The right words matter

By Lee Turner,

President, DWGC

As many of you have heard me say, working hard is not enough. We must also work smart. We must anticipate how our opponents are going to weaponize our words before we use them. Choose different words. Rethink our approach to a problem. Neutralize the weapon before it’s been used. 

Listen closely to the words candidates are using. 

For example, I was happy to hear Beto use the words “Universal Healthcare”, not Medicare for All or Single Payer. Both the latter terms are certain to be weaponized by the opposition. We’ve already heard it. “Universal Healthcare” is not so scary. Still choices. Not single payer. Still basic coverage for all.

Elizabeth Warren too is being smart by positioning herself as a capitalist who says we need ‘a cop on the beat’. She’s already fighting off the Socialist label. Good. She will be beat up by that label otherwise. Hickenlooper ruffled feathers when he said we won’t win if we’re labeled Socialists. He’s right. We’re feeding right into the hand of the GOP & the lobbyists. It’s one of their ‘hair on fire’ words, just like Medicare for All.

When we talk about forgiving $1.5 trillion in student loan debt, multitudes will squeal… ‘but that’s their fault…they shouldn’t have borrowed the money’!! Propose relief in other ways such as making the full loan payment tax deductible (instead of just the interest) and for every dollar repaid a dollar is forgiven. Allow interest rates to be re-negotiated. Something where those burdened by debt get real relief, withoutwiping clean a trillion-dollar slate.

Instead of penalizing companies who don’t demonstrate equal pay as suggested by Kamala (which will cause the opposition to squeal… ‘bigger gov’t!!’… ‘penalizing business!!’), use the tax code once again to offer sizable tax credits to those companies who can demonstrate pay equality. Reward instead of punish.

Bottom line: Don’t hand ammunition to our opponents when some forethought and better word choice will neutralize the weapon before it’s had a chance to be used against us.

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