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Lakoff writes: "Why don't Trump supporters turn against Trump even though he is doing things that hurt them? (like taking away their healthcare)."

President Donald Trump is joined by Vice President Mike Pence and senior staff in the Oval Office. (photo: Andrew Harnik/AP)
President Donald Trump is joined by Vice President Mike Pence and senior staff in the Oval Office. (photo: Andrew Harnik/AP)


Two Questions About Trump and Republicans That Stump Progressives

By George Lakoff, George Lakoff's Blog

04 July 17

 

rogressives are stumped. They are asking these questions over and over again on social media, TV, and radio:

1) Why don’t Trump supporters turn against Trump even though he is doing things that hurt them? (like taking away their healthcare)

2) Why do Republicans hate the Affordable Care Act, and why are they so transparently acting to give wealthy people a tax break by making healthcare unaffordable?

Here is the short answer: All politics is moral. Supporting Trump – and gutting public healthcare resources in order to provide tax cuts for the wealthy – fits perfectly within the strict conservative moral worldview, which is hierarchical in nature. Voters don’t vote their self-interest. They vote their values.

The longer answer requires a deeper explanation.

Let’s start with the place where all ideas and questions originate – the brain.

Most thought (as much as 98% by some accounts) is unconscious. It is carried out by neural circuitry in our brains. We have no conscious access to this circuitry, but it’s there. This is basic neuroscience.

When it comes to politics, progressives and conservatives essentially have different brains. The unconscious beliefs conditioned in their brains are nearly exact opposites.

Here are two statements you will almost certainly agree with if you’re a progressive:

1) In Lincoln’s words, the American government should be a government of, by, and for the people.
2) Citizens care about other citizens, and work through their government to provide public resources for all — resources required for the wellbeing and freedom of all.

These imply just about all of progressive policies.

With a government of the people, those in the government are not separated from those outside. There is two way communication and transparency, and response to the people’s concerns.

With a government by the people, those in the government have the same basic experiences as those outside. The government therefore responds with empathy to the basic needs of its citizens.

A government for the people cares for its citizens and gives necessary help as a matter of course. There is no democracy without care.

The second principle – the need for public resources – has been essential to American democracy from the start. From the beginning, the Private Depended on Public Resources.

Public resources, including roads and bridges along with public education, a national bank, a patent office, courts for business cases, interstate commerce support, and the criminal justice system are necessary to have private enterprise. These public resources include protection — not just a military and police, but protection from harm by unscrupulous corporations either by poisoning products, the air, water, etc. or by unscrupulous banks, mortgage holders, and investors. These protections are carried out by “regulations”: protective laws and agencies.

Over time those resources have included sewers, water and electricity, research universities and research support, and technologies like computers and satellite phones.

Private enterprise and private life utterly depend on public resources. These public resources provide freedom: freedom to start and run a business, and freedom in private life.

You’re not free if you are not educated, because your possibilities in life are limited.

You’re not free if you have cancer and no health insurance.

You’re not free if you have no income — or not enough for basic needs.

And if you work for a large company, you may not be free without a union. Unions free you from corporate servitude. They free you to have a living wage, safety on the job, regular working hours, a pension, health benefits, dignity.

If you’re a progressive, you most likely agree with these ideas. If you’re a conservative, you may be apoplectic by now.

It should be clear that most progressive policies follow from these basic, largely implicit and unconscious, principles. When we state them consciously and overtly, we can see where questions (1) and (2) come from.

Why should Trump voters support him when his government does not supply necessary care, when it can hurt them deeply, threatening their health and possibly their lives by, say, taking away their health care? Why should Republicans, who are Americans after all, hate the Affordable Care Act, which was for the people, and which supplies care of the most essential kind for tens of millions of Americans?

From a progressive point a view, questions (1) and (2) are mysterious, especially when you ask them together. What do they have to do with each other — support for a Trump who harms them and hate for government care?

One Answer to Both Questions: Moral Politics

All Politics Is Moral. Progressives and conservatives have opposing moral worldviews. When a political leader proposes a policy, the assumption it that the policy is right, not wrong or morally irrelevant. No political leader says, “Do what I say because it’s evil. It’s the devil’s work, but do it!” Nor will a political leader say, “My policy proposal is morally irrelevant. It’s neither right nor wrong. It doesn’t really matter. Just do it.”
Everyone likes to think of himself or herself as a good person. That means that your moral system is a major part of your identity. To vote against your moral identity would be to reject your self.

What Are Conservative Moral Values?

In my 1996 book, Moral Politics, I examined how political values tend to arise from the fact that we are all first governed in our families. The way that your ideal family is governed is a model for the ideal form of government. This is often a matter of how your real family is governed, though some people rebel and adopt an opposite ideal.

Conservative moral values arise from what I call the Strict Father Family.

In this family model, father knows best. He decides right and wrong. He has the ultimate authority to make sure his children and his spouse do what he says, because what he says is right. Many conservative spouses accept this worldview, uphold the father’s authority, and are strict in those realms of family life that they control.

