George Lakoff, author and professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at UC Berkeley, wrote this primer for Demo-speak. Let's face it, Democrats are public relations idiots. Huffinton Post:
PolicySpeak is the principle that: If you just tell people the policy facts, they will reason to the right conclusion and support the policy wholeheartedly.
PolicySpeak is the principle behind the President's new Reality Check Website. To my knowledge, the Reality Check Website, has not had a reality check. That is, the administration has not hired a first-class cognitive psychologist to take subjects who have been convinced by right-wing myths and lies, have them read the Reality Check website, and see if the Reality Check website has changed their minds a couple of days or a week later. I have my doubts, but do the test.
As for language, the term "public option" is boring. Yes, it is public, and yes, it is an option, but it does not get to the moral and inspiring idea. Call it the American Plan, because that's what it really is.
The American Plan. Health care is a patriotic issue. It is what your countrymen are engaged in because Americans care about each other. The right wing understands this well. It's got conservative veterans at Town Hall meeting shouting things like, "I fought for this country in Vietnam, and I'm fight for it here." Progressives should be stressing the patriotic nature of having our nation guaranteeing care for our people.
A Health Care Emergency. We can't wait any longer. It's an emergency. We have to act now to end the suffering and death.
Doctor-Patient care. This is what the public plan is really about. Call it that. You have said it, buried in PolicySpeak. Use the slogan. Repeat it. Have every spokesperson repeat it.
Private Taxation. Insurance companies have the power to tax and they tax the public mightily. When 20% - 30% of payments do not go to health care, but to denying care and profiting from it, that constitutes a tax on the 96% of voters that have health care. But the tax does not go to benefit those who are taxed; it benefits managers and investors. And the people taxed have no representation. Is it time for progressive tea parties at insurance company offices?
Insurance companies are inefficient and wasteful. Insurance companies govern your lives. They have more power over you than even governments have. They make life and death decisions. And they are accountable only to profit, not to citizens.