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Lakoff and Wehling write: "America is divided about its future. Should it keep and expand the system that brought past opportunity, prosperity and freedom? Or should it dismantle that system?"

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

Obama's and Romney's Opposed Visions for a Free America

By George Lakoff and Elisabeth Wehling, Reader Supported News

31 July 12


merica is divided about its future. Should it keep and expand the system that brought past opportunity, prosperity and freedom? Or should it dismantle that system?

President Obama recently reminded us that private life, private enterprise, and personal freedom depend on what the public provides.

"The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet. (...) when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don't do on our own. (...) So we say to ourselves, ever since the founding of this country (...) there are some things we do better together. That's how we funded the GI Bill. That's how we created the middle class. That's how we built the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hoover Dam. That's how we invented the Internet. That's how we sent a man to the moon. We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people (...) I still believe in that idea. You're not on your own, we're in this together. (...) If you were successful, (...) somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. "

Obama is acknowledging an important truth about American private life and enterprise: It builds on the public. From the beginning, the American public jointly created the means for knowledge, health, commerce, and recreation: Schools and libraries, hospitals, public roads, bridges, clean water and sewers; a federal banking system, a system of interstate commerce, public buildings and records, a court system mostly for commercial disputes, an army and a navy, police and firemen, public playgrounds and parks. The American public has always provided such things to promote private business and individual freedom.

More recently, the public has added funding for food safety and public health, university research, telecommunications, urban development, and subsidies for corporate profit in corporate-run industries like energy, agribusiness, and military contracting. There are thousands of ways, large and small, in which the public, all of us acting together, provides the essentials for individual freedom and opportunity and thriving businesses.

That is what President Obama meant when he recently said, "If you've got a business - you did not build that," where "that" refers to the totality of what the public provides that empowered you, making available the conditions required for personal success.

The President states a simple truth here. Business owners across America do not build their own roads and bridges, sewers and water systems; they do not single-handedly maintain the health of their employees; they do not finance their own court system; and they did not build their own Internet to market and sell their products. The public provides these things, together. The government manages our shared financial resources to make these things happen. That's the government's job.

Obama could have communicated this fact better. When he says, "If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life," he does not stress the fact that the public is a commonly organized and maintained system that is built and maintained by all of us together, in a shared effort to protect and empower Americans to live freely, and to thrive in their private and professional lives.

Conservatives are up in arms about Obama's statement, and for good reason. In the conservative worldview, the public's role for personal success is largely hidden or ignored. Instead, conservatives have a different vision of what America should be: everyone ought to look out for him- or herself - for example, buy your own protection for your life via privatized health care, and buy your own empowerment to succeed via privatized education.

But the health and education of Americans is not an individual concern at all. First, the individual cannot acquire it without communal efforts. Second, we depend on the health and education of our fellow citizens, as well as our own health and education.

Individual health is a prime example of public protection. It is maintained not only via health care (for those who can afford to buy their health), it further depends on a range of preventative needs that are secured via public provisions - disease control, environmental protection, food control, the sewer system, and clean drinking water, to name some. Every American depends on these provisions. Being healthy starts with being protected from disease, poisonous products, and pollution. The public - our commonly financed protection system - keeps you safe and healthy via these means of preventing disease. Furthermore, it is de facto not the case that only your own health concerns you. If you are a business owner, you want your employees to fall sick as little as possible. And if they do get ill, it is in your interest that they get effective treatment - because they are profit creators in your business, you need them to be healthy, and if you care about them, you want them to be healthy.

Education, on the other hand, is a prime example of public empowerment. If you want to start a business or expand a business you already run, you will need to have access to educated employees. You do not pay for their education by yourself. You contributed to it via paying your fair share in taxes, together with your fellow citizens. You depend on educated doctors, lawyers, and engineers. Finally, the public provision of information - from access to the Internet to libraries and records to educational training - empowers you as an individual to thrive and succeed.

