Don’t think of Kevin Rudd!

A few months ago I wrote this post in relation to Tony Abbott. It was based upon the ideas in George Lakoff’s book “Don’t Think of an Elephant” and it had to do with how the ALP’s relentless obsession with attacking Tony Abbott was allowing him to dictate the terms of the national conversation rather than causing him or the Coalition any real political damage.

The exact same principles apply to Kevin Rudd although there are three major differences: it’s coming from all sides of politics, it has many more dimensions and it’s far more emotionally intense.

Everything in the national debate at this very moment is falling into this dynamic and it will only amplify up until election day on September 14th this year or until there is some sort of dramatic intervention in the ALP.

You’ll see stories like this one today in the Courier Mail that suggest banning all talk of Kevin Rudd. What this sort of mentality does is induce the backfire effect. “Let’s ban all talk of Kevin Rudd” makes the voices of people who support Kevin Rudd even louder and more profound than they already are. This is a very common occurrence.

Perversely for many who hate him, if talk of Kevin Rudd were to stop or if he was to simply walk away from public life all together or if he was simply run over by a bus, nothing in national politics would change. The ALP would still be committing the same political mistakes day after day. Tony Abbott would still control the frame of the national conversation and public disillusionment with federal politics would remain where it is. Without Kevin Rudd, Malcolm Turnbull would probably be the only island of hope remaining for many people. They are the only two politicians in Australia right now that the public overwhelmingly respect.

This dynamic of conscious and unconscious Kevin Rudd invoking is out of the box and firmly in place because of the extremely high levels of uncertainty in the community both culturally and economically, the strong disapproval towards both federal leaders, the high expectations of what government (the Prime Minister) can do to improve people’s quality of life and the need for people to relate to someone in the national political conversation.

Don’t think of Kevin Rudd!

You heard me, don’t think of Kevin Rudd!

Why are you still thinking about Kevin Rudd?

Kevin Rudd, Kevin Rudd, Kevin Rudd, Kevin Rudd!

Kevin Rudd is politically dead!

Kevin Rudd is never coming back!

Kevin Rudd did <insert bad thing>!

Kevin Rudd said <insert nasty thing>!

Kevin Rudd visited a strip club!

Kevin Rudd uses his family for political purposes!

Kevin Rudd is a psychopath!

Kevin Rudd behind the scenes is mean to puppies, small children and ALP MP’s!

Kevin Rudd runs/ran a dysfunctional office! (note: so do 90% of politicians)

Kevin Rudd is a man who has no Labor values!

Kevin Rudd is narcissistic!

I hate Kevin Rudd!

Kevin Rudd has sabotaged the ALP!

Kevin Rudd is anti trade union!

Kevin Rudd leaked during the election campaign!

Kevin Rudd is politically finished!

Kevin Rudd got nothing done as Prime Minister!

Kevin Rudd was a lemon!

Kevin Rudd is a Liberal Party double agent!

Kevin Rudd is civil to Liberal Party MP’s!

Kevin Rudd is superficial!

Kevin Rudd has no substance or depth!

Kevin Rudd uses his church for political purposes!

Kevin Rudd is a media tart!

Kevin Rudd is embarrassing!

Kevin Rudd briefs journalists off the record!

Kevin Rudd is “white-anting” Julia Gillard’s leadership!

Kevin Rudd took away certain people’s printing money!

What an evil man Kevin Rudd is!

Why does everyone in politics and the media keep focusing on Kevin Rudd?

Don’t think of Kevin Rudd!

I declare that we ban all talk of Kevin Rudd!

A poll said <insert negative thing> in regards to Kevin Rudd!

The Coalition will use all of this material in an advertising campaign against Kevin Rudd!

Why are you still thinking about Kevin Rudd?

STOP THINKING ABOUT KEVIN RUDD!!!

Rudd protest

Image: Dave Hunt AAP via the ABC September 6th 2012

It’s all water off a duck’s back mate!

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