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Lakoff writes: "The Republican presidential campaign is about a lot more than the campaign for the presidency. It is about guaranteeing a radical conservative future for America."

Portrait, George Lakoff. (photo: Bart Nagel)
Portrait, George Lakoff. (photo: Bart Nagel)



The Santorum Strategy

By George Lakoff, Reader Supported News

12 March 12

 

he Santorum Strategy is not just about Santorum. It is about pounding the most radical conservative ideas into the public mind by constant repetition during the Republican presidential campaign, whether by Santorum himself, by Gingrich or Ron Paul, by an intimidated Romney, or by the Republican House majority. The Republican presidential campaign is about a lot more than the campaign for the presidency. It is about guaranteeing a radical conservative future for America.

I am old enough to remember how liberals (me included) made fun of Ronald Reagan as a not-too-bright mediocre actor who could not possibly be elected president. I remember liberals making fun of George W.Bush as so ignorant and ill-spoken that Americans couldn't possibly take him seriously. Both turned out to be clever politicians who changed America much for the worse. And among the things they and their fellow conservatives managed to do was change public discourse, and with it, change how a great many Americans thought.

The Republican presidential campaign has to be seen in this light.

Liberals tend to underestimate the importance of public discourse and its effect on the brains of our citizens. All thought is physical. You think with your brain. You have no alternative. Brain circuitry strengthens with repeated activation. And language, far from being neutral, activates complex brain circuitry that is rooted in conservative and liberal moral systems. Conservative language, even when argued against, activates and strengthens conservative brain circuitry. This is extremely important for so-called "independents," who actually have both conservative and liberal moral systems in their brains and can shift back and forth. The more they hear conservative language over the next eight months, the more their conservative brain circuitry will be strengthened.

This point is being missed by Democrats and by the media, and yet it is the most vital issue for our future in what is now being discussed. No matter who gets the Republican nomination for president, the Santorum Strategy will have succeeded unless Democrats dramatically change their communication strategy as soon as possible. Even if President Obama is re-elected, he will have very little power if the Republicans keep the House, and a great deal less if they take the Senate. And if they keep and take more state houses and local offices around the country, there will be less and less possibility of a liberal future.

The Republican presidential campaign is not just about the presidential race. It is about using conservative language to strengthen conservative values in the brains of voters - in campaigns at all levels from Congress to school boards. Part of the Republican strategy is to get liberals to argue against them, repeating conservative language. There is a reason I wrote a book called Don't Think of an Elephant! When you negate conservative language, you activate conservative ideas and, hence, automatically and unconsciously strengthen the brain circuitry that characterizes conservative values.

As I was writing the paragraphs above, the mail came. In it was material from Public Citizen (an organization I admire) promoting Single Payer Health Care (which I agree with) by arguing against right-wing lies about it. In big, bold type the lies were listed: Single payer is socialized medicine. Single payer will lead to rationing, like in Canada. Costs will skyrocket under single Payer. And so on. After each one, came the negative: Wrong. And then in small, unbolded type, the laundry lists of policy truths. Public Citizen was unconsciously promoting the conservative lies by repeating them in boldface and then negating them.

The same naiveté about messaging, public discourse, and effects on brains is now showing up in liberal discussions of the Republican presidential race. Many Democrats are reacting either with glee ("their field is so ridiculously weak and wacky." - Maureen Dowd), with outrage (their deficit-reduction proposals would actually raise the deficit - Paul Krugman), or with incredulity ("Why we're debating a woman's access to birth control is beyond me." - Debbie Wasserman Schultz). Hendrik Hertzberg dismissed the ultra-conservatives as "a kick line of clowns, knaves, and zealots." Joe Nocera wrote that he hope Santorum would be the Republican candidate, claiming that he is so far to the right that he would be "crushed" - an "epic defeat," "shock therapy" that would bring back moderate Republicans. Democrats even voted for Santorum in the Michigan primary on the grounds that he would be the weaker candidate and that it would be to the Democrats' advantage if the Republican race dragged on for a long time.

I mention these liberals by name because they are all people I admire and largely agree with. I hope that they are right. And I hope that the liberal discourse of glee, scorn, outrage, incredulity, and support for the most radical conservative will actually win the day for Democrats at all levels. But, frankly, I have my doubts. I think Democrats need much better positive messaging, expressing and repeating liberal moral values - not just policies- uniformly across the party. That is not happening.

One of the reasons that it is not happening is that there is a failure to understand the difference between policy and morality, that morality beats policy, and that moral discourse is absolutely necessary. This is a major reason why the Democrats lost the House in 2010. Consider how conservatives got a majority of Americans to be against the Obama health care plan. The president had polled the provisions, and each had strong public support: No preconditions, no caps, no loss of coverage if you get sick, ability to keep your college-age child on your policy, and so on. These are policy details, and they matter. The conservatives never argued against any of them. Instead, they re-framed; they made a moral case against "Obamacare." Their moral principles were freedom and life, and they had language to go with them. Freedom: "government takeover." Life: "death panels." Republicans at all levels repeated them over and over, and convinced millions of people who were for the policy provisions of the Obama plan to be against the plan as a whole. They changed the public discourse, changed the brains of the electorate - especially the "independents" - and won in 2010.

The radical conservative discourse of the Republican presidential race has the same purpose, and conservative Republicans are luring Democrats into making the same mistakes. Santorum, the purest radical conservative, is the best example. From the perspective of conservative moral values, he is making sense and arguing logically, making his moral values clear and coming across as straightforward and authentic, as Reagan did.

The Moral Value Systems

The basic moral values in the progressive moral system are empathy and responsibility, both for oneself and others. This leads to a view of government as having certain moral obligations: providing protection and empowerment for everyone equally. This requires a vibrant commitment to the public - public infrastructure (roads, buildings, sewers), public education, public health, and so on. No private business can prosper at all without such public provisions. The private depends on the public.

These values follow from certain ideal progressive family values, as projected to larger institutions. The progressive family has parents of equal authority. Their central moral role requires empathy with each other and their children, it requires self-responsibility, and responsibility for the well-being of other family members. This means open communication, transparency about family rules, shared decision-making, and need-based fairness.

This is an idealized view. Because our first acquaintance with being governed is in our families, we come to understand ideal versions of governing institutions (e.g., churches, schools, teams, and nations) in terms of idealizations of families.

The idealized conservative family is structured around a strict father who is the natural leader of the family, who is assumed to know right from wrong, whose authority is absolute and unchallengeable, who is masculine, makes decisions about reproduction, and who sets the rules - in short, the Decider. Children must be taught right from wrong through strict discipline, which is required to be moral. This maps onto the nation. To be prosperous in a free market, one must be fiscally disciplined. If you are not prosperous, you must not be disciplined, and if you are not disciplined, you cannot be moral, and so you deserve your poverty.

