support people that are lazy and who are intentionally living off of the system? This is what makes frames so attractive.  What people do not realize is that the exact opposite is actually true, as indicated above.

The new twist on this old frame is that veterans are now included in this “welfare recipient” frame.

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