Spreading Freedom at the RNC

"Over the first three nights, the Republican Convention speakers carefully crafted a tri-partite frame for George W. Bush's Thursday acceptance speech: Night 1: The Global War on Terror defines our lives and our generation. Night 2: With enough discipline, all Americans can pull themselves up by their bootstraps and become prosperous. Those girly men have only themselves to blame. Night 3: Kerry is weak, unpatriotic, antimilitary, against national security, without resolve, soft-hearted, confused, and totally unfit to be commander-in-chief," linguistics professor George Lakoff writes. Examining the domestic agenda section of Bush's speech, Lakoff observes, "The 'opportunity society' rhetoric is crafted to sound like it will remedy the same ills that the Democrats are talking about. But it is virtually the opposite in real content." The rest of Bush's speech was on the War on Terror, "though he never once used the phrase. The frame inspiring terror had been well established on previous nights, leaving Bush to talk about spreading freedom. Significantly, he did not once use the phrase 'war on terror,' but did use the word 'liberty' 11 times and 'free' or 'freedom' 23 times," Lakoff writes.