When this idealized family model is projected onto various governing institutions, we get conservative versions of them: conservative religion with a strict father God; a view of the market as Decider with no external authority over the market from government, unions, or the courts; and strictness in other institutions, like education, prisons, businesses, sports teams, romantic relationships, and the world community. Control over reproduction ought to be in the hands of male authorities.

For conservatives, democracy is about liberty, individual responsibility and self-reliance - the freedom to seek one's own self-interest with minimal or no commitment to the interests of others. This implies a minimal public and a maximal private.

We can now see why the Santorum Strategy is so concerned with family values. Strict father family values are the model for radical conservative values. Conservative populism - in which poor conservatives vote against their financial interests - depends on those poor conservatives having strict father family values, defining themselves in terms of those values, and voting on the basis of those values, thus selecting strict fathers as their political leaders.

The repetition of language expressing those values leads to more and more working people becoming political and accepting those values in their politics. As long as the Democrats have no positive moral messaging of their own, repeated over and over, the Santorum Strategy will go unchallenged and conservative populism will expand. Moreover, repeating the Santorum language by mocking it or arguing against it using that language will only help radical conservatives in propagating their views.

Democrats are concentrating on the presidential race, hoping that if Obama wins, as it looks like he will, all will be fine. They are missing the bigger picture. The Democratic strategy of getting the independent women's vote for Obama is not sufficient, because independent women may still vote for their local conservative leaders as the strict fathers they want to see in office.

Democrats have been gleeful about the Santorum birth control strategy, taken up by conservatives in the House as a moral position that if you want to use birth control, you should pay for it yourself. Democrats see this as irrational Republican self-destruction, assuming that it will help all Democrats to frame it as a "war against women." I hope they are right, but I have doubts.

This is anything but an irrational position for radically conservative Republicans. Quite the contrary. It fits conservative moral logic - the logic used by conservative populists, male for sure and for many women as well. In some respects it embodies the most powerful aspects of conservative moral logic, strengthening conservative moral logic in the minds not only of conservatives, but also of independents who have both conservative and progressive world views and swing between them.

Here's how that logic goes.

The strict father determines what happens in the family, including reproduction. Thus reproduction is the province of male authority.

The strict father does not condone moral weakness and self-indulgence without moral consequences. Sex without reproductive consequences is thus seen as immoral.

If the nation supports birth control for unmarried women, then the nation supports immoral behavior.

The conservative stress on individual responsibility means that you and no one else should have to pay for your birth control - not your employer, your HMO, or the taxpayers.

Having to pay for your birth control also has a metaphorical religious value - paying for your sins.

This is a classical slippery slope narrative. If no one else should have to pay for your birth control, the next step is that no one else should have to pay for any of your health care.

And the step after that is that no one else should be forced to pay for anyone else. This is, everything should be privatized - no public education, safety nets, parks, or any public institutions or services.

That is what makes conservative moral logic into such a powerful instrument. And conservative and independent women can be pragmatic about the birth control details, while accepting the moral logic as a whole.

Incidentally, Rush Limbaugh's "slut" and "prostitute" remarks, while even more extreme than Santorum, make sense to conservatives in terms of the same conservative moral logic. Limbaugh apologized for those two words, but not for the logic behind them. Even after the apology for the two words, the logic lingers.

All moral logic in politics, whether progressive or conservative, is based on metaphorical thought processes, applying family moral values to political moral values. Republicans understand this and Santorum carries it out masterfully for the benefit of all conservative Republican office seekers at all levels, today and in the future.

The Santorum Strategy does not end with this election. It is part of a permanent campaign that has been going on since the Gingrich revolution of 1994, and will continue into the indefinite future.

Democrats tend to be literalists, assuming that the presidential campaign is only about the presidential campaign and that birth control is only about birth control. In 2010, they thought that health policy was only about health policy, even as conservatives were metaphorically making it about freedom ("government takeover") and life ("death panels").

It is vital that Democrats not make that mistake again.


Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

 

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+60 # Brother Doc 2012-03-12 09:36
I agree with much of what you have written but you yourself have done the same thing you have pointed out the right is doing--instead of using counter-languag e and making the case for the liberal/progres sive views on these same matters you have just provided still another analysis of the Right's views in their own terms. Can no one actually put in words why these guys are wrong and give us some positive buzzwords/catch phrases to throw back?
 
 
+1 # ejf3 2012-03-12 10:10
hmmmm... don't see where I've used a single one of their talking points. Can you be specific?
 
 
+26 # Vardoz 2012-03-12 12:30
in my opionion the GOP, Center Dems and Blue Dogs are against anything good for the people, the economy or the environment. Palin said " Drill Baby Drill" and Obama has quardrupled drilling - still oil is soaring in price. The GOp wants to double inerest on student loans when they can't even afford to pay back what they owe now and we have almost a trillion dollars in student loan debt when other nations have free or almost free college becasue the y understand that it is an important investment in their nations future! These anti people, anti education and anti environmental polices are plain crazy!!! And they will bring down everything just for profit and they must be kicked out of office!!!!!
 
 
+79 # ejf3 2012-03-12 09:47
I love what George has to say. He makes so much sense. Our brains are computers... they get programmed by repititon... what's so hard to understand about that? Why isn't the liberal camp following his ideas? The conservatives have been playing this game for 30 years, and we need a neuro-strategis t who knows how to fight back at their own game. Wake up Dems, liberals, open-minded people! It's time to stop being so naive and so uneducated about how easily the human mind is manipulated. Start talking Lakoff up in every forum until the leaders of the left wake up and pay attention to him!
 
 
+25 # PGreen 2012-03-12 11:41
It is easy to speak in right-wing terminology and use conservative "buzz-words," because they are largely a reflection of the class structure of our political and private institutions. We are all exposed to them daily. This class structure has been rigidly protected for decades under the guise of patriotism and "Americanism" and such. These guises have created an implicit criticism of the terms which might oppose such a structure, unfair as it may be. if one resorts to the term "socialist," it has negative public connotations rather than sparking a serious discussion-- this is very different from most of Europe. This war of words goes on, as the Right attempts to invalidate or otherwise belittle concepts behind the criticism of their authoritarianis m. Progressive alternative terminology (remember that "liberal" is now a dirty word to many) exists, but it has been poisoned.
I believe that it is the concepts behind democracy, economic fairness, and civil rights that need protection. There is no substitute for this understanding.
 
 
+4 # bluepilgrim 2012-03-12 16:34
Call it economic democracy, then.
 