In this moral worldview, it is his moral duty to punish his children painfully when they disobey. Harsh punishment is necessary to ensure that they will obey him (do what is right) and not just do what feels good. Through physical discipline they are supposed to become disciplined, internally strong, and able to prosper in the external world.

What if they don’t prosper? That means they are not disciplined, and therefore cannot be moral, and so deserve their poverty. In this conservative view, the poor are seen as lazy and undeserving while the rich deserve their wealth. Responsibility is thus taken to be personal responsibility, not social responsibility. What you become is only up to you, not society. You are responsible for yourself, not for others.

The Conservative Moral Hierarchy

The strict father logic extends further. The basic idea is that authority is justified by morality (the strict father version), and that, in a world ordered by nature, there should be (and traditionally has been) a moral hierarchy in which those who have traditionally dominated should dominate.

Why do conservatives love Trump (who harms them) and hate healthcare (which helps them)? It makes more sense when you consider the conservative moral hierarcy.

The Conservative Moral Hierarchy:

• God above Man
• Man above Nature
• The Disciplined (Strong) above the Undisciplined (Weak)
• The Rich above the Poor
• Employers above Employees
• Adults above Children
• Western culture above other cultures
• America above other countries
• Men above Women
• Whites above Nonwhites
• Christians above non-Christians
• Straights above Gays

Sound familiar?

On the whole, conservative policies flow from the Strict Father worldview and this hierarchy. Trump is an extreme case (he wants to be the ultimate strict father), though very much in line with conservative policies of the Republican party.

(Please bear in mind that many, if not most, conservatives are bi-conceptual, that is, “moderates” in that they have a strict father major worldview together with a nurturant minor worldview on some issues or other. Those moderating issues vary from person to person. But in their major worldview, they fit the Strict Father pattern.)

The Two Questions

1) Why don’t Trump supporters turn against Trump even though he is doing things that hurt them? (like taking away their healthcare)

Most Trump supporters have Strict Father morality. It determines their sense of right and wrong. They see Trump as bringing America back to their values in a powerful way, making their values respectable and in line with the way the country is being run. Trump’s presidency has given them self-respect. Their self-respect is more important than the details of his policies, even if some of those policies hurt them. On the whole, they like the way he has restructured the government and what he is doing throughout the government.

2) Why do Republicans hate the Affordable Care Act, and why are they so transparently acting to give wealthy people a tax break by making healthcare unaffordable?

Strict Father morality insists on a particular notion of self-responsibility. Being taken care of by “the government” is seen as immoral because it gives the government an authority above strict father principles. The care of the Affordable Care Act in itself violated the moral sense and the very identity of conservatives – even those who benefit greatly from it.

Moreover, the Affordable Care Act attempted to help people lower on the conservative Moral Hierarchy: the poor, African-Americans and other minorities, women, and so on.

The Mandate to buy insurance went directly against self-responsibility overall, giving Americans responsibility for their fellow Americans. It also went against the laissez-faire market ideology because it put constraints on insurance companies.

And why do conservatives love tax breaks for the rich? Because, in the Conservative Moral Hierarchy, the rich are better than the poor. The poor deserve their poverty. They rich deserve their wealth.

Conservative hatred of the Affordable Care Act makes sense when you understand the mechanics of their moral worldview.

The Importance of Understanding

These two questions provided an opportunity to write about moral bases of progressive and conservative thought and how they manifest in our politics. At a time when the country is tearing itself apart, when progressives and conservatives each see the other as immoral and un-American, and as attacking what is right, we must begin to understand why this is happening. We won’t be able to address the problem until we do.

For further reading, please read A Minority President: Why the Polls Failed, and What the Majority Can Do.


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+47 # elizabethblock 2017-07-04 08:41
Actually, I think that morality doesn't override economic interests. (Bertold Brecht: "Erst kommt dass fressen, dan kommt die Moral" [grub first, then morals].)I think people believe that the Democrats are, and would be, no better than Trump when it comes to their economic interests. And I can't disagree. The Democrats, long ago, dumped the working class in favor of technocrats etc., figuring that they had nowhere else to go. Well, they found somewhere else to go, didn't they.
 
 
+5 # FIRSTNORN1 2017-07-04 10:25
Yes, elizabethblock, and as long as "The Democrats" will not openly admit that HRC never gave Bernie any kind of fair chance in the Primaries, then I would I would add that said "Democrats" are "no better than Trump".
 
 
+7 # Robbee 2017-07-04 11:08
Quoting elizabethblock 2017-07-04 08:41:
The Democrats, long ago, dumped the working class in favor of technocrats etc., figuring that they had nowhere else to go. Well, they found somewhere else to go, didn't they.

