Susan C. Strong: Sellout, not security!

[Ed. note: Susan C. Strong, Ph.D., is the founder of the Metaphor Project. The following appeared as a recent communiqué from Susan, and is republished here with permission.]

Friends, we are in one of the biggest framing crises since 9/11. The President calls the UAE port management deal business/free trade as usual. But there's a threat behind the administration's rhetoric too-- you don't want to be seen as anti-Arab/Muslim, do you? This is a serious, far-reaching trap for all opponents to this deal.

A lot of us are falling right into it. Putting the security issue first in our sound bites and messages allows them (and the Arab/Muslim world) to say, "You didn't squawk like this when the British got a contract, so it must be just discrimination." The Bushies can then sound pro-Muslim, never mind they're having trashed Iraq for no good reason. But the outcry here will further anger Muslims everywhere.

The only way out of this trap is to talk about "selling America out, no matter who is buying." No foreign corporate entity should be in charge of American ports. No corporate entity should be in charge of American ports. If anything is the job of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, it's the management of our own ports. They are the American people's property. That's real security.

Our sound bites should be about the way the Bush bunch has been "selling America out," selling America off (to the highest bidder)," "the great American sellout," "the great American sell off," "privatizing America's property," "outsourcing America," "selling the people's property behind our backs" and so on.

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