 
+20 # Syacht 2012-03-12 18:13
elf3~~ Your remarks are right on target. I have been wondering for years why the Democrats fail to use their own words instead of parroting the innane but wiley words the repugs use and thus reinforceing the oppositons message!
 
 
+15 # Cassandra2012 2012-03-13 14:28
Calling these right wing radical extremists 'conservatives' is the first mistake. They call themselves 'conservatives' , but they are not, (as was pointed out quite clearly some years ago in a truthout article by Bill Zide) What exactly are they 'conserving' ? as they attempt to rip apart the constitution and to rip up the Bill of Rights? Barry Goldwater is probably turning over in his grave!
 
 
+2 # Michael Lee Bugg 2012-03-15 06:12
You are right! They only things they want to conserve are their grip on power and their ability to make a buck anyway they can regardless of the consequences! They realized in 1980 that for the servents of the top ten percent to win elections they had to win over a large percentage of the bottom 90% and they do that by describing fiscal and economic policies that would reduce the top 10%'s income and help the bottom 90% as Socialism. But to insure success they avoid much of this and focus on: abortion, religion, guns, and gays, and too much of the "God fearing" bottom 90% fall for it every time! What the Republicans really are I created a term for in 1980. They are selfatives. Self-agrandizin g, self-centered, self-righteous, self-serving, and plain old selfish - selfatives. I substitute this term for conservative almost all of the time. Spread the word!
 
 
0 # Cassandra2012 2012-03-13 14:33
Here is the current reference:

archive.truthout.org/article/bill-zide-the-c-word
 
 
+4 # Robert B 2012-03-12 09:47
"It is about guaranteeing a radical conservative future for America."

If it's radical, it's not "conservative." It's always amazed me the extent to which the right-wing nuts have poisoned the language. Any fascist lunatic is called a "conservative" nowadays, while liberals must always be regarded as radical socialists.

I just wish people like George Lakoff would stop playing the game.
 
 
+18 # ejf3 2012-03-12 10:05
that's your definition... maybe the one you might find in a dictionary, but in the context he's speaking, they are not contradictory.
 
 
+14 # PGreen 2012-03-12 11:16
I believe that the term for a "radical conservative" is usually, "reactionary." But in this era of shifting definitions, I look for the meaningful intent of a statement, and give authors the benefit of the doubt. GL deserves it.
 
 
+56 # Oldiva 2012-03-12 09:49
You've prresented this excellent argument before, and before that, and before that. How does it happen that you are not a wordsmith for the liberal effort - that you are not part of a team creating the ads and position paopers, etc.etc.,etc?
 
 
+31 # Jorge 2012-03-12 11:53
Yes, we need Lakoff on MSNBC, Sunday talk shows (not just George Will sitting there every week on ABC, giving the right-wing rants), writing for the newspapers, on the radio, etc. Let's contact the media and demand Lakoff be given a forum for Progressive (working Americans) values. Lakoff should team up with Dennis Kucinich, Feingold, Howard Dean, etc. As the Repugs keep cutting education the average American becomes dumber and more likely to vote Repug. Time to reverse that slide to dumbness before it is too late.
 
 
+1 # annknickerbocker 2012-03-18 17:22
Lakoff has approached candidates, but they just don't listen. Which is why it is imperative that WE frame the debate whenever we can.
 
 
+42 # LeeBlack 2012-03-12 09:52
Finally. A rational explanation of why so many people have accepted statements from the right that seem inconsistent, hyperbolic, selfish and unreasonable.

It must be succeeding since Progressives are in fear of saying they are progressive since they know this opens them to attack.
 
 
+25 # genierae 2012-03-12 10:35
LeeBlack: I don't know any Progressives who are "in fear of saying they are progressive", who are you referring to? All the ones I know are proud to be Progressives, and they should be, they are responsible for creating and sustaining the American middle class. Without Progressives we would have been a third world country from the beginning.
 
 
+15 # Robert B 2012-03-12 11:06
They used to be proud to be Liberals, until the right-wing nuts declared war on the term.
 
 
+15 # genierae 2012-03-13 06:16
Robert B: I like the word "Progressive" much better than "Liberal". Only right-wingers can deny the benefit of progress, most Americans welcome it. Conservatives, especially the far right, should be called "Regressives", because that is exactly what they are.
 
 
+6 # PGreen 2012-03-12 11:13
Depends on what you mean by the term. There are a number of progressive socialists who keep pretty quiet. (I've met some.) Bernie Sanders isn't the only one.
 
 
+12 # LeeBlack 2012-03-12 13:05
Maybe you don't live in an area like the one I live in. Any time I've said, out loud, something mildly progressive in a group of 5 I have 3 people shouting at me. And the other person staying safely silent.
 
 
+6 # genierae 2012-03-13 06:12
Well I think it's great that you are speaking out in such a right-wing group, keep it up. I have had that experience often, and one time I was verbally attacked in public because of a letter to the editor I had written slamming Republicans. But people are waking up, and facts are becoming more widespread, and we must refuse to be shouted down by no-nothing right-wingers. To all of you repressed progressives: Stand up! Express yourself! This is a critical time, we cannot stay silent any longer. The cost is too high.
 
 
+65 # mikehz 2012-03-12 09:55
I read "The Elephant in the Room" years ago when you first published it, and the principles still apply... even more.

You could perform an invaluable service by articulating the liberal principles and values as a counterpoint to the GOP... and publishing them in a form we can all USE... and promoting them as the Republicans do.

We're looking for the WORDS to beat the Republicans at their own game. PLEASE HELP!

mikehz
 
 
+6 # DaveHOz 2012-03-12 10:56
Quoting mikehz:
I read "The Elephant in the Room" years ago when you first published it, and the principles still apply... even more.


I think you mean, "Don't Think of an Elephant"
 
 
+4 # bluepilgrim 2012-03-12 11:26
Three I think of offhand which might help:

http://www.cognitivepolicyworks.com/
http://smartmeme.com/
http://frameshopisopen.com/
 
 
+42 # Pondering and Pandering 2012-03-12 09:56
George Lakoff should be at the elbow of the head of the Democratic National Committee, President Obama, and as many liberal oraganizations as can receive this input. We have to get our message out repetitively and frame our ideas to counter anything from Santorum et. al.
 
 
-46 # paulrevere 2012-03-12 10:06
Thanks Mr. Lakoff...now, fellow lefties, it is time to inventory just who the left has given control to...Rahm, obomber, Hoyer, Holder, Schultz, Ford, Israel, Pelosi (itsoffthetable ) and...tuh duh WALLSTREET and via dept appointments, big ag, big pharma, big oil...sigh.
Just WHO is going to spearhead an effort both economic and rhetorical which Mr. Lakoff describes?
NO---BODY!!
 