- fine! - except that the dems never dumped the working class! - the white working class dumped dems!

black and brown working class are very popular with dems, and vice-versa

it seems to robbee that the white working class are hugely distressed with dems, long out to assist blacks and browns equal to whites - and even dissatisfied with moderate repukes, due to lack of white wage growth since 2000 - thus the white working class rely on rump to make america great again, like it was when government financed housing for whites only and denied black farmers crop loans

george is right, against all evidence repukes report government "never did anything for me" - rump talks to conservatives in the same aggrieved way they talk to each other, like cheap thugs - still it astounds robbee that so many poor whites choose death over healthcare - maybe there's something to george's "morality" theory?
 
 
+9 # lfeuille 2017-07-04 18:25
No Robbie, the Dems dump the white working class with trade deals that lead to de-industrializ ation and loss of decent paying jobs. They dumped the black working class also, but blacks never benefited as much from industrial jobs as whites due to racism and many are just more worries about being shot by cops.
 
 
-4 # Robbee 2017-07-05 18:49
Quoting lfeuille 2017-07-04 18:25:
No Robbie, the Dems dump the white working class with trade deals that lead to de-industrialization and loss of decent paying jobs. They dumped the black working class also, but blacks never benefited as much from industrial jobs as whites due to racism.

- lie!

bubba enacted nafta, and, during the same 8 years created 23 million jobs, the all-time record, may never be surpassed - financially, the white working class should have been pleased, but, because blacks had such high unemployment rates that black employment rates grew even faster than white! and black wealth grew even faster than white!

check it out and get back to me, thanks!

meanwhile please stop telling folks that blacks should hate clintons, thanks!
 
 
+9 # dbrize 2017-07-05 21:22
Lfeuille didn't say "...blacks should hate Clintons...". Please refrain from calling lies until you remove the mote from your own eye.

And, since you are interested in accuracy, the framework for NAFTA was put in place by Bush I. All Clinton did was sign it into authorization. That was bad enough and one of the first manifestations of DINO.
 
 
-4 # librarian1984 2017-07-06 11:44
That said, I think blacks might have a few issues with the Clintons. Prison and drug sentencing 'reform' that led to mass incarceration and for-profit prisons -- at the same time cutting prison education programs, for example.

I think Clinton's run brought to fore the consequences of Bill Clinton's policies. Remember how defensive he was, repeatedly yelling at BLM reps? He threw Hillary's campaign under the bus a few times trying to defend his own legacy. (They both treated BLM poorly.)

As the effects were discussed in the press minority support for Clinton eroded, resulting in low turnout. Sanders had majority support of voters under 40 across all races.

So let's not forget -- it was somehow Bernie's fault.
 
 
0 # librarian1984 2017-07-12 09:51
Usually I understand my downvotes but am puzzled here. These are all facts, minor speculation and sarcasm. People are weird. I guess that's why I like them.
 
 
+12 # economagic 2017-07-04 15:06
Yes, and there are other closely related factors in the mix. A just-released book by Nancy MacLean, a historian of American social movements at Duke University, titled "Democracy in Chains: The deep roots of the radical right's stealth plan for America," documents the major contributions of (white, male, Southern) economist James Buchanan to the present state of the nation, the prelude (they hope) to genuine fascist (corporate) rule ensconced in law.

I have heard that MacLean overstates the importance of his contribution. I think that is a mistake, the same one I made 20 years ago: She is telling one story, a story previously untold, from an entire encyclopedia of modern tyranny. Starting in 1956 by constructing economic "theories" to push back against Brown v Board of Education, he came to the attention of Charles Koch in the early 70s, becoming the Kochs' intellectual mentor (if you can imagine that).

I ran across Buchanan's work several times in grad school in the 90s, and dismissed him as another RW market fundamentalist with some other issues, making up bogus "theories" to support his ideology, much like Milton Friedman. As it turns out I had him pegged, but I should not have dismissed him.
 
 
+5 # lfeuille 2017-07-04 18:21
Basically, I agree. While the Democrats wouldn't suddenly take away a benefit like health care, they would let it erode over time so that they would end up in the same place in a decade or so. I think that Trump was careful not to let on to the sudden disappearance of health care for the rural pure during the campaign, maybe only because it he didn't understand it, and now a lot of people are in denial about it. If this thing passes, they will find out they were had pretty fast.
 
 
+29 # laborequalswealth 2017-07-04 09:46
Go get a copy of "Democracy in Chains" by Nancy MacLean. It charts the rise of the neo-narcissists masquerading as "economists." The "Chicago Boys" and their ilk NEVER look at history or facts, just "mathematical models" of "reality", and then treat us like algebra ciphers instead of human beings.

Basically we now have a group of policy-makers in control who project their psychopathic world-view onto the rest of us - no compassion, no empathy, no charity - and tell us that WE are like that, when in fact all they have revealed is their own moral poverty.

Disgusting.
 
 
+11 # MidwestDick 2017-07-04 09:47
The question that bothers me is this:
If conservatives follow a strong leader in the context of a rigid hierarchy, how did Trump rise to the top of this pyramid?
He has shown us undisciplined and ungodly behaviors repeatedly on the campaign trail and in office.
If conservatives were making moral choices why was he chosen in the first place?
Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to ask such a question, get meaningful responses and engage in dialog because the moderators cannot work fast enough for a dialog to develop.
I once again urge the editors to reconsider their "civility" policy.
Management should trust us, their loyal readers, to recognize trolls and ignore their taunts while engaging in robust and meaningful dialog.
 
