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George Lakoff-- Language and Values Guru to The Left

Broadcast 3/17/2010 at 8:42 PM EDT (11 Listens, 3 Downloads, 3 Itunes)
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George Lakoff is the author of The Political Mind, Moral Politics, Don't Think of an Elephant!, Whose Freedom?, and Thinking Points (with the Rockridge Institute staff). He is Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley.

Notes from the interview
It's not just about words-- also about values
govt takover talk about freedom

talk about life-- death panels, pro-life

We need to talk about life and freedom regarding health. Last is security-- what are people most afraid of-- losing health care, being denied care.

Which is scarier-- the underwear bomber or anthem blue cross.

Details all have to do with thing... are your life and security taken care of here?

The name-- is also terrible-- public option was an awful choice. Conservatives here public= government and option is from bureaucracy

They could have called it the American Plan.

leaders of Dem party have a hard time using language and values ala lakoff

Republicans majored in business-- marketing- metaphors, frames, images, values

If you went to college and became a democratic policy maker you studied
learned enlightenment reason-- proven to be false in almost every regard-- that it is conscious, logical...

The way brains really work is through empathy, through social connection.

Facebook passed google-- about social connectin

Democrats in congress don't understand that and think it's about getting politics out-- think it's about "what's in it for you.
No. It's what the moral issue is.

we want to govern, they want to impede.

Lakoff-- they are wrong

Conservatives have "strict father morality" that individual freedom is more important. They have a totally different morality.
(Book Moral Politics) Conservative's Highest value is preserving, defending and extending the moral system itself

Further thing republicans are good at is creating conservative populism-- Dems don't understand, LEe Atwater and Roger Ailes understood it back in sixties.

Working strict father people threatened by radical feminism and civil rights.
Invented idea of liberal elite-- liberal media, latte liberals, limo liberals... tea party movement grew out of that-- it's been carefully brought along since the late sixties.

Libs and dems don't understand what communication is about-- works by using language over and over again, repeating it that evoke the conservative world view. Have think tanks, experts like Luntz, training institutes with people ready to go on TV, booking agents-- getting their message out over and over every day....

The republicans have a system that fits how brains work.

How brains work-- every word is defined in terms of a frame-- a frame is a system of circuits
Politics is a moral system, how people think is right. All politics is moral.

They use language that will evoke their moral system. When it is repeated it strengthens synapses in the brain, creates permanent circuits.
Certain circuits are mutually inhibitory in the brain-- two moral systems-- where one is turned off and one is turned on.


The way people change is by activating your world view, through language. Cons have system of communication that does that all the time.

The Dems have truth squads-- will tell you the truth. refute conservatives. They activate the words they are trying to argue against. They end up helping conservative.

Most people don't know what their moral values are. Most people's thoughts are unconscious. When asked, they give programs, not morals.

We have plenty of billionaires on the left who could set up such a system. But they are educated as enlightenment reason, so they think it's propaganda-- but it's not propaganda.

Repub think tank starts with conservative values, then applies values to every issues.
progressive think tank starts with issues, -- all of these things are linked by common progressive values.

progressive foundations aim at issues and projects. Don't build infrastructure.

Went to Ford Foundation-- told them problem. Are evaluated based on a "good portfolio"

What they're doing is designing "silos"

Book: Thinking points-- gave book to Obama--

In governing... same. Have to learn how people think--

Single payer-- doctor-patient care--Â get care you need-- american plan- americans take care of americans...
Who's going to pay for it-- don't have to pay for profits and administrative costs... and denying care.

Climate change was introduced by Frank Luntz

Cap and trade and carbon credits--

Back in 2003, 2004, I wrote a series of articles on my thoughts on the need for policy promotion. They're not in the current database system of the site because the pre-date our use of the database, but they're still on the site, here:
How To Take Back the Moral Turf from the Right by ROB KALL The Echo Chamber as a Political Weapon by Rob Kall 31 Ways to Take on the Neocon Think Tanks: A Progressive Policy and Position Promotion Think Tank Prospectus by Rob Kall OpEdNews.Com Understanding the Difference Between a Think Tank (TT) and a Right Wing Policy Promotion "Think Tank": Why the left desperately needs to "get it" and create about five of them. Chaunce's Garden; Progressives Must Stop Tilling The Field with Spoons Rob Kall Starting a Progressive Counterpart to the Neocon's Most Powerful Weapon-- the Policy Creation and Advocacy Think Tank; Join the Grassroots Effort to Build One Rob Kall Where are the Real Patriots While Bush Rapes and Trashes America? If Wealthy Liberals and Liberal Foundations Don't Fund Think Tanks to Take on the Right, then We Might as Well Throw in the Towel. Envisioning a Progessive Counterpart to NeoConservative Think Tanks like Project for a New American Century Progressive Bows and Arrows against Neocon Cruise Missiles; Time for Friends of Democracy to Help

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