 
+29 # genierae 2012-03-12 10:39
His name is President Barack Obama, your name-calling is unnecessary and offensive.
 
 
+6 # Majikman 2012-03-12 12:10
Paul Revere is mostly right. Rahm, Hoyer, Ford etal are part of the DLC (corporate dems). When Obama appointed Rahm, Clinton, Summers etal. I knew we were screwed insofaras (pun intended) any strong liberal voices being heard, and it's been catch up ever since.
 
 
+8 # Todd Williams 2012-03-12 14:50
Beg to differ with you Majikman, Hilary Clkinton is one of the most effective Secretary of State we've ever had. period.
 
 
-12 # paulrevere 2012-03-12 14:05
He is a brazen and blatant sham. He, exactly like his predesessor has stained the office. I know honor...I know lies...I know halfhearted...I know murder when it's odeur is upon me.

Do not lecture me about 'unnecessary and offensive'...th e man deserves no less than 'W', and Cheney for starters...pris on as a traitor to the US Constition, to say nothing of international law...rule of law is rule of law, no matter how many lawyers you have spinning for you.
Your allegiance is to an office, and I find that questionable at best.
 
 
+11 # genierae 2012-03-13 06:29
This is America, you can think and say what you like, but I also have the right to tell you that your words are full of disrespect, and do not serve to make the situation better. If you "know honor" then you should express it in your comments, and as for my "allegiance", it is to the common good of the people of this country. Comparing President Obama to former President Bush and V.P. Cheney, is irrational, and only serves to drag down the national discourse into the dirt. If you are going to talk about President Obama, then tell the whole story, and if you can't bear to speak of his positive accomplishments , then you need to keep quiet about his errors.
 
 
+24 # giraffee2012 2012-03-12 10:08
Point 1: "Conservative" now means "government controlled" and "religious ideology" etc. It is not a free democracy where the religious can follow "their rules" but the rest of us are not compelled to - example: Birth control.

The constitution is my bible and not want pour from Newt or Santorum's (etc) mouths. The GOP/TP governors (Paid for by King Koch Brothers) and their GOP/TP legislatures should be recalled and hopefully the people in those states (if even allowed to vote) have learned their lessons and elect government "BY, FOR, OF" the people.

G-d help us if these right wing nuts control our government in 2012! Of course the fall of Rush, Murddock, Beck - (maybe if they "get Murddock" - we can ad FAUX to the list - well maybe the public will SEE truth of these nuts and what will happen to them if they vote such crazies into office.

It is beyond corruption that spouts from their mouths --

VOTE DEM VOTE OBAMA AND VOTE in 2012
 
 
+21 # MnkT 2012-03-12 10:09
you make many good points, but apparently in this righteous creed of self reliance and paying for your sins there's also a double standard. women have to pay for being sexual, but men don't - witness the response by, i guess, sean hannity to the proposal to have intrusive examinations before letting men get viagra, to the effect that that was a legitimate medical treatment. and the rich sure don't think they have to be self reliant, witness all the bailouts that these guys find ways to rationalize.
 
 
+18 # genierae 2012-03-12 10:48
What a coincidence. Just when these older guys begin to turn toward the spiritual, and begin to think critically, conservatives give them free Viagra. Red-hot sex again, guaranteed to push any kind of serious thinking out of the mind. Only a coincidence of course.
 
 
-9 # globalcitizen 2012-03-12 10:11
Positive buzzwords imply reality, even when they are bad news for us.....like Fascism, totalitarianism , which is why in of themselves they cannot convey what is happening with Western culture, the complete negation of Western Enlightenment into Western Fascism.

Understanding not only WHAT IS but HOW and why it is gives context, a story, and history to come up with strategies to defeat Fascism, totalitarianism . Both are needed, HISTORY and IDEOLOGY.

First we need to point out that ALL ideologies "CONSERVE" ideas, and social claims, even when they aren't But the fact that all ideologies MUST make social claims, optimal outcomes is good news for true social theorists, and not the class ideologies, who use false social POPULISM, false social claims, and make claims to false "Centrism", and is a hint what all class ideologies are
"CONSERVING"

All class ideologies born out of the betrayal of the Enlightenment, conservatives, class libertarians, liberals, fake socialist and labor parties are CONSERVING class centers, CENTER RIGHT, false centrism, that betrayed the SOCIAL PRINCIPLE and social center, always universal and inclusive in their argument.

This relative class centrism, whether extremely shifted to the right or partially IS THE COMMON DENOMINATOR of all class ideologies. However these relative labels for class centers, all betraying social morality, can have no meaning if all degenerate towards totalitarianism and fascism.
 
 
+14 # 666 2012-03-12 14:13
global, again, love your ideas but your frame doesn't work (thus the red marks).

One can't just use this frame, it was rendered unuseful by the 1970s & 1980s.

It comes down to socialism vs. fascism: a problem that was pretty clearly framed in the 1920s & 1930s. The so-called "socialists" then (soviets, later china, etc) destroyed the meaning of what socialism could be (empathy & responsibility) , replacing it with the construct of authoritarianis m / totalitarianism (just like the fascists did).

The socialist frame has to be recreated - otherwise it is doomed to be nothing but farce.

There is nothing wrong with a socialism that puts all people first (eg single payer) - especially when the alternative is a fascism that puts the 1% first and damns everyone else.
 
 
+10 # Todd Williams 2012-03-12 14:54
I thought I was pretty darn smart, but I have no clue as to what globalcitizen is saying. Perhaps it coul be distilled into something that a man with my limmited brainpower can understand.
 
 
+4 # Doubter 2012-03-12 15:57
Maybe if you gave us a nice little glossary on your blog for these terms you keep repeating I (we) would/could better understand your apparently well intentioned and worthwhile message/meaning.
You apparently think we all have the same background and knowledge you have. I (we) don't. It might also help if you gave us one idea (well explained) at a time. We all already know we are being screwed and most of us have a pretty good idea of who is doing it.

That's a real good video you feature though I had already seen it somewhere else.

class centers, social principle, social center, false centrism, etc. etc?
 
 
+40 # Night Raider 2012-03-12 10:11
Conservatives have framed the issues for the last 20 years while liberals have stayed mute. They even allowed conservatives to make liberal a dirty word with their propaganda. So who is going to be the Karl Rove of the Democratic Party and get it moving? I think we can start by referring in our posts and articles to the cancer of conservatism.
 
 
+7 # Robert B 2012-03-12 11:04
James Carville, Howard Dean, Joe Trippi, RFK Jr.
 
