Hi, Intellectually Curious and/or Progressive Friend:
Take time out of your schedule to meet George Lakoff. It will be time well
spent if you want to make a difference. Lakoff is the first thinker I've
come across in
years that has something new to add to intelligent and/or progressive
discussion. I heard him on the radio today and I am happy to pass on his
existence to you. He understands what it is that the conservatives/ultra
conservatives have that the progessives do *not* have.
The article I am pointing you to may not have the whole of his thinking, so
let me say that -- by way of introduction -- we (all of us) in one way or
another tend to see our nation as a *family.* Speech reflects this -- for
example, "We send our sons off to war," or "George Washington is the father
of our country."
Now, don't jump all over me for my synopsis on the family herein. I am
*not* the expert, I just heard a radio talk for a few minutes, but I think
George Lakoff has it. Family is not his main idea -- "framing" is -- but
understanding how families are seen by Americans is important.
There are two kinds of families in our values and political (or religious)
speech, Lakoff found . One is the family in which "father knows best" --
and what flows from that is found today in political speech on the right.
The world is seen as a dangerous place, and children must be taught to be
good, and they must be punished when they are not. Underdeveloped countries
are "children," or "rogues."
The other family model is the permissive family which treats man and woman
as equals (more or less) and focuses on nurturing activities, bringing out
the best in children, taking care of the weak, helping others, etc. This is
the approach of progressives. One must nurture oneself and be happy in
order to be able to provide the right environment for our children.
What I say above is not what makes George great, but contributes to ideas
which can help progressives *reframe* debates.
Lakoff has to be the greatest thing since, well, just find out for yourself.
I can't say enough good about him. Here's the headline and the link beneath
it. There may be other great links if you do a Google Search.
'We'll Grant This to the Republicans: They Know How to Frame Issues and Keep
the Democrats on the Defensive. A BuzzFlash Interview with "Framing" Expert,
UC Berkeley Professor George Lakoff.'
May the Force be with you!
"Dennis Kucinich is best qualified to be President of the United States."