The notion of fair taxation is based on three ideals: First, taxes are a way to reimburse the community for what it has provided beforehand. This is about reciprocity. Second, taxes are a way to maintain freedom in America, by financing the system that allows the individual to flourish. Third, taxes have a moral function. Democracy is based on caring about one's fellow citizens, which requires maintaining high standards for humane treatment of our fellow Americans. This is about moral excellence. Some of our fellow citizens face more hardship than others, and it is simply right for all of us who constitute the public to guarantee humane treatment for all.

Extreme conservatives have a different morality. For them, democracy provides the liberty to pursue one's own self-interest and well-being without much responsibility for the interests or well-being of others. For them, individual responsibility is paramount.

As a result, they neglect the crucial role of the public for our freedom, private enterprise, and decent private lives.

Mitt Romney and other conservatives did not understand what the President was saying about the public. Or, if they did, they made it their mission to misportray Obama's ideals. First of all, they singled out the President's statement, "If you've got a business - you did not build that," claiming that the "that" in the statement refers to the business, not the public provisions. This is simply dirty politics.

But aside from this, it is interesting to see the conservative response. Here is Mitt Romney: "Do we believe in an America that is great because of government, or do we believe in an America that's great because of free people allowed to pursue their dreams and build their future."

Romney makes a distinction between government and the people. This is a common conservative argument, and it has to do with the fact that conservatives want as little protection and empowerment through commonly financed and organized provisions as possible. What Romney's statement neglects is the fact that maintaining public provisions is not a matter of the government versus the people. The public came about because "free people" decided to come together and organize a public system that allows them to "pursue their dreams and build their future."

Romney's idea of freedom is based on the notion that American citizens must sink or swim on their own and that they are free if they have as little social responsibility as possible. If all citizens are equally uncommitted to each other's well-being, protection, and empowerment, freedom is maximized.

From a progressive point of view, Romney has it backwards. The call for "small government" really translates into neglectful government. The continuous downscaling of tax contributions from those that gain the most capital in our economy disables the government to the point where it can no longer carry out its moral mission -- the protection and empowerment of everyone equally.

What the conservatives are missing, and what Obama and progressives and Democrats across the country should communicate clearly, is this: Maintaining a robust public provides the conditions for a decent life and for individual success. This is about giving citizens the freedom to succeed. And the contributions of individuals to the public are a way to show commitment to both their own continuous success and to the American nation as a whole.

This is a central issue, not a minor one. It underlies the political division in our country. Obama and the Democrats want to continue the public provisions upon which freedom and material success has been built in our nation. Romney and conservative Republicans want to dismantle the public, and would thereby end the freedoms, the opportunities, and the conditions for success that the public provides.

That is why the conservatives have distorted the President's remarks on the subject and have attacked him so viciously on the basis of that distortion. They do not acknowledge the importance of the public for private life and private enterprise. They do not acknowledge the fact that public provisions are a result of Americans organizing together to maximize personal and national success and maintain moral excellence.

The future of our nation is at stake. We must openly and regularly talk about the function of the public. And we must repeat the fact that the public constitutes the people working together to better their lives. The public is, and has always been, requisite for our freedom, our success, and our humanity as a nation. Every candidate for office and every patriotic American should be saying this out loud, over and over. The role of the public is the central issue in this election. It is the issue that will determine our future.

We dare not be intimidated by conservative misrepresentations. Our message is clear. It is obvious if you think about it. But it has to be repeated clearly and effectively. The president and all who believe in the promise of America need to go on the offensive on this issue. We cannot afford to be defensive about what is required for our freedom, our prosperity, and our sense of humanity. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+48 # Virginia 2012-07-31 11:10
The issues here are strength and guts in leadership. We have no FDR... and it ain't Mitt either. If we don't win the election it will be because President Obama did not call a moratorium on foreclosures, evictions and deficiencies and investigate the bank frauds and LIBOR scandal; and because he didn't remove Geithner and distance himself from his Goldman Sachs advisors. 

If we lose this election it's because President Obama is no FDR. This election has less to do with campaign donations than it does with strength, integrity and admitting that this "God awful, Ponzi scheme" situation affects over 84 million families. This is where the votes are and he is losing these folks everyday - because he isn't saving them and they have no desire to save him.