 
+2 # Robbee 2017-07-06 07:49
[quote name="MidwestDi ck"]The question that bothers me is this:
If conservatives follow a strong leader in the context of a rigid hierarchy, how did Trump rise to the top of this pyramid?
He has shown us undisciplined and ungodly behaviors repeatedly on the campaign trail and in office.
If conservatives were making moral choices why was he chosen in the first place?/quote]
- may we expand ""The Conservative Moral Hierarchy?"

Might over Right
Passion over Discipline and Godliness
Winners over Losers

never forget the immoral conservative mindset -

End over Means

as to conservative mindset, shorthand the word morality in quotes - as in Conservative over "Moral" Hierarchy
 
 
+20 # Moxa 2017-07-04 10:05
I think there is a lot of truth in this analysis, which is a philosophical/p sychological one. However, I question the idea that people do not vote for their interests--prov ided they actually know what they are and they have the chance to.

The fact is, neither party has much interest in the interests of the people. Both parties have abandoned citizens in favor of their donors. Given that fact, the choice that is left is one of default. People will go with their prejudices and/or their "daddy-issues."

But see how popular are social security and Medicare. These are progressive programs that benefit everyone, and everyone knows it. In fact, every policy that Bernie Sanders fosters is favored by a majority of voters. The town hall he did in McDowell County, West Virginia is a shining demonstration of how voters have been duped: first, they are UNAWARE of how they have been sold out by the Republicans, and second, no one has offered them a really good alternative. Yet, in this setting--where Bernie was talking to Trump voters--he received wild applause, once they saw what the Republicans were actually doing and how government COULD be the answer to many of their problems. One did not get the impression that they were against helping others, but they had been brainwashed to blame the wrong people for their woes.

Neither party is serving us now.

We need a new People's party. Please sign the petition:

Draftbernie.org
 
 
+7 # angryspittle 2017-07-04 10:07
All of this makes a lot of sense except for the fact that the electoral system is rigged in favor of the minority.
 
 
+9 # futhark 2017-07-04 10:08
I disagree with answer 1 to a large extent. The Trump supporters were the kids who sat around the edges of the junior class meeting in high school, isolated and alienated by their feelings of inferiority while the "popular kids" (Hillary Clinton types) ran the meeting to determine the class homecoming theme, music played on the float, junior prom theme, etc. The elite set the agenda, made sure the meeting was disorganized enough to exclude "undesirables" from participation, and ramrodded their ideas through. I attended 3 high schools in 3 states and taught at small, rural high school for 32 years and observed this pattern to be ubiquitous.

As long as people with lower academic skills and feelings of social inferiority are systematically excluded from the process of making community policy by a privileged elite, among them will be those whose chief desire will be to see this whole rotten mechanism ripped to shreds and will celebrate and support any "champion" with the guts to do it.
 
 
+21 # tedrey 2017-07-04 10:14
So the conservative view is authoritarian for the haves and submissive for the have-nots. It runs on greed and fear. It puts the country over the world, and the successful over the country. And, pragmatically, it's well on the way to destroying us all. It is ludicrous to call it a "moral" view.
 
 
+12 # JayaVII 2017-07-04 10:23
This is an interesting analysis, if not super-deep, but I'm not sure what to do with this information.

How can a lying, sexually predatory, serially unfaithful, quasi-incestuou s, verbally abusive, impulsive, utterly dishonorable, Big Mac-consuming con man and tax/draft evader -- and who makes no bones about any of this -- be perceived as a Good Father? He is much closer to the Monster Father archetype who eats his own young.

My own explanation would be just the opposite -- that Trump's avarice and narcissism are the shadow ideals of capitalist society, and that voters exactly because he embodies entitled criminality, thus tapping into unconscious envy. Trump, unlike the Leave it to Beaver-style pater familias, is beneath good and evil, and so voting for him gives a taste of the forbidden fruit for repressed and oppressed lower middle-class voters.

So my thesis is that Prof. Lakoff is exactly wrong: Voting for Trump is actually an instance of Immoral Politics.
 
 
+8 # George Baggett 2017-07-04 10:28
I would exchange the term "team" for the word "moral". At issue is being on or off the team, in or out of the group. This is the logic of remaining on the team despite conflicting ideas - the dilemma of "doublethink" having two conflicting ideas and believing both to be true.

The other major factor in this discussion is "justification" of behavior, or maintaining the "Conservative hierarchy of values.
 
 
+7 # eriks 41 2017-07-04 10:40
You just can't fix stupid.
 
 
+15 # RLF 2017-07-04 11:17
Progressives over estimate the attraction of the ACA. It IS the Heritage foundation's plan...the right wings baby...and it ain't nearly as progressive as single payer and social security with the income cap removed!
 