 
+24 # cadan 2012-03-12 10:12
Obviously there's a great deal of value in the piece.

I think i maybe have to take issue with this one sentence, though: "This point is being missed by Democrats and by the media, and yet it is the most vital issue for our future in what is now being discussed."

It's easy to believe the Democrats (that is, the millions of us who are registered Democrats") are missing the point about how the debate is framed.

But i'm not at all sure that the media is missing the point. It's not exactly as if their owners don't have an agenda.
 
 
+14 # uglysexy 2012-03-12 10:33
This is a brilliant analysis. If You want to battle some conservatives.. .try battling the 'Free Marketeers" on the pending attempt to get the SCOTUS to abolish rent control in NYC and in NY State and in Several Liberal California Cities where the Financial Shock to the poor and middle class is enormous.
http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2012/03/06/the-legal-war-over-new-yorks-rent-regulations/
 
 
+20 # grouchy 2012-03-12 10:55
A great piece! Now I wish someone would chart the parallel course (in step by step detail) our nation is taking as per the growth of the fascist movement in Germany and what events it led up to!
 
 
+5 # Majikman 2012-03-12 19:27
One step:pre-Nazi women had choice in family planning and control of their bodies....inclu ding abortion. With the advent of the Nazis...NONE! They became property of the Fatherland and Aryan broodmares.
 
 
+18 # JayS 2012-03-12 10:57
I have to agree that we have been fed a steady discourse of far right Republican talking points. Some of my fellow Greens get upset when Ron Paul gets mentioned on our list serves. The fact is Obama gets no challenge from the left of his party and therefore no discussion of leftist Democratic ideas. The Republicans hold 20 debates, the media covers them and Ron Paul becomes the left.
 
 
-8 # MidwestTom 2012-03-12 11:04
George has presented an interesting article with many interesting thoughts. Unfortunately he also presents many ideas that we as a party either forget, or refuse to address. In his article he states "The progressive family has parents of equal authority." If this is what we want to promote, why are we so accepting of the Islamic faith, where women must be subject to their husbands, and always cover their heads inn public? How does one best show concern for the poor; by creating low paying jobs for them, or by giving them welfare?
 
 
+17 # L. Sabransky 2012-03-12 12:51
It starts with language, Midwest Tom, and the ability to connect the dots for people between progressives' overarching morality/world view, our policies, and how those policies stem from our worldview, and the positive consequences of those policies. The key being, all the while, using consistent language throughout the party. You always hear Republicans using the same exact terms over and over, but the Dems don't - because they don't organize their leaders that way, to their detriment. Our founders created a country from their imaginations - that's what people forget! There was no template for what they did. The Dems/progressiv es should be painting a picture of what life could be like on a day-to-day basis if their policies were enacted: access to low-cost health care, unpolluted air, children knowing where their next meal comes from, etc., etc. Instead, they talk about this or that policy, which is small-minded and usually in response to something the Republicans have started a conversation on.
 
 
+1 # genierae 2012-03-13 06:47
Excellent comment, JazBing, that's exactly what needs to be done.
 
 
+13 # Todd Williams 2012-03-12 15:00
What does "accepting of the Islamic faith denote? I say that accepting of their right to worship as they choose fit does not equate belief in their religious system. I'm an aetheist who believes in the right of anyone to worship anything (rocks, trees, the Sun, Jesus, etc.) as long as it doe not hurt me.
 
 
+3 # genierae 2012-03-13 06:51
Actually MidwestTom, American right-wing religions are not too far from the traditional, authoritarian, Islamic faith. Check it out.
 
 
+2 # Cassandra2012 2012-03-13 14:37
Quoting MidwestTom:
George has presented an interesting article with many interesting thoughts. Unfortunately he also presents many ideas that we as a party either forget, or refuse to address. In his article he states "The progressive family has parents of equal authority." If this is what we want to promote, why are we so accepting of the Islamic faith, where women must be subject to their husbands, and always cover their heads inn public? How does one best show concern for the poor; by creating low paying jobs for them, or by giving them welfare?

OH, is Santorum now a Muslim? (or just a member of the "Christian" Taliban?
And how "libertarian" is Ron Paul when he advocated govt. interference in a women's right to control her own body?
 
 
-39 # Robt Eagle 2012-03-12 11:13
At waht point in reality will someone on this site wake up to the fact that the Conservatives are telling it like it really is? Obama's policies are bankrupting America faster and faster. The debt has climbed to $15.5 trillion from $15Trillion in less than five months. Isn't that worrying any of you? The ObamaCare debacle is about to add a rediculous amount more to that debt as there is no way to cover all the new folks who won't pay a dime towards it. When you few who are paying taxes have to wait in a doctor's waiting room longer than you now are after waiting weeks to get an appointment, who are you going to blame then...GW Bush? It is Obama's policies that are to blame. We simply can NOT afford another four years of Obama's spending rampage...there won't be anything left for anyone, except illegal aliens who Obama seems to want to provide more and more for at no cost. And Eric Holder protects all the illegals and any attempt to do the right thing for the US is thwarted by Holder, for instance going after Police Commissioner Kelly in NYC for protecting the Big Apple from radical Islamist extremists. Go figure that one? Anothe Obama success: let the bad guys out of Gitmo and they go right back to doing what bad guys of that caliber do, try to destroy the US! And you are going to vote for Obama again???
 
 
+13 # cadan 2012-03-12 14:54
Oh Robt --- you know, or should know, that if we cannot unplug the war machine we're done for.

A war against Iran (which it sure looks like all Republicans except Ron Paul are beating the drums for) would be at least $10 trillion.

The Muslims are not, or should not be, our enemy.

Is Obama perfect?

Well, no, but at least he's smart. And if you are looking for somebody better, i think you should use better criteria.

So if you were advocating for Jill Stein or Rocky Anderson, then maybe it would be more helpful, especially in non-swing states.

But the Bush move to endless war was what precipitated all of this mess we're in.
 
 
+9 # Todd Williams 2012-03-12 15:01
Oh no, here we go again. Same old talking points. Boring. Boring. Boring.
 
 
-1 # Majikman 2012-03-12 19:29
Did they let you out of asylum again?
 