Instead of down playing the effects of the collasped economy on American families and the actual number affected, call a moratorium on foreclosures , evictions and deficiencies an d you'll see a drastic improvement. When you don't have enough money to advertise - you have to use dramatic publicity.
+22 # cynnibunny 2012-07-31 12:43
Quoting Virginia:
The issues here are strength and guts in leadership. If we don't win the election it will be because President Obama did not call a moratorium on foreclosures, evictions and deficiencies and investigate the bank frauds and LIBOR scandal; and because he didn't remove Geithner and distance himself from his Goldman Sachs advisors. 

Direct and to the point, Virginia. Lakoff likes to spin that it's a matter of spin, and Obama didn't spin it correctly.

I agree with Virginia. Obama is no FDR. He may look like a liberal. He may look like a leader of minorities and the disenfranchised . But he's not. FDR would have put a freeze on CEO pay, would have stopped foreclosures, would have created a publically funded way to give those who were cheated into those bad mortgages a way to get out.

Obama is better, much better than Romney. But I personally am one of those suffering from this poor economy, and I am working long hours already trying to make ends meet. If Obama had fulfilled HIS promises instead of GW's, I might take the time to campaign for him. I did in 2008.

To help elect a slightly better person than the Republicans' choice is not that important to me when I already have the proof that Obama doesn't have the guts to fight for the average Joe. I'll vote for Obama, but I can't see myself excited about it.
+35 # Jameswhadley 2012-07-31 13:27
Jeez, what did you do when you found out there was no Santa Claus? Roll around on the floor and kick and scream? Did the world stop?
Wake up; this is the real world with real choices. As an architect I've been screwed in EVERY downturn since 1970, and this one is no exception. But the choice here is between civilization and feudalism, and this article pretty much gets it on the head. All the rest is just noise. Sound and Fury; signifying..... .(you finish.)
-46 # Robt Eagle 2012-07-31 14:06
The article is far off base, because without the tax revenue generated by the private sector there would be no government programs, no roads, bridges, teachers, fire fighter, police, etc. It is the tax from the private sector that funds the public sector, period, end of debate!
+23 # KittatinyHawk 2012-07-31 20:38
When and if the Private Sector starts paying its fair share perhaps they will start repairing the roads, bridges, towns.
Perhaps if they paid their fair share we would have firefighters, Police, Teachers and less Agencies and Politicians
+3 # Texas Aggie 2012-08-01 09:08
And??? Your point???

Are you actually promoting the idea that the private sector should be paying whatever taxes are necessary to maintain the public benefit, and in accordance with how much the particular individual has benefitted? Maybe you aren't a lost cause after all. As you said, it's the private sector in its entirety that is supporting the public sector, not any particular entrepreneur, so the article is correct, they didn't build it themselves.
+3 # Hey There 2012-08-02 14:05
Government workers pay taxes TOO!
Without government workers the agencies they work for wouldn't be able to provide services at cost. Roads would only be provided for those who could afford to build and use them,ditto bridges, teachers would be replaced by private instructors and security as in gated communities would be the norm.
So who profits more from these government services? Is it the private sector workers who are afforded a way to get to work or corporations that pay less in taxes that they would need to pay private companies for construction of roads to transport workers? And don't companies benefit from having an educated American workforce at less cost than if than if they had to educate their workers themselves?
Think about it.
And as I pointed out before Government workers pay taxes too. No off shore bank accounts for them. No bailouts either as federal workers, particularly on the lower rungs, don't have money to gamble with and be bailed out by the federal government if they lose as the Banks and Wall St. were.
+8 # KittatinyHawk 2012-07-31 20:36
There is a Santa Claus but he too is not up to par with what people expect a human to be.

I know him personally
+5 # D12345 2012-07-31 13:35
Agreed, with one important reservation. Look at what the man does....not what he says to certain audiences at election time.

His entire financial crew is Goldman Sachs and CITI.
He does not have one progressive force in his cabinet or advisory team.

He kept the Bush Military crew (Petraeus!!!)

He expanded the executive power all the way to being a hanging judge, with no lawyer for the defense.

He said he would put on his comfortable shoes etc to march with union members. But he showed zero interest in the movement in Wisconsin.

Expanded criminal prosecution of medical marijuana.