 
+7 # rofo47 2017-07-04 11:41
I am so thankful I am progressive. Selfishness IMHO is not an admirable trait. To those authoritarians out there - the chain is no stronger than its weakest link. When the weakest link breaks we all go over the cliff together, including you...
 
 
+16 # Texas Aggie 2017-07-04 11:42
Another dichotomy in the list is healthy over the sick. If you're sick, it's your own fault depending on the particular disease. Fat and diabetic? You don't eat right. Cancer? You shouldn't smoke. Toxic environment? You should have moved somewhere else. ...

So for the right wing, they are quite happy to accept anything that happens to them as long as they get the chance to stick it to the left wing. It's a classic example of biting off your nose to spite your face. A contemporary example is the way Kansas voters reelected Brownback even while they saw him destroying their state. And they intend to replace him with Kobach.
 
 
+27 # jwb110 2017-07-04 11:43
"It is always easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled."
Mark Twain
 
 
+26 # librarian1984 2017-07-04 12:03
Plus, there's also the fact they're paid not to allow Medicare-for-al l.

If you think about it there is a conservative argument FOR single payer: it would unburden small (and large) businesses, it would foster entrepreneurshi p, it would reduce costs, it would reduce bureaucracy, it would improve citizens' lives.

The insurance companies must pay pretty well.
 
 
-25 # babaregi 2017-07-04 12:04
The new boss, same as the old boss.

More and more people are waking up to the Marxist roots of leftist activism.

This is a nifty little summary of what a lot of you guys are up to (even if you don't realize it).

Enjoy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8pPbrbJJQs
 
 
+3 # reiverpacific 2017-07-06 10:17
Quoting babaregi:
The new boss, same as the old boss.

More and more people are waking up to the Marxist roots of leftist activism.

This is a nifty little summary of what a lot of you guys are up to (even if you don't realize it).

Enjoy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8pPbrbJJQs


So what prithee, is wrong with the Marxist roots of leftist activism?
Have you actually read "Das CapitaL" or "Dialectical Materialism".
Please do and get back to us.
They saw all of the evils of capitalism coming and its potential for the destruction -or deconstruction- of any modicum of democracy which in fact is most closely approached by socialism.
You obviously side with and suck up to the elites, like some human remora fish glom on to sharks, in the false hope that they'll tolerate your "loyalty".
Hope on, unto your grand disillusionment , if in fact you can comprehend it.
 
 
+1 # dbrize 2017-07-06 21:03
Waded through both and followed up with Eugen Von Bohm- Bawerk who took Marx apart quite effectively. Have you read him?
 
 
0 # dbrize 2017-07-06 21:30
Quoting reiverpacific:
Quoting babaregi:
The new boss, same as the old boss.

More and more people are waking up to the Marxist roots of leftist activism.

This is a nifty little summary of what a lot of you guys are up to (even if you don't realize it).

Enjoy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8pPbrbJJQs


So what prithee, is wrong with the Marxist roots of leftist activism?
Have you actually read "Das CapitaL" or "Dialectical Materialism".
Please do and get back to us.
They saw all of the evils of capitalism coming and its potential for the destruction -or deconstruction- of any modicum of democracy which in fact is most closely approached by socialism.
You obviously side with and suck up to the elites, like some human remora fish glom on to sharks, in the false hope that they'll tolerate your "loyalty".
Hope on, unto your grand disillusionment, if in fact you can comprehend it.


If you really know Marx you must be aware that few "...sucked up to...elites" more than he. He was a scrounged and hanger on to his well off friends his entire life.
 
 
0 # Jim Rocket 2017-07-06 15:31
Yes, there's a lot of foolishness in "cultural Marxism" and I doubt anyone here is of that camp but how does posting that counter-act the foolishness of supporting Trump? As I see it there are two types of people who back Trump: (1) gullible suckers and (2) those who are eager to prey on the gullible suckers. If your net worth is less than $10 million then you are the prey!
 
 
+5 # ddd-rrr 2017-07-04 12:13
George Lakoff's article does make sense to me, and it does appear to explain the
actions and inclinations of those whom I have referred to as "the stupids" (those who
do not appear to value facts and logic over their tightly held, but often illogical, "beliefs",
with the often-also-evid ent factual evidence to the contrary being damned and dismissed
by them as incorrect or irrelevant). What bothers me most about this is the pernicious
effects of their beliefs and policies can harm not only themselves, but also the rest
of us. And, I still think that with some awareness of this problem within ourselves,
and with having the tools of critical thinking and of respect for the findings of
science, at least some of "the stupids" can reform themselves,
as did I...! What is needed is good early education
supplying the tools for self reflection,
evaluation, and
change!
 
 
+3 # Jim Rocket 2017-07-06 15:37
"What is needed is good early education
supplying the tools for self reflection,
evaluation, and
change!" True...and that's exactly why Betsy DeVos is Sec. of Education...to make sure that doesn't happen.
 
