This post originally appeared on OTYCD in April 2019.
Do what George Lakoff says: don’t retweet Trump, and don’t repeat Trump’s language.
A key lesson in Lakoff’s classic book, Don’t Think of an Elephant! is to resist repeating the language of people such as Trump.
In fact, it’s extra-important to avoid repeating Trump in particular.
When you repeat his language, you reinforce it and you normalize it.
Don’t retweet his tweets, not even to quote-tweet him. Don’t push his words into other people’s feeds. You’re just injecting those words deeper into the brains of others.
Don’t repeat his slogans. Don’t riff on them, no matter how funny your riffs are.
To repeat Trump is to amplify him.
Don’t repeat him.
Push the message YOU want to push. Not his.
Find YOUR OWN language. Write your own slogans. Push those instead.
A tweeter using the handle @LuLuLemew summed it up well in a March 29, 2019 tweet in reference to the Mueller Report, which Lakoff retweeted:
Until we see the report, some advice from
▪︎Don’t use any of Trump’s terms, images, or videos.
Ignore his antics — ▪︎if you retweet it you can’t defeat it
▪︎when you embed it you spread it ▪︎
To defeat, reframe, don’t repeat
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