From the FrameLab Newsletter with Dr. George Lakoff and Gil Duran:
“Woke” has quickly become the most ubiquitous weapon word in American politics. Republicans use the term as a pejorative term to describe Democratic or progressive policies in general. Increasingly, everything Republicans don’t like gets described as woke, and wokeness has become the scapegoat for any bad news, including the recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. Some non-Republicans also use the term, mostly to describe a certain type of militant progressive activism.
Despite the rapid adoption of woke as a major frame in American political discourse, it lacks a set definition. This presents some tricky problems. For example, if the word lacks a universal meaning, why are so many people using it? Also: If Republicans see attacking “wokeness” as a key to political victory, why are so many people accepting the frame and playing along?
In this edition of the FrameLab newsletter, we examine how the Republicans have used woke — a term stolen from African American vernacular — to control the political discourse. Woke provides a great example of how the framing wars usually play out in American politics. Republicans frame an issue, choosing specific words or language. Then everyone else falls into the trap by accepting the frame without giving much thought to the underlying strategy.
The strategy nearly always works to further Republican political interests by framing political arguments to suit a conservative version of morality.
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