 
+8 # mjc 2012-03-12 11:19
Agree that Santorum is the true conservative in the Republican candidates's class. Gingrich is much more a politician seeking votes with evangelicals and social conservatives and that is because he has evaluated the Republican Party the many liberals have, the take-over by the Tea Party of the Republican Party is mostly complete. Liberals...like myself...DO make a big mistake in thinking that this conservatism is confined to a sort of branch version of the old Republican Party and probably cannot be easily purged. We forget about the Republicans who don't think of themselves with any ideological labels. They should not be abandoned by the Democrats, even if they seem to have gone underground. Winning the House back and strengthening the Senate are extremely important and some of those Congresspersons ARE the old version of the Republican Party. My Congressman is just that particular set, I believe. If, and it seems inevitable, Romney gets the nomination, he will busy lining up what he may see as the new right-wing conservatives in his party and appealing to independents as well. He is more likely to have success with the "righter-than-r ight" than he is with independents because the rational part of the brain that Lakeoff refers to probably is that which independents prefer. We have our work cut out for us.
 
 
+1 # Cassandra2012 2012-03-13 14:41
The only thing Santorum wants to 'conserve' is the Inquisition. And Gingrich is a serial monogamist that cheats on each previous wife, and even lacks morality or 'family values' when he serves his wife with divorce papers as she emerges from surgery for breast cancer. (He was quoted as saying, well, she didn't die ... !!)
 
 
+14 # Barbara K 2012-03-12 11:39
I'm so sick of Republican debates. They are like attack dogs at each other. We didn't have to do a thing, just watch them tear each other down. And, yes, it is obvious that especially Santorum wants to turn us into a Taliban society. He can believe whatever he wants, but he has no right to push it off on the rest of us.

VOTE STRAIGHT DEMOCRATIC ON ALL LEVELS

the alternative is unbearable, and look what they are doing to our states, especially to my state of Michigan; so get out and VOTE
 
 
+13 # jazzman633 2012-03-12 11:40
I was a linguist who came of age with Laskoff. He was in grad school on the West Coast; I was at the U. of Chicago. Even then he was perceptive and articulate, giving important papers at scholarly linguistics conferences.

His insights on brain programming should make us all more aware. Plus, recent studies show that exposure to opposing views actually makes us strengthen ours.

Emo Phillips said, "I used to think my brain was the moat wonderful thing in the universe. Then I realized who was telling me this."

George is correct: candidates run, sometimes very strongly, on moral grounds,and Republicans are better at it.

But I disagree with George: Democrats are pretty good at moral posturing.

Besides, the answer is not to have an opposing liberal morality, but to get government, as much as possible, out of the morality business.

PS. The aggressive military erectness of the Republican candidates, except Paul, scares and disgusts me.
 
 
+2 # Cassandra2012 2012-03-13 14:42
He was also, alas, one of the most blatant vocal misogynists around... .
 
 
+10 # hillwright 2012-03-12 11:51
This is party politics at play.
This quote by a famous Republican party boss is the byword of all political parties...
"...Better to lose an election than lose control of the Party"
The hard working volunteers who walk the streets and stuff the envelopes are never told this side of the story.
Who controls the Republican Party is the only real issue of this election. Control and power.That is what the money buys.
 
 
+8 # panhead49 2012-03-12 11:58
"Vote early and Vote often" - okay, let's not get illegal but the idea is this - just as I remember the chickens that still ran around after Grandma had chopped their heads off DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE the ability of the R's to pull off unseating our current prez. It's impossible to get the LIV up to speed by November - and frankly they don't want to 'get up to speed' - they are quite comfortable in their ignorance. Hell, they wallow in it. Vote. Help get people registered to vote (if possible by absentee ballot), help people get to the polls.

I cannot fathom Romney or Santorum getting us the hell out of Afghanistan and with no draft we are grinding our children up and spitting them out - and you can bet the farm that that stress lays at the bottom of the massacre over the weekend.
 
 
-6 # 666 2012-03-12 14:18
yeah, and when things go down the toilet this fall, we're going to hear a lot of begging on this list (as in 2008). "Please vote for obama, don't let a republican win"...

So change the frame now, vote for someone else, someone not dem or gop
 
 
+2 # mjc 2012-03-13 06:58
Too late for that tactic now, 666.
 
 
+8 # Audiorago 2012-03-12 11:59
As a man raised in a very Conservative family and one who voted twice for Reagan - I now see our political situation as hopeless. This is why: the entire mass media is owned by about 5 corporations which DETERMINE FOR US who are the most viable candidates on both sides and in fact tell us who will win insuring that the public will change their votes from the losing side to the winning side. Both the right and the left lie to us constantly and as far as I am concerned they have zero crediblity.
 
 
+6 # wwway 2012-03-12 12:02
By identifying the prejucides and fears of citizens it's easy to craft propaganda to feed it. Hitler did it with German citizens.
Listen to Republicans. They constantly craft their message to cater to fears of government, fears our neighbors might be getting better pay and breaks in life, that Americans are Godless, lazy, and women especially are lazy, baby killing prostitutes. Nothing of what Republicans say is the truth when when the message is crafted to appeal to the worst of our humanity then...well. Democracy is a process that ensurse that the people get the government they deserve.
 
 
+11 # 666 2012-03-12 14:19
to be more precise, they CREATE the fears first (the need) and then the sell you the remedy.

It's sort of like a capitalist version of terrorism...
 
 
+1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-03-12 18:47
It is like all their sales promotions, Nukes, Pharmaceuticals
 
 
+9 # Majikman 2012-03-12 12:30
Excellent article. Liberals could use lessons in animal training. I'm serious. Basically, one ignores the bad behavior and praises and affirms the good. If we are constantly scolding and "bad dog you crapped on the rug", nothing changes and the dog never really trusts, will become secretive etc. If, OTOH, we carefully watch the pup's behavior, bring him outside before he needs to, praise him lavishly when his behavior is appropriate he will in short order announce his need and be potty trained quickly. Repugs need potty training.
Liberals are scolds...we need a paradigm shift, as Lakeoff says, to make liberal values positive and life affirming. We permitted the "pro abortion" frame rather than "pro responsibility/ choice" frame. Repugs have turned our positives into negatives with their framing.
Time to turn it around. FAST.
 
 
+6 # paulrevere 2012-03-12 15:17
very excellent suggestion...th e left has no lexicon for projecting it's common sense and common voice.

We fall into the 'if I talk sense long enough, they will get it' syndrome...trul y naive or lazy maybe.

As have many over the years I've known of Mr Lakoff, I just do not understand why he is not doing our 'FrankLuntz' talking templates...why is that?

I believe it is because those in charge of the left do not really have a clue as to how to be that direct, especially when one considers how they maintain their offices via telephone solicitation and lobbyist largesse.
 
 
+18 # DaveHOz 2012-03-12 12:40
Did anyone just hear on Randi Rhodes' show when she played clips of southern voters? Esp. the one who said, "I'd rather die poor and hungry than vote against my values" -- There's Prof. Lakoff's key point proven right there! Yet Democrats dismiss "values voters" as nitwits and regard "framing" as some kind of trick. BIG mistakes!

