Frames are interesting things, and they get really interesting during a presidential election year. So, what to do when others are using language to frame you? One approach, call the frame and invert it. You turn the frame into a positive. It only really works when the original frame so clearly warrants questioning.
Here is a great example – Barack Obama told a group of Florida donors Friday night that Republicans will try to make voters afraid of him, and suggested they would use his race to scare up votes for John McCain,” Fox News reports:
“We know what kind of campaign they’re going to run. They’re going to try to make you afraid,” Obama said at the fundraiser. “They’re going to try to make you afraid of me. He’s young and inexperienced and he’s got a funny name. And did I mention he’s black? He’s got a feisty wife.”
The crowd of supporters cheered, and Obama added: “We know the strategy because they’ve already shown their cards. Ultimately I think the American people recognize that old stuff hasn’t moved us forward. That old stuff just divides us.”
By inverting the frame, he acquires sympathy and defines the opposition as “old stuff” – a nice little play… Messages are funny things. Especially when whacked about like this.