Blanket pardon for all torture etc under Bush...but Manning being tortured at this very moment.

Expansion of military bases world-wide.

No interest in foreclosed families.

By his deeds...not his campaign speeches, we shall know him.

Lakoff is in a dream world.
-1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-07-31 20:39
Your list is truth However they are all bs artists and you would think the sheeple would know this and make these creeps do for us instead of their buds.
No Party difference in Leeches
+8 # Texas Aggie 2012-08-01 09:12
True enough, but with people like Senor and Bork and the rest of the Bush consiglieres back in charge, do you expect things to get better or even stay the same, not get much worse? Can you imagine what the Iran War will be like given what happened in Iraq?
+7 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2012-07-31 15:50
Virginia said that Obama is no FDR. What she meant is that he has no balls. He had/has the authority to declare a national emergency and halt the foreclosures. He didn't. He had the authority to force the banks to use the bailout funds on behalf of their CUSTOMERS, not their shareholders. He didn't. Yes he has made some progress on the economic front but far too little compared to the help he has given the Big Banks. In this he has failed US.
+5 # D12345 2012-07-31 18:39
Tref....not sure if you are commenting on my comment. What I was saying is that it is an error to think that Obama wants to do any of the things he isn't doing— homeowner relief, jobs etc.

To think that he is a "poor negotiator" or "lacks FDR's fight" assumes that he wants those things. He doesn't. He spoke about change (in a pretty empty way) but when he was elected, it was wall to wall Bush reappointments or Clinton people. And the worst was in finance. Not a single Stiglitz, Krugman or even Reich, who is pretty soft, but too populist for Obama.

American people should take a leaf from that woman's book...
"He's just not that into you."

Compare the prosecution of the Savings and Loan crimes with the current scandal.

Look at who he associates himself with and what he does.

He only needs to seem to care enough to get people to vote for him.
+4 # KittatinyHawk 2012-07-31 20:44
Why do we expect people to be other people. Ob is no Kennedy, Agnew, Nixon either. Give me a break.

Man who walks among men make their own mistakes. They make their own Goals, whether they attain them is also up to the same people here in USA who are good at rhetoric and nothing more.

Where have ya'll been for 25 years while the cookie has crumbled, blaming everyone but yourselves?

Ob will have to live with his mistakes like everyone else. Difference will be I think he will care...just wish he would care enough Now.
0 # Virginia 2012-08-03 14:00
Does anyone besides me think it was a bad idea to hold the Democrat Convention in Charlotte, NC where Bank of America is headquartered?

Bloomberg News today: BofA Says Libor Probe Draws U.S. Subpoenas on Submissions

Yeah - it appears they were involved in the world's largest bank scandal too... Of course...
+8 # Rob Carter 2012-07-31 21:43
Obi is going ok 6% ahead overall, and in electoral points 2 over winner, Romney needs 100 more.

Silly Rom says buy your own protection for your life via privatized health care, and buy your own empowerment to succeed via privatized education.

Ok should we buy our own Politician also, and our own defence of homes and kids, and Nation etc?

I think we best vote Obi as Obi Wan's withg age 2nd term wisdom.
-19 # wantrealdemocracy 2012-07-31 11:26
Georg Lakoff is in error when he says, "Obama and the Democrats want to continue the public provisions on which freedom and material success has been built in our nation". Obama, like Romney, supports cutting our domestic programs to fund the endless wars and bailout for the criminals on Wall St along with the low taxing for the billionaires. Mr. Lakoff is correct to say, "The future of our nation is at stake." For the future of our nation we must break the two party system. There is no 'lesser evil' between these two corrupt political parties. Kick out the corrupt and maybe we can have a decent future.
-57 # Dumbledorf 2012-07-31 11:37
+43 # AndreM5 2012-07-31 12:30
Don't you just love this guy!