 
+7 # ChrisCurrie 2017-07-04 13:21
Christ’s Double-Edged Sword of Truth

Jesus Christ provided a solution for this commonly occurring "sin." As pointed out in Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus Christ's teachings were based on the love-your-neigh bor-as-yourself principle, and his Good Samaritan parable made it clear that we should NOT place restrictions of our definition of "neighbor" in this regard.

Republican "conservatives" essentially "have no god but money." They falsely claim to represent Jesus Christ while promoting and practicing VIOLATIONS of the love-your-neigh bor-as-yourself principle. This means that they are examples of an "antichrist", "Satanically inspired", "wolves in sheep's clothing", etc. from Jesus Christ's point of view. They are using God's name in vain!

So the next time you see a "conservative" claiming to be a "Christian" while promoting violations of the love-your-neigh bor-as-yourself principle, call him or her a "LIAR", "Satanically inspired", etc. and quote Matthew 22:37-40. In most cases, that will help them to recognize the "error of their ways." Matthew 22:37-40 is also referred to in the Book of Revelation as "Christ's doubled-edged sword of truth" for the reasons described above.
 
 
-1 # elkingo 2017-07-04 15:26
GL, This says it all. It enunciates the fear of Oedipal punishment by God the father, installed in unconscious theological terms by Calvin implies capitalism. I am writing about this.

And EB: right on. the Dems also suck, just as you say, because both "parties are capitalist recidivists.Sli ght difference of style, Hillary - the hip Washington bureaucrat insider, Donald the Robber Baron. Hard to say which is worse. I voted Jill.
 
 
-3 # Robbee 2017-07-05 19:23
Quoting elkingo:
Hard to say which is worse. I voted Jill.

- fool! - how is that working out for you?
 
 
+21 # Blackjack 2017-07-04 15:50
I have read Lakoff's "brain circuitry" explanations about conservatives vs. liberals before, but I found this more in-depth account chilling. Here's why. There seems to be 35-40 percent of the country that will cling to Trump no matter what. If Lakoff's reasoning is accurate, then what we have is a party, controlling all branches of our government, that is really little more than the Christian Taliban who believe in an eye for an eye, punishment for one's station in life, and expectations of a "rapture" that will sweep all of them up into the arms of the Almighty while the rest of us perish.

This is Old testament orthodoxy, but these hardliners ignore the New Testament teachings that replaced it. If there are really that many who fall into this category, then no wonder they don't want to sufficiently educate our children, or do anything about global warming, or care about healthcare reform, or want those not in their "saved" strata to be able to vote, or ignore the need for any kinds of rights except their own "religious rights." They want and expect to be able to have a populace that does not question or criticize the thinking and actions of the current regime. How is this different from other extreme religious sects the world over? If this is the case, then it is up to the other 50 percent or so of us to turn the tide, but we have to do so with little legislative power. A very tall order!
 
 
-5 # JayaVII 2017-07-05 09:36
"... that is really little more than the Christian Taliban who believe in an eye for an eye, punishment for one's station in life, and expectations of a "rapture" that will sweep all of them up into the arms of the Almighty while the rest of us perish.

This is Old testament orthodoxy, but these hardliners ignore the New Testament teachings that replaced it."

I must protest that most of this has nothing whatsoever to do with the so-called Old Testament. Punishment for one's station? Raptures? Where exactly is this mentioned in the Jewish bible? This is Christian theology, i.e., examples of the individualistic "teachings that replaced" the social emphasis found in the Torah, Prophets and Writings. And keep in mind that "eye for an eye" justice was actually a revolutionary advance for its time, when the more usual legal standard was "head for an eye." This is a classic, if unwitting, example of Christian anti-Semitism.
 
 
+16 # NAVYVET 2017-07-04 16:28
I earned my undergrad degree in Linguistics, with a minor in general science education, and agree with Lakoff, but of all his books, I'd recommend THE POLITICAL MIND. In this book, Lakoff devotes several chapters to techniques for discussing morality with the ones he calls "bi-conceptual. " They can be changed, but only if the Democratic Party stops its slide into limbo and starts outlining policies like Bernie's that make sense both logically and morally!
 
 
+9 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2017-07-04 16:38
Like many other articles on what is wrong with Trump’s supporters, this one gives us no guidance on how to change that. I GET IT that Trump’s people have a different world view than I but what can I DO about it that will WORK?

I don’t dispute Lakoff’s portrayal of the “Strict Father Family”. However, I do submit it is incomplete. The entire raison d’etre for the SFF is its objective of turning out responsible, moral, adults. Can it be perverted? Of course. So can any model. The fact that the SFF can be abused doesn’t alter its reason for being. Therefore, when Lakoff enunciates his “Conservative moral values” and leaves out mention of the principles it is supposed to teach the next generation, he is telling a lie of omission.

I do not support the SFF because no man always knows “what is best”. However, in its defense, the SFF, like any model that is supposed to produce good people, deplores lying and rewards truth, teaches kindness to weaker beings (if not that they are our equal), demands we take responsibility for what we do (including both punishments and rewards), demands we respect authority. Again, these values can be subverted but the vile actions of some individuals do not invalidate a principle. The biggest problem with the SFF isn’t that the core values it strives to promote are sometimes wrong (and sometimes they are). The biggest problem is the hypocrisy that Father is always right, even when it is patently clear that he is not.
 
