Bush linguistic techniques
Bush uses well-known linguistic techniques to make citizens feel dependent. Negatively charged emotional language is a powerful political tool.
- Empty language -- broad statements that are so abstract and mean so little that they are impossible to oppose. Serves to conceal faulty generalizations, ridicule viable alternatives, attribute negative motivations to others, and to reframe opposing viewpoints. E.g. "No one has ever been healed by a frivolous lawsuit."
- Personalization -- localizing the attention of the listener on the speaker's personality. E.g. "I've made up my mind that Saddam needs to go." Petulant statements in lieu of actually presenting a case: "I've made up my mind... I've said in speech after speech... I've made myself clear..." The repeated statements become their own reason.
- Negative framework -- a pessimistic image of the world. Focus on ongoing threats to Americans' personal survival. Increasing people's sense of vulnerability disables them from feeling that they can solve their problems. This creates a dependency dynamic with the electorate; only Bush has the strength to deal with terrorism, chemical warfare, etc.
-- From "A Nation of Victims," Renana Brooks, The Nation, 6/30/03.