I think we'd be much better off if progressives took George Lakoff as seriously as conservatives do Frank Luntz.
 
 
+10 # Todd Williams 2012-03-12 15:06
How true, DaveHOz. It's no coincidence that the poorest states in the union are controlled by the Rethug party and they keep on voting Rethug. They are manipulated by some pretty smart folks into voting against their own best interests. pretty amazing, isn't it?
 
 
+12 # L. Sabransky 2012-03-12 12:40
To those who have asked why Lakoff isn't advising the Dem Party and the Obama team, I could not agree more, and my understanding is that he had been serving as the Dem Party advisor at least during the time leading up to the Obama election. I think part of our problem in being so blind, is our elections process. It is long and drawn out, and as Lakoff said, too much focus is on the candidates & election. (Besides that they are a farce to begin with, after Citizens United...) For those of us "futurists" like me, who have a sense of what is to come years in the future, I am in agreement with him about the scary prospect that the far right agenda has begun to be in the DNA of many, many citizens in our country. While reading this, I start to think about moving to Canada again...If Santorum wins, or as Lakoff points out, his agenda takes hold regardless, we will see a mass exodus of folk like me. I will not live in a country that is for all practical purposes, not my country anymore.
 
 
+7 # bluepilgrim 2012-03-12 16:56
"scary prospect that the far right agenda has begun to be in the DNA of many, many citizens in our country."
That's more literal than one might think. The 'conservative' policies create war and poverty -- high level of stress which cause epigentic changes on the fetus' levels of cortisol -- which tend to cause mental abberations, including making people more defensive and conservative.

See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toRIkRa1fYU&feature=related
 
 
+1 # L. Sabransky 2012-03-12 19:16
Thank you, bluepilgrim! I did mean it literally, and thank you for backing it up with research. This is the kind of dot-connecting Obama and ilk need to do, but they're afraid to do. Geez, what do have to lose by making people aware of this? We're losing our Democracy as it is - why not pull out all the stops? So,what if we can determine whether someone will be "conservative" or "liberal" while in the womb? Will we see selective abortion for only liberals? That is not some far-fetched sci fi idea - I could imagine it happening!
 
 
+2 # bluepilgrim 2012-03-12 19:53
Found some more, and more to the point. This is the stuff I was looking for earlier but didn't find then.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/neurophilosophy/2011/sep/09/pregnant-911-survivors-transmitted-trauma
...
Among the tens of thousands of people directly exposed to the World Trade Centre attack were approximately 1,700 pregnant women. Some of these women went on to develop symptoms of PTSD, and some of the children have inherited the nightmare that their mothers experienced on that day.
...


Now, consider the 'informational genes' -- memes which Dawkins talks about, and how language and other communication passes culture down the generations.

Now toss in social interactionism, the collective unconscious, etc. and a picture of humans as a large organism develops -- much as a human individual is an organism consisting of an ecology (including an immense number of bacteria and other 'foreign' cells).

Beginning to sound like the Borg collective almost, if we are not careful to be aware of it. And --- an organism can be infected by pathogens, or develop cancers -- that includes the huge 'human organism' of the human species.

So yeah -- let's get that immune system going.
 
 
+11 # L. Sabransky 2012-03-12 12:52
Just want to let you know, RSN, that I will be contributing to you (again) because of you running this article. You serve a very important purpose in our fight.
 
 
+10 # lvpapa 2012-03-12 13:04
The term radical conservative is an oxymoron. The radical part accurately describes the Republican Right but the country needs to find a new word to replace conservative. That word is very misleading because, in non-political discussions, it might mean what the far right wants to lull the naïve into thinking it really means; something more like conventional.
 
 
+10 # Terry5135 2012-03-12 14:11
The problem with this piece (and the reason I give up so early and end up scanning) is that it's mounted on a great myth to begin with, the deepest engram of all (for Americans), the liberal/conserv ative false dichotomy, the illusion of democrat vs republican.

I'm not worried about the psychotic exaggerations of the right in America, it's the "common sense" attitudes of the left, which have swallowed and continue to swallow the [strictly American] mainstream view of the world as presented by the charade of a free media.

Sure, the radical right attitude toward Iran, for instance, are dangerous and sure as hell there will be some dingbats out there believing it. But the real danger is the fantasy conversation about Iran in the first place, that very much is grounded in democrats' language.

You mention single payer health care, and yet with a democratic house AND senate and a dem president, there was not even an attempt to fight for it, especially by democrats.

So tell me, what difference does it make if a Santorum is elected president? That an abomination will crash and burn all the faster?

You don't seem to understand who runs America or what the country is actually doing, so you address the distractions and the sleight of hand.
 
 
+2 # paulrevere 2012-03-12 15:20
I completely agree Terry5135. And I would add that the underlying tone is one of slack beliefs in progressive principles AND a solid sniff of beholdin' to big daddy corporate funding.
 
 
+7 # acomfort 2012-03-12 16:05
Quoting Terry5135:
The problem with this piece (and the reason I give up so early and end up scanning) is that it's mounted on a great myth to begin with, the deepest engram of all (for Americans), the liberal/conserv ative false dichotomy, the illusion of democrat vs republican.

Good points Terry and I agree with “the liberal/conserv ative false dichotomy,”

It's amazing that all Republicans understand that morality beats policy but no Democrat
understands it.

However, if the same people or at least like-minded people buy-off/own the elected officials of both major political parties and they own the major media then this could easily be explained as a planned discourse by the owners as one of the subtle tools to help move the discourse to the right.

It then becomes a staged charade with each actor/politicia n following a sham script manipulated to make a media bonanza.

If the Democrats aren't complicit with the Republicans they are at least facilitating every action/non-acti on of the Republicans.

In other words, Washington politics really is just one huge dog and pony show, with "democrats" and "republicans" playing carefully choreographed roles for public consumption?

Too cynical . . . maybe.
 
 
+3 # Terry5135 2012-03-12 19:17
Quoting acomfort:
... this could easily be explained as a planned discourse by the owners as one of the subtle tools to help move the discourse to the right.

It then becomes a staged charade with each actor/politician following a sham script manipulated to make a media bonanza.


I think in a sense, it is a kind of planned discourse to move the discourse - or underlying assumptions - to the right. But doubt if it's so much a staged charade with a sham script as more of a kind of free flowing kind of directed chaos, with occasional nudges as it moves along. People involved know where their interests lie and few of them could get away with being Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich. Borrowing from Bertram Gross ("Friendly Fascism", 1980), a conspiracy is not necessary for people to head for the exit when someone shouts 'fire'. When pressure is brought to bear to vote for a Patriot Act or a bail out, there's a feedback mechanism in the psyche which creates necessary beliefs.

