GOP Strategist Outlines Communication Failures Of Environmentalists

<p>In this interview from <em>Grist</em>, GOP strategist Frank Luntz discusses why environmentalists fail to get their message across to their opponents.</p>
February 9, 2007, 8am PST | Nate Berg
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"Q: You've said that the environment played a negligible role in the 2004 and 2006 elections. Why did this huge vulnerability fail to play a central role in the elections?"

"A: Because the environmental community hasn't figured out how to communicate effectively. People think environmentalists tend toward the extreme position -- they're considered uncompromising, unyielding, very political. I get yelled at by them all the time, and yet they keep losing and losing when they should be more successful."

"Q: Why do you think that is?"

"A: I think that they believe so strongly in their point of view, and they believe that anyone who doesn't share what they share or believe what they believe is not only wrong but evil."

"Q: It sounds like you see it as a dogma almost, as religious zealotry."

"A: I don't see environmentalism that way, I see environmentalists that way. I think it's like they've taken a very important issue and they've undermined their own case for it. "

"The problem the environmental community has is they don't listen to their opponents. When I do my research, I spend more time studying the opposition argument because that's what I need to respond to. The environmental community never listens. If they listened, they would have realized very early on that they would find common ground with other allies."

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Published on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 in Grist
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