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.
Lackoff . . . as Rush says, "Rhymes with."
You either don't know Democrats or don't know communists, to make the statements you did.
Sayyyy that rhymes with whackoff!!
...someone best tell Rush. :o)
If it's in the Times, I don't believe it.
I hope Matt Bai makes plenty of bucks off the suckers not wanting to look inward, or question their own self-regarded smarts.
Just like the person/people who sold the DNC on the idea "talk radio" was behind the lack of gains in 2002, coincidently just after some Democrats were complaining the DNC and McAuliffe were the problems.
"Chomsky's a linguist, too. What is it with linguistics?"
Lakoff and Chomsky are cunning linguists. ;-)
Bai is a suckup and Lakoff an intellectual scam artist. The concept of