Skip to comments.'NY Times' Sunday Preview: Profile of Linguist Who Is Framing Issues for the Democrats
Posted on 07/15/2005 2:53:32 PM PDT by bitt
NEW YORK The cover story by Matt Bai in the upcoming Sunday issue of The New York Times Magazine profiles the man some liberals allegedly consider a possible new messiah for the Democratic party, George Lakoff. An adviser to the party on framing issues, he wrote Don't Think of an Elephant-- a book about politics and language based on his own linguistic theories.
Framing is the process of choosing the best words to describe individual issues and characterize a debate. Bai hails Lakoff as the father of the concept. His ideas seemed to gain some success recently in putting the Bush social security proposals in peril. Next they will be severely tested in the upcoming fight over Supreme Court nominees.
Lakoff preaches that to understand language on the whole, one must first study how an individual would comprehend that language in terms of personal experience and thought processes. He also says that metaphors allow people to process abstract ideas.
And nobody better used this philosophy before, says Lakoff, than the Republicans. In the 2004 election, George W. Bush labeled John Kerry as a flip flopper, and repeated this throughout the duration of the campaign. He even put out an ad that featured Kerry windsurfing, back and forth, which hammered home this idea in a visual manner.
Democrats, on the other hand, tried to pin too many criticisms on Bush, none of which stuck. Thus, as Bai writes, Bush was attacked. Kerry was framed.
In the article, Lakoff says that Republicans are also skilled at using loaded language and repetition to create lasting concepts in our unconscious. This is largely in part to the work of Frank Luntz, the Republican pollster renowned for creating euphemism for conservative issues.
(Excerpt) Read more at editorandpublisher.com ...
interesting read ping
LOL you mean he is the Dem's Karl Rove????
rush limbaugh went over some of his stuff a month ago. there's nothing there.
The Democrats don't have the truth on their side, so they try to use language to make people think the Democrats are something, they are not. They are communists and a commie by any other name...
This is what you do when you have no ideas or moral sense. You play word games.
Do you mean like... less is more or...crime bill or...contract on America?
Maybe someone else could help me remember more "Republican framing."
nancy boys nuance as nasty nuisances.
Yeah, next they'll be actively recruiting hypnotists in the hope that they can, at long last, gain complete control over the minds of the masses via televised mass hypnosis!
he wrote Don't Think of an Elephant-- a book about politics and language based on his own linguistic theories.
These guys are nuts. The title of the book says to me that we are still framing the issues.
Chomsky's a linguist, too. What is it with linguistics?
There is great power in the choice of words. You would be amazed what effect someone who understands the power of linguistic research can have.
Don't underestimate this concept, it is HUGE.
Truth is an important element of why "flip-flop" stuck while charges against Bush wouldn't hold water.
However, all Democrats are not Communists. I would posit that even "most" Democrats are not Communists. "Communists" are adherents to a particular political philosophy proposed by Karl Marx and honed by Marcuse, Lenin, Mao, and others.
To call Democrats "communists" is simplistic and borders on infantile. Most of them couldn't even explain the tenets of dialectics.
However, if one must paste labels on people, it would be fair to tag most liberals, and hence most Democrats, as "statists". Statists are people who believe that individuals exist for the good of the state and not the other way around.
Actually, most people who vote Democrat would probably cringe at this basic divergence from Constitutional principle. Therefore, challenging a Democrat that they are supporting statist philosophy can be fruitful, while simply calling someone a "commie" will get you discounted as a "right-winger".
Because it's not a science and there's no way to prove your theories wrong it attracts a lot of leftist who can then come up with a lot of looney theories and no one can prove them wrong. Unlike say physics where if you put forth the theory that Karl Rove has deliberately distorted gravity to make Bush look more powerful you can be proven wrong. But if you claim that Rove has distorted the meaning of some words to make Bush look more powerful, all the leftists flock toward you, bow down, and proclaim "our all-knowing savior is here." "He's so smart."
BTW: Hitler, a self-proclaimed socialist, was a statist too. This is why modern day liberals, socialists, Communists, and Nazis belong on the same side of the political spectrum.
Nazi's have nothing to do with Conservatism.
but this is not the ideal linguist you speak of.
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