I have a new post at American Street, The Alternate Plan Trap. Excerpt:
I think one trap to watch out for is that they have created an unconscious “frame” in people’s minds in which Social Security is the symbol of the Democratic Party. So when anyone talks about Social Security, they’re really talking about the Democrats. So repeating that Social Security is outdated, bankrupt, etc. is really a tactic for framing the Party itself. By the same token, saying Social Security needs changing is saying that the Democratic Party is not serving the public.
So what is really going on here is every time they SAY that Social Security is broken what they are really communicating – and reinforcing in the public mind – is that the Democratic Party is old-fashioned, broken, not worthy of trust and support. This means that if the Democrats respond by offering an alternative “fix” what they are really doing is agreeing that Social Security – and therefore in the public mind the Democratic Party – is “broken.”