Here is a good example of why the Right-wing narrative prevails in Omaha.
If you watch the video and then read the comments, you will find only one comment that does not reinforce the Conservative narrative.
Almost everyone in the video and in the comments is talking about "Illegal Immigration".
As George Lakoff discusses in his books, as soon as Progressives accept the Conservative frame, we have lost the argument.
Almost every comment talks about illegal immigrants: whether maybe the illegality is not very important, or whether just one ethnic group is being targeted, or what can be done to enforce the laws against illegal immigrants more justly, or what can be done to secure the borders (against illegal immigrants).
And based on that frame, the Conservatives have the advantage that they KNOW they are right; they have the moral high ground. After all, illegal is illegal.
When Progressives accept that frame, all the Conservatives have to do is continue jumping up and down and shrieking "illegal, illegal". And when they have tired themselves out, they quiet down a bit and wait for the hapless Progressive to present the next argument having to do with Illegal Immigration. Then the Conservatives, once again energized by their righteous indignation, can resume their jumping up and down and shreiking "illegal, illegal".
Only one comment refused to accept the Conservative frame and presented a Progressive frame: that of the Common Enemy - Big Business destroying the economies of both Mexico and the U.S.; and that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) devastated Mexican small farmers, forcing them off the land. You will note that there was no response to it. (For more details on the economic facts behind Latino immigration, see this article Then, to continue shifting the frame, use "Economic Refugee" rather than "Illegal Immigrant").
This is often how it works. In a one-on-one discussion, the result of responding from a different framework is frequently stunned silence (although not for long and they will try to move you back into their frame). If they can ignore it, they will. In the grab-bag of arguments from the "All Rage, All The Time" radio pundits there is no ready answer to a Progressive frame. When the Conservative fails to respond to your arguments, the question in the back of their mind (and in listeners' minds) becomes "What if he (or she) actually has a point?"
At that same immigration rally, I used the Common Enemy argument with an older Latino couple who were prepared to argue against blanket amnesty (a significant minority of California Latinos voted in favor of Prop 187 back in 1994). They warmly favored the idea of reforming U.S. treaties to require a living wage and the right to organize in the industries covered by it in Mexico. They also favored the same thing in the U.S.
In this kind of a blog situation, however, it helps to have more than one person coming from the Progressive frame. One person making the same point over and over starts to look like a crank.
If you want to know more about this approach, you can read the George Lakoff books or you can attend the workshops Curtis Bryant has been holding on the Lakoff approach. The Practical Democracy project meets at the Swanson Public Library, 90th and Dodge, on the fourth Saturday of each month. The next meeting is July 24, 4:30pm. I would encourage everyone to attend and then to add your voice to the public dialogue. When we do not speak up, we empower Conservatives.