Quoting acomfort:
In other words, Washington politics really is just one huge dog and pony show, with "democrats" and "republicans" playing carefully choreographed roles for public consumption?


Absolutely agree except for the "carefully choreographed roles" part. It's more chaotic than that, I think, and mistakes can happen.
 
 
0 # acomfort 2012-03-13 09:36
Quoting Terry5135:
[quote name="acomfort"]But doubt if it's so much a staged charade with a sham script.


However every time I hear multiple politicians, candidates and pundits use exactly the same phrases, I think they're using a script with ad-libbing being part of the charade.

Quoting Terry5135:
[quote name="acomfort"]
Absolutely agree except for the "carefully choreographed roles" part. It's more chaotic than that, I think, and mistakes can happen.


Terry,
I agree, the word "carefully" does not fit.

Quoting Terry5135:
[quote name="acomfort"]
People involved know where their interests lie and few of them could get away with being Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich. ."


I also agree that some politicians fit better in specific roles as do many actors and actresses.

I think your comments do well at describing the current political scene.
Keep posting.
 
 
+5 # bluepilgrim 2012-03-12 17:03
More than running it -- the culture of manifest destiny, empire, and capitalism. Where else could those lead?
 
 
+10 # dick 2012-03-12 14:42
#1. I agree that it is too early to allow BIGOTS to co-opt the word "conservative," in part because SO MANY people identify with the notion of being conservative. That is a battle worth fighting.
#2. I have long worried that Lakoff underestimates the extent to which progressives and tribalists do not duel on a level playing field. It's not just that the left hasn't sounded the proper words often enough. I think fighting against racism, sexism, tribalism, anti-intellectu alism, ethnocentrism is an UPHILL BATTLE. The human brain is NOT simply a neutrally programable computer. We evolved with predispositions , preferences, vulnerabilities . These favor the caveman right.
Progressives have to WORK EXTRA HARD to promote a non-ethnocentri c, humanitarian, non-violent, less aggressive morality. Look at what humans have done to the GENTLE moral teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, the moralist. People hear & repeat his gentle moral teachings every day, then go out & do just the opposite. Something is propelling that, something not easily overcome. It's not just a computer.
 
 
+4 # juliajayne 2012-03-12 15:47
Reactionaries and authoritarians will always battle hard because they're, well, reactionaries and authoritarians! They don't have a more moral message IMO. They just act like huge babies and cry louder and stronger and play victim and project. I think they're a lower life form! ;-) UPHILL BATTLE doesn't begin to cover what we're up against with these reprobates and bullies, short of dragging them by their hair and beating them with clubs, hehe. I laugh a little, but these are some hard core MFers!!! Sorry to say, they may like the rough treatment though, Lol!
 
 
+8 # munjk1 2012-03-12 15:22
I totally agree with George Lakoff. The challenge for us readers who agree with him is to spread his ideas among the leaders of the Democratic Party, pundits, columnists, opinion-makers, and among media outlets such as MSNBC, PBS, and others. We can start by emails calling attention to his views, quoting from his article, and referring people to it with a link: http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/10418-focus-the-santorum-strategy

Let us Do it and not just talk about it.
 
 
+4 # lcarrier 2012-03-12 16:05
Let's face it, so-called "conservatives" want nothing more than to conserve power to themselves. They know that if you repeat a simple lie enough, people will believe it. Here's one way to defeat the "moral argument" of the right-wingers. Point out that the authoritarian father is a dead-beat; he more often than not squelches the initiatives of his wife and family; he is a loser, someone who drinks his confusions away while watching porn on the internet. He is a fraud, a swine, an evolutionary anomaly. Whereas, the liberal thinker is open-minded and compassionate, someone who wants to suppress the greed that's rampant. Whom should we trust, the dissolute authoritarian or the open-minded thinker? I think we know the answer.
 
 
+7 # bluepilgrim 2012-03-12 17:14
Proper framing and linguistics is not the answer to the problem, but one strategy and set of 'weapons' in the struggle, which people should be aware of.

Not just the liberals and left, but centrists, and conservatives -- everyone -- needs to understand how this maniulation works and learn to be aware when they are being subjected to it. It's like getting 'street smarts' so one can resist being conned.

Many years ago there was a move in NJ to hold a referendum -- purely advisory and non-binding -- on some issue. One of the politicians opposing allowing that blurted it right out. He said it would be like 'letting the children yell at the parents'.

We have to drum into people that they are citizens in a democracy, not children to be bossed around in a "fatherland" (or "homeland"). That's part of the waking up process. But sadly, the Democrats are happy to go along with it -- it's just a fight between 'mom' and 'pop' as to who should run the 'family'.
 
 
+3 # scorselo 2012-03-13 00:06
MAKE IT SIMPLE:
Joseph Goebbels quotes

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
Joseph Goebbels - Propaganda Principles
 
 
0 # bluepilgrim 2012-03-13 08:40
Yeah -- lies is a big factor.

I just saw:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=29726
UNRAVELLING MEDIA SCANDAL: Al Jazeera exodus: Channel losing staff over ‘bias’
Global Research, March 13, 2012
Russia Today

Key staff from Al Jazeera’s Beirut Bureau have resigned citing “bias” in the channel’s stance on the conflict in Syria.

Bureau Managing Director Hassan Shaaban reportedly quit last week, after his correspondent and producer had walked out in protest.
[...]
 
 
0 # whichwayforward 2012-03-15 06:05
we need our own buzz words that advance 'empathy and responsibility' . How about the language of neighborliness? could the Santorum strategy be called 'dog eat dog patriarchy?' would we prefer 'good neighbor' policies for everyone's benefit? Is there a forum for building language to advance our world view?
 
 
0 # Anise 2012-03-15 17:20
A lot of these points are very good. But... well... talk about an elephant in the living room... what almost NOBODY is discussing is the way that religious discourse in the political realm has been taken over by the right wing. 79% of Republicans who describe themselves as once-weekly churchgoers (or even more often) voted for Santorum in primaries. Isn't a big part of the reason that people are leaving the understanding of religion's place in public life to him? He doesn't deserve it, and neither does anyone else like him.

The reality is that religion DOES have a place in public life, whether it should or not. Liberal people of faith need to claim the high ground here, because others have been consistently getting away with doing it for a long time now.

Church and state should be separated, but they're not. And they're not going to be anytime soon. And we can't change that. These are the harsh truths. The only way to accomplish anything is to acknowledge that reality and to reshape the religious dialogue ourselves.
 

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