How to Not Inspire Political Aggression: A Guide for Oklahoma Lawmakers

Earlier this week, KFOR interviewed clinical psychologist Dr. Caleb Lack on the impact inflammatory language used by political leaders can have on the beliefs, and possibly behaviors, of people following them. This interview came days after Governor Kevin Stitt’s spokesperson tweeted about democrats being placed in body bags and a week after many Oklahoma congressional members claimed that the results of the 2020 election were fraudulent. Since we seem to have seen so many faux pas in the media lately, we at TLO thought we’d help out. So here is the official TLO guide for Oklahoma lawmakers on how to not inspire political aggression!

Don’t Use Divisive Language

Research suggests that using distinguishing, “us versus them” language when describing others can lead to heightened feelings of being threatened and  increase in conflict between the people who perceive themselves to be in opposing groups. It also leads people to ignore shared values and characteristics. So if you really do want to help us heal as a nation, start with your memes.

Don’t Contribute to the Spread of Misinformation

As we’ve already discussed, demonizing another group with sharp, distinguishing language can create hostility against the group. If we are vilifying a group such as the media, people are going to be distrustful of actual news organizations and instead stay up-to-date on current events by listening to a part-time MMA fighter make up voter fraud stories.

Don’t Feed Conspiracies

Last week’s attack on Capitol Hill was inspired by the unfounded belief that widespread voter fraud led to the election of Joe Biden. So maybe don’t feed into the conspiracy unless you have actual polaroid proof and a corkboard with 17 yards of red yarn to prove it.

Don’t Use Fear-Mongering

Researchers have found that using fear-mongering language may increase people’s fears, whether or not there is an actual threat. So maybe get out your thesaurus to find a less inflammatory synonym or use it like we at TLO do to sound smarterer. And don’t get me started on using moral panic tactics.

Guys (and Gal), Really. Stop Feeding into Conspiracies

Studies and court cases agree that voter fraud is rarer than a slab of beef eating grass. Take some time to reflect on (and google) the words you’re using before you give your next press release.

Stop Scapegoating

Plus maybe it’s just me, but scapegoating kind of makes it seem like you’re just blaming others for any problems or stalemates rather than doing anything about it…jk maybe it’s not just me.

Goddammit. Quit Making Shit Up.

Is it any wonder people can’t seem to include a simple hyperlink to back up their claims of “irregularities” or “fraud” in the election process?

Hayley spent way too much time on social media this week. Follow her on twitter @squirrellygeek and become a contributing member of TLO here.

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21 Responses

  1. I’ve read a few stories detailing how the Republican Congressmen and women and Senators actually fear their voters. They’re afraid to do what’s right because many of them fear for their and their families safety. Tell me again how scary/threatening antifa and BLM are?

  2. Once, there was a guy named Goebbels. He came from a country called Germany.

    He went to work for another German guy who was kind of whacky, to say the very least. Plus, he had a stupid mustache.

    For those interested in learning more about this Goebbels guy, and checking his playbook to see if his methods are still in use today, go here:

  3. “We’re here to save you from the lies we tell you to scare you.”

    The people who are the targets of those “fear socialism” ads have no idea what socialism is, and how much of it they already enjoy. Capitalism and socialism are not binary “all or nothing” choices. Successful economies are mixed. A purely capitalistic economy would be an epic failure just like purely socialist (i.e. communist) ones have proven to be.

    Those who advertise to “fear socialism” probably are clueless too. It was none other than Mayor Jim Inhofe who socialized the Tulsa trash collection system, which is analogous to “Medicare for All.”

    1. How does one socialize the trash collection system? If I have more trash than you, do you get some of mine? Just curious…

      1. Analogous to Medicare for All. Everyone is required to pay the City, instead of everyone choosing to pay their own private hauler.

        It’s not socialism as pure as the Grand River Dam Authority, but “socialism” is what right-wing politicians will call it if they are being consistent.

  4. And today I received a “Special Report “ email from Lankford worried about RUMORS CIRCULATING!!!🥴.
    Surely he jests!!