Hey, Dumbledorf. Did you send in your payment for the Internet servers, software, switches, transmission lines and electrons you just used? How about your ability to read? Did you pay back that teacher yet? Do you drive a car? Eat food? Take medicine? Breathe? Good luck!
-4 # amuller 2012-07-31 11:38
It's nice to see something easy to understand from Lakoff. But I think the deficiencies of Obama aren't rhetorical. The real problem is that he talks a good line but doesn't walk it. In contrast, the Repugs pretty much mean what they say. He got into office by raising expectations, by giving people hope, and he's grossly failed to deliver, or really even seem to be trying. No wonder anger and frustration and despair run so deep.... Personally, I look at Obama and think of the metastatic police state and don't know whether I can bring myself to vote for him....
+5 # KittatinyHawk 2012-07-31 20:48
I look at OB and see every one who runs for every office. What I read on here shows me people who do nothing but snivel
+1 # Texas Aggie 2012-08-01 09:15
Somewhere I saw that it is blatantly obvious that Obama is not a Muslim because Muslims have the courage of their convictions.
-2 # D12345 2012-07-31 11:56
Mr. Lakoff never seems to delve very deeply into what Democrats in general and the Administration in particular do.

Nor does he seem to be aware of the power of the state to repress and suppress ideas, people, movements.

Obama Administration' s expansion of surveillance, detention etc is massive. They filed a brief supporting the right of Police to strip search anyone arrested....a powerful way to curb dissent.
Will passive resisters in the King tradition be so quick to be arrested if it starts with a humiliating strip search?

Obama is leading the charge to defund social security. He cut the deal with the insurance companies that made universal health care impossible to achieve.

And the massive military buildup around the world continues at breakneck pace.

I recommend the concrete writing of Greenwald, Engelhardt, Taibbi.

As opposed to imaginary moral musings.
+1 # Hey There 2012-08-02 14:09
I agree
+23 # Replicounts 2012-07-31 12:32
Right, but. Today's U.S. government, like just about all major institutions, is controlled by corrupt corporations -- "persons" without souls, hungers without heads, which exist primarily to feed. They can be productive, but also predatory. And today there's increasingly less of the former, more of the latter. Governments helps them in thousands of ways.

How can expect to get public traction in support of government, when that means support for criminals, for endless wars, and for destruction of people and prosperity?

I don't have an answer. We need one.
+13 # ericsongs 2012-07-31 12:53
Quoting Replicounts:

"hungers without heads,"

Love that phrase!

If we do not find a method of outlawing all corporations of every size, there will come a point of reckoning.
+24 # Onterryo 2012-07-31 13:00
This I know....there are two choices and only two choices. Obama or Romney. A vote for Romney is a vote for a further consolidation of power for the wealthy and a further erosion of democracy in America and, ultimately, the world. A vote for a third option is a wasted vote. You might as well stay home and then watch what success you have acheived by sticking to your "principles" including the appointment of more Supreme Court justices sympathetic to Republican policies and views. You want to change the world...look around you. First you have to change the grassroots. The Republicans understood this as far back as the early Seventies and look what they have been able to "achieve" through a largely coordinated strategy. It won't be easy, Texas approved textbooks and Tea Party inanity (or insanity) and a number of strategic moves by the GOP and its supporters will make this as tough as anyone can imagine and it won't happen overnight. Get middle America to think "progressive" and the Democratic Party will change too. Elect a Republican and you can kiss America goodbye! (BTW..I also wonder how many Republicans are writing commments in here designed to agitate, create dissension, and incite so progressives and liberals either do not vote or vote for a third candidate because I can't believe any intelligent person would not vote Democrat in this election!).
+2 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2012-07-31 15:55
"A vote for a third option is a wasted vote." This is same argument conservatives make for voting for Republicans. Einstein said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Well, we the People, must be insane. We keep voting for Reps and Dems, KNOWING THEY ARE MOSTLY BOUGHT AND PAID FOR BY THE RICH. We naively expect that once elected they will write and vote for bills that will help us, the people who voted for them instead of the rich, the people to whom they owe allegiance for financing their elections. So as for wasting your vote on a third party candidate, "If not now, when?" It’s never the “right” time, right?

About 1/5 of voters who have stated a party preference registered Independent. There are millions of people registered in various 3rd parties. There are probably close to 80 million people registered Rep or Dem who despise the current two parties but don't want "to waste their vote". Together we could force out the bought and paid for current bunch and replace them with admittedly naïve but CLEAN new faces that would have OUR interests at heart, not the moneyed interests.

It IS our choice. Do we continue with same old, same old, or do we rebel?

I am only one voice, but I will not waste MY voice on either party. They do not deserve me or my support.
+2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-07-31 20:58
I will Vote but I am still not taking calls or e's from any party. They are both waste of space on this Planet
0 # bingers 2012-08-04 05:44
There is a huge difference between the parties. Most Democrats still support citizen oriented government, not one Republican does openly. While I've heard rumors that some 'pubs do, they cannot do it publicly without losing desirable committee assignments and having their campaigns undermined by the party.

Republicans always line up like sheep and do what they're told, Democrats are like the cliche about herding cats.

Obama has been somewhat of a disappointment, but he's had to try to deal with a disloyal opposition of evil scumbags. If you check the facts you will discover that he actually did get a huge majority of his programs passed, but not some very important ones. He seems to have finally realized you can't make an honest deal with evil crooks, so I think he'll be in a full bore screw the Republicans mode in his second term.

Even at his worst he's millions of times better than Romney is at his best
+5 # KittatinyHawk 2012-07-31 20:56
People want change...really . What are they doing to prove it.
The only breath of fresh air was OWS no one here is doing anything but backyard sniveling.
I wonder how many have set up meetings to do something in the past six maybe helping to get people out to get ID's?
How about helping kids by mentoring. Meals on Wheels...come on what have ya'll done except go from site to site bitching and thumbing people which in reality can be interchanged with the middle finger...not impressed.

We the People should be Protesting. We should be putting our taxes in escrow. Refuse to have them taken out of the Pay.

Did you all buy American only this week?
Probably not. Politicians and Corporations count on your laziness. Forefathers could not afford sit on their do not bring them up. FDR acted during a War and was great...but it took the determination of the Public to do Public Works that got USA thru. We are at War now...don't see any of you knocking on my door saying let's go do something for the family down the block who is being foreclosed on. Nope it is easier to sit here and bitch... Cookies crumble when you crush them...Earth is crumbling because You are crushing it.
-4 # William LeGro 2012-07-31 13:01
Obama may believe in these principles, but he doesn't have the courage to announce his belief strongly and proudly. Whether he's listening to overly cautious advisers or his own inner chicken, he's not getting his beliefs across to a waiting and willing electorate because he's afraid of offending somebody. He's too calculating, but he's not good at that, either.

When he should be out barnstorming the country, demanding voters give him solid Democratic majorities in Congress (and promising not to piddle away the mandate again), he's issuing feeble retorts and refusing to campaign for Democratic congressional candidates.

In fact, it may be too late anyway, because national Democrats also neglected state legislative elections, leaving Republicans to draw even safer congressional districts. If Obama wins, he'll still have a Republican House, and maybe even a Republican Senate, and things will be even worse than they are now. And he has only himself to blame.

The fact is that he's not a true leader. The people see that clearly after three years of failure; in 2010 they showed their dismay at his obliteration of the hopes they entrusted to him in 2008, and in 2012 they show ominous signs of doing it again, despite the irrationality of voting for someone like Romney. I think they see that Obama is barely a hair better overall, but that's not enough to make up for his failure of leadership.
+3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-07-31 20:59
No he will not be to blame for lazy voters. Democrats are doing nothing, and did nothing in last election. Why should they, they will have jobs, homes, benefits...whil e USA crumbles. You let them have it.
+11 # dick 2012-07-31 13:09
Often Lakoff & Lisbeth imply that decision making is mostly subconscious & emotional (Tough Daddy vs. Nurturing Daddy),
yet sometimes they insists that Democrats do a better job of conveying a message that MOST Americans DO NOT want to hear: That they do not deserve ALL the credit for every last ounce of good fortune that they enjoy. It think we need a decade long commitment to sticking to that message, using beloved messengers, not partisan politicians. Olympians would be PERFECT! "I did not earn this medal on my own!"
+21 # Art947 2012-07-31 13:22
What Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Paul Ryan, and a host of so-called libertarians and repugnicans fail to discuss is the public provision of military services. They seem to want these services to be provided as a public/governme nt responsibility, however, they feel no requirement that they -- or their children -- serve in harm's way or provide the financial resources to pay for the service. However, this is also in keeping with their actions to prevent birth control or abortions. How can this country possible have enough cannon "fodder" to protect the elite's resources if there are an insufficient number of the unemployed to sign up for military service?
+19 # Bodiotoo 2012-07-31 13:57
for a democracy to substain itself, the weak and disadvantaged need to be protected by th majority...incl uding all in the commons.
+12 # Doll 2012-07-31 20:56
In a government of the people, for the people and by the people, hatred of government is self hatred.

And if you want to drown it in a bathtub it is more commonly called suicide.

Anyone who wants no government should emigrate to Somalia. They have not had a working government in 20 years - ah, but they do have a military. Rightwingers should feel right at home.
-6 # cordleycoit 2012-08-01 05:36
Follow the dancing ball, all together now: there is very little difference between these two men. They are both Sherpas for the banksters. Obama is a Chicago made product of the Daley Machine. Romney of the bankers who sold out Detroit (look in the law offices Kelly Drye and??) It's all part of the long grift game.
0 # bingers 2012-08-04 05:49
Quoting cordleycoit:
Follow the dancing ball, all together now: there is very little difference between these two men. They are both Sherpas for the banksters. Obama is a Chicago made product of the Daley Machine. Romney of the bankers who sold out Detroit (look in the law offices Kelly Drye and??) It's all part of the long grift game.

You're obviously just repeating trhe pap fed you, Obama and Daley had no love for each other and Obama was NOT a part of the Daley machine. And while I'm on the case, since Orr has been running elections Chicago and Cook County have some of the cleanest elections in the country. You want to cite election fraud, go to Ohio and Florida and almost every state with a Republican secretary of state.
+6 # independentmind 2012-08-01 07:37
In countries where this public sharing and the build up and maintenance of the public institutions either fall apart or were never put in place, there is rampant poverty and civil war. In all developed countries this is the glue that holds the population and society together and makes great strides in technology and education and the build up of wealth possible. Thank you president Obama for bringing this into the open. Americans seem to assume that all of these things will be there whether they pay for it or not, they have not experienced it any other way - please look at Africa to see what happens when this is not the case!
+5 # mdhome 2012-08-01 10:24
Obama made a tragic mistake when he thought the republicans wanted America to recover and prosper, when all they wanted was for him to be a one term president and if America suffered and went into a depression, that was what they would try to make happen. Obama never realized how far the republicans were willing to go to trash the economy in order to make him look bad!
+3 # Bob P 2012-08-01 17:59
I don't get it. Conservatives want much less government, except the military establishment. Why are they still calling on young people to die to secure the government they want to destroy. Why kill foreigners when it is our government they want gone??????
+1 # ProfessorJack 2012-08-02 09:25
The main freedom Romney types covet most is the freedom to con their fellow man. Look at the crooked Wall Street types. Any political force charged with warning their marks or punishing fraud is necessarily bad for hunting. These are predators by nature, and they don't like game wardens.
+1 # medusa 2012-08-02 12:49
It's as if a peasant with three sheep and a rancher with a hundred cattle decide to hire night guards for the animals. The rancher requires that the peasant foot half the bill, and he the other half, because it wouldn't be fair for the rich to pay more tax.
So the big corps shouldn't pay any more taxes than anyone else. They have a bigger share of U S A F contracts than you do, but why should they pay one iota more tax?
They don't use the highways, airports, national defense, financial system, any more than you do . . . do they?
+1 # Vern Radul 2012-08-03 14:34
Obama and Romney both opposed visions for a free America?

I knew that.

So do Bradley Manning and Julian Assange, I think...
0 # ithinktoomuch 2012-08-09 13:45
What the author completely fails to take into account, is that Romney's ad about Obama is severely, carefully edited. That in fact what Obama says in the unedited version of his speech pretty much what the author had to say; that Bridges, roads, highways, public education, the Internet, and other government services and/or creations provided a platform for your business to spring from, and these services and creations are IMPORTANT. It's really too bad that the author didn't take the time to research the entire Obama speech...or watch Rachel Maddow...

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