 
+4 # Thomas Martin 2017-07-04 17:13
I find Lakoff’s neurological / sociological viewpoints challenging – partly having substance, but partly misleading. He starts this article by stating “Most thought (as much as 98% by some accounts) is unconscious.” What’s a “thought” if we aren’t conscious of it? When my doctor tests my reflexes by hitting my knee with a hammer, in no way have I had (or not had) a “thought” that determines whether or not my knee jerks. Lakoff describes himself as a “cognitive linguist”, and surely he must be aware that “thought” implies conscious neural activity. It’s written elsewhere that “some neuroscientists , such as Michael Gazzaniga, estimate that as much as 98 percent or more of all brain activity is completely unconscious.” I’ll buy that – 98% of brain activity might well be unconscious, but not 98% of “thought”, as per George Lakoff – who’s a cognitive linguist! Getting back to the article, it’s the conscious thoughts (which all thoughts are) of Conservatives that are off-base, and with reasoning, can be changed – the “Strict Father worldview” can be changed, but not as Lakoff might say, “without even thinking about it!”
 
 
+11 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2017-07-04 17:15
Can the minds of Conservatives be changed? Yes. I know because I was once a conservative Republican with little understanding of how unjust and cruel our government can be to others who weren’t like me.

In my teens I realized that if I believed in something and the facts contradicted that something, I had only two choices: ignore what was true or change my mind. I regret it took another 20 years or so to see how this applied to political beliefs

My point here is that simply dismissing Trump’s supporters as deplorable won’t do ANYTHING to change their minds AND that yes, their minds CAN be changed. However, you can’t get there if you start by assuming they are too stupid or evil to see “the light”. You must be the change you want from them. You must first see things as they do and work from there.

I wish people like Lakoff would team up with psychologists to develop a way for Progressives to undermine the moralistic Strict Father Family. I suspect such a plan would NOT include insulting Trump and WOULD appeal to conservative core values. In this vein, one tactic might be to point out that while today the GOP efforts to control who can vote are limited to people “everybody” knows don’t deserve to vote, how long before they decide that WE aren’t smart enough or educated enough or rich enough to be allowed the important privilege of choosing our government? That responsibility is best left to our betters (Fathers), right?
 
 
+3 # maggetybrick 2017-07-04 21:31
Quoting Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref:
How long before they decide that WE aren’t smart enough or educated enough or rich enough to be allowed the important privilege of choosing our government? That responsibility is best left to our betters (Fathers), right?

We are well on our way to that eventuality, what with gerrymandering and voter suppression, no? along with Trump's Commission on voter fraud.
 
 
+3 # dbrize 2017-07-04 23:39
Tref:

I note with disappointment our discusion about John's comment on healthcare followed by Redpilled, myself and you, has been "disappeared" by our hosts. I replied to you concerning the application of the general welfare clause but I don't believe it made the cut either.

This comment too, may be deemed unacceptable by our censors but perhaps the future will give us the opportunity to resume the discussion.

Cheers, db
 
 
-11 # Depressionborn 2017-07-04 18:01
The Two Questions
1) Why don’t Trump supporters turn against Trump even though he is doing things that hurt them? (like taking away their healthcare)
I think it is that we are selfish and don’t want to be forced to pay for others. (our care is good)

2) Why do Republicans hate the Affordable Care Act, and why are they so transparently acting to give wealthy people a tax break by making healthcare unaffordable?
Free stuff costs a lot.

And:
Yes, God is greater than man
Women are different than men
Gov cannot be trusted
 
 
+4 # Jim Rocket 2017-07-06 15:45
"I think it is that we are selfish and don’t want to be forced to pay for others."
2 questions:
Is being selfish a good thing?
Do you have any insurance (home/car/life) ? Because paying for others is exactly how insurance works.

And the real answer to your second question is because they are insanely greedy.
 
 
0 # Depressionborn 2017-07-07 20:55
[quote name="Jim Rocket"]"I think it is that we are selfish and don’t want to be forced to pay for others."
2 questions:
Is being selfish a good thing?
"Do you have any insurance (home/car/life) ? Because paying for others is exactly how insurance works." "Is being selfish a good thing?"
no, it is not.

Charity is the greatest virtue. But charity is voluntary, Force is not good. Ends do not justify means.
 