  5. Until our state legislature and Congressional republicans make a
    unified statement that the election was fair (after numerous recounts and lawsuits), there will be no unity or peace. Step 1. Otherwise the lies will continue and trumpsters will be angrier.

    1. Wasn’t it touching yesterday when the defenders of Trump’s lies and conduct were pleading for “unity”?

      1. Most cathartic cure for constipation I’ve ever witnessed.

  6. They’re just shitasses.

    No more to say. TLO said it all.

  7. What REALLY pisses me off is hearing military veterans bitch about the evils of socialism while they’re rushing to take advantage of the biggest socialist organization in America. I use the VA for my healthcare, without which I would never have been able to afford the $133, 000 corneal transplant I received which not only saved my vision but saved my ability to earn a living. So, to all you vets bitching about socialism and the evil Democrats: SHUT THE FUCK UP! And since I’m sure I won’t be seeing an overcrowded VA due to loitering uber-patriots who would rather die than accept help from our socialist DOD, I want to express my gratitude, because now I’ll be able able to get right in.

    1. You are correct, sir.

      It astounds me that people who revere the US military but hate “socialism” don’t understand how almost COMPLETELY “socialist” the military is. The bosses control what is worn, what hairstyles are allowed, the pay (which can never exceed a certain level), how they must behave toward their superiors, where the service members must live and work, etc. The bosses have a greater than normal level of control over their lives.

      In return, service members get 1 month paid vacation per year, various allowances, medical coverage, education assistance, and other benefits and can retire after 20 years. Indeed many serve until they’re eligible for retirement, and why not?

      I’ve always wondered why I had to join the military to get the same benefits I’d get if I was a citizen of, say, Sweden.

      So the disconnect between the advantages offered by military service (good) and those offered by “socialist” countries like France, Sweden, etc. (“bad”) kind of mystifies me.

      1. Hey Skiff,

        What are you doing up at 0443? Surely not reading up on American military history. Those are not “socialistic” tenets in the sense of a Socialistic political system. I think you confuse “socialism” with “uniformity”. Uniformity is critical to discipline and good order. The “bosses” as you call them, are actually commanders and NCOs who are carrying out orders and/or complying with rules and regulations derived from civilian laws. Military Service is a sacrifice. The benefits received from service (during and after) recognize this sacrifice.

        Comparing military service to a political system is clever, but incorrect.

        1. Socialism is not a political system. It is an economic system. That’s where you jumped off the track, and then just kept going in the wrong direction.

          Capitalism is the other side of socialism’s economic coin, the one hand that washes the other. Almost every national economy (and every successful national economy) is a mix of the two. You can look it up.

          There are no purely capitalistic economic systems on Planet Earth except in libertarian fever dreams. Purely socialistic economic systems (achieved through “dictatorship of the proletariat”) have been tried, but have proven to be dismal failures. (Examples: the USSR, Cuba, North Korea, Maoist China…)

          Sir, you are a victim of the ongoing saturation-bombing of America with right-wing disinformation that takes advantage of ignorance and creates more of it. The Inhofe ad at the top of this post is an excellent example. They have made you forget whatever you may have learned in school about political and economic systems.


          1. Capitalism is a religious system in America and it is defended with the same viciousness.

      2. VA health care is socialized medicine. That can’t be denied.

  8. Hayley you’ve summarized the entire message strategy of the Trumpy GOP. Demonize your opponents, pander to people’s worst instincts and lie your ass off. You might as well tell the Republicans to stop being Republicans.

  9. Sorry but until a new blog is posted this is the most current:

    Lankford apologizes for his plan to object in deference to his “black constituents”


  10. When does he apologize to the Republicans and Democrats who actually believe he took an oath to the Constitution instead of a Fascist wanna be? So far it looks like nothing more than the 1st stop on the Josh Hawley tour.

  11. Please explain to me how a church camp dud(e) can become a master of foreign and domestic policy overnight? F’k em.

  12. If Banjo Boy was a true Christian (as he claims to be) he could never support a demon like Donny J(the J is for jerk)>

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