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Response to Baitball Blogger (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2018, 04:58 AM

109. Recognizing & Combatting "Tropes"

A "trope" is a common (and usually overused) theme or device employed in written and spoken language. Its purpose in the context of politics is to persuade, distract, and/or obfuscate from truth.

Kudos to the OP for bringing up one of the most egregious tropes of modern American political history: "Move on for the good of the country," which inevitably translates into a cornucopia of INACTION, including don't investigate, don't legislate, don't think, talk, or write about _____________ (see other replies to this post for several excellent historical examples with which you can fill-in-the blank).

I have heard it bemoaned for decades that Democrats are bad at messaging and I've unfortunately seen this to be too often true. I think one of the main reasons for this is a failure to understand language devices, such as tropes. This is both a failure to recognize when a trope is being used to frame the narrative and a failure in understanding how to combat a trope to reframe the narrative.

If you are still confused as to what I am talking about relative to the topic of this thread, let me give you a different example that should help bring this into sharp focus: There are two Republican tropes used after every mass shooting to ward off gun legislation and, indeed, to shut down all future discussion of such: The first is the "thoughts and prayers" trope, inevitably followed by the "now is not the time" trope (a variation of the "don't investigate for the good of the country" trope). Now do you understand? These are simply disingenuous rhetorical devices employed to make everyone look away. It's really that simple, and as evidenced over and over again, such tropes are highly effective.

So, how do you counter tropes? Well, thankfully, Shakespeare, one of history's greatest manipulators of the English language, provides a very clear blueprint for taking down a trope: You ridicule the hypocrisy of the trope publicly, loudly, mercilessly, unceasingly, and without apology until the trope itself is the object of derision, laughter, and scorn.

The most recent, modern example of how this works can be seen in how students nationwide have employed the "We call BS" campaign against all tropes that uphold and sustain gun violence. As evidence of the effectiveness of calling a trope onto the carpet, note that newsrooms everywhere have tapped down on their anchors' use of the "thoughts and prayers" trope lest they become memes and objects of derision themselves across the social media landscape.

So, while I can see how well-intentioned people might easily fall for the fake emotional appeal to not investigate this or that "for the good of the country," once you come to understand this for the trope that it is, one that even Shakespeare heartily mocked repeatedly, then it becomes your duty to educate and enlighten fellow Democrats about this ploy.

If a Dem is playing along with the "just move on" trope, call out the trope for what it is (and you can do this without ever mentioning the name of the hapless Dem). Make fun of and laugh at the hypocrisy of the trope repeatedly and mercilessly until they stop letting others who are just a little more clever about the use of rhetorical devices continue to play them for fools.

At that, to those who still wish to see no evil, hear no evil "for the good of the country," I CALL BS! Let the investigations begin and MAKE AMERICA LAUGH AGAIN!


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Baitball Blogger Oct 2018 OP
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LineReply Recognizing & Combatting "Tropes"
PandoraAwakened Oct 2018 #109
Baitball Blogger Oct 2018 #110
PandoraAwakened Oct 2018 #111
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Baitball Blogger Oct 2018 #115
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