 
0 # Depressionborn 2017-07-07 21:05
Re: # Jim Rocket 2017-07-06 15:45

Is it greedy to covet? Is envy evil? (insurance is mandatory!): interesting. Why do some succeed in life while others fail? Has it ever been different?
Why do nations go to war? You tell me, JR
 
 
+2 # LionMousePudding 2017-07-04 19:40
Lakoff: How does the fact that only 12-17% of Americans approve of the new Republican HealthWhoCares fit in? This shows I think, that although the SFF moral model may be very much the prevalent decider of Trump voters political and social opinion, it isn't the only factor. Somewhere in there (everyone) (most people) have a point of "Ok that's just too evil" change of mind. For some it may be super personal: Even those who would still support Trump if he shot a random person dead in broad daylight on the street, would stop supporting him if he shot their child. We keep thinking "They have to reach that ' too evil to continue to support' this time! (Pussy grabbing, Twitter attacks) when it just hasn't happened; but we may be right that, albeit far later than we would imagine, that point could be reached by most. This HealthDon'tCare Act seems to be that point for all but the very most stubborn.
 
 
+4 # LionMousePudding 2017-07-04 19:46
To those who wonder how the SFF model could possibly hold for anyone as it is obvious that Trump is not a GOOD father, you aren't in the right mindset. The SFF IS the morality and the SF DEFINES morality. Thus even those conservatives who do not beat their children will defend the right of other father's to do so.

To those who think the powerful Father figure image can't apply to Trump due to his childishness, that is also looking the wrong direction. Trump IS strong to them. He's a bully; he never gives in; never admits defeat; and always comes out on top. They don't care about HOW he does it; they value only THAT he does it.
 
 
0 # GeorgePenman 2017-07-04 20:30
The South is winning the Civil War: racism is back, master and servant, States rights,
... http://www.gopiswrong.com/rpd.htm
 
 
+5 # DocMary 2017-07-05 00:22
Trump's followers fit the profile of someone under the sway of an abuser - a battered wife or child. Because whatever else he is, Donald Trump is an abuser. Melania said that if he's punched, he'll punch back ten times harder. Those are the words of someone who has been abused by a domineering husband.

It is hard to walk away from a relationship when you really believed in the person and felt he cared for you, but all he ever did was hurt you. If Trump's policies - or the Republican Congress's policies - succeed, it will be very hard for his supporters to admit they've fallen for an abuser. But you can walk away. I just hope that Democrats and local politicians give them somewhere to walk towards.
 
 
0 # librarian1984 2017-07-05 12:40
I recently heard the same about Democrats, that the DP abuses us because they believe, as Bill Clinton (the quintessentiall y abusive husband) said, we have nowhere else to go.
 
 
+2 # TheRealEnoch 2017-07-05 08:47
I think that the most important question that Lakoff's account of the differences between progressive and conservative world views raises is whether their difference are peacefully reconcilable, or does their resolution involve violence? Is the election of 2016 the shot that started the 2nd American Civil War or does it signify the start a new political process in the world?
 
 
-1 # Depressionborn 2017-07-05 17:54
there is a basic conflict of visions. Some believing that mankind is basically good, others not. For the former the system is at fault. The later put their faith in God
 
 
-3 # Robbee 2017-07-05 20:10
Quoting TheRealEnoch:
Is the election of 2016 the shot that started the 2nd American Civil War or does it signify the start a new political process in the world?

- just sayin'! - same as i did when he said it!

"there's a new sheriff in town!" the "shot heard round the world" is bernie's 2015 address to the dnc, enplaning what bernie stood for, in his run for prez! - READ IT AN WEEP FOR AMERICA! THAT IT HAS NOT YET EMBRACED BERNIE! - go bernie! you do it for us, thanks! so long as you never quit, neither will we, thanks!
 
 
+6 # dbrize 2017-07-05 15:16
Ironies in life abound do they not?

Here on an ostensibly "progressive" site we are treated to Professor Lakoff's theory of the inherent need by "conservatives" of a father figure to guide them through our life travails. While at the same time we "enlightened" ones expounding on RSN are cautioned, yea warned, that we are to be likeable, civil and subject to daily word by word scrutiny lest our words cause others to tear up in angst.

Father figure indeed dear Professor. However you may want to expand your theoretical parameters.

Just sayin...
 
 
0 # boomerjim 2017-07-06 12:30
Interesting and instructive view; but it doesn't give enough attention to the conservative attachment to the fantasy of laissez-faire economics.
 
 
0 # Dudu101 2017-07-09 21:42
I find Lakoff's theory interesting and useful, but I'm skeptical that it explains everything. I believe we all are conservative in the sense we hate to change our minds, change our routines and habits. It does not mean we are hopelessly irrational.

There are reasons/assumpt ions behind the Strict Father program that seem to work pretty well:
1. The needs of the family and church/nation-g overnment overrule the needs of the individual.
2. God/church overrules the nation-government.
3. Peace, law and order derive from the above.
4. Any change that disrupts the above is very frightening.
4a. Welfare state threatens the popularity of the church by ending the need for charity.
4b. Public education that teaches Evolution ... dark history of the nation ...sex...and so on.

The moral individual votes against his self-interest in favor of the general good. Given some time to think it over, he may back off. For instance, when the pro-life agitator decides that dead babies (fetuses) going to Hell makes no sense, then she remains pro-life, but stops picketing. She still wants to save babies.

The liberal votes in favor of taxes, but isn't it safe to assume there is a limit to his generosity? Given some time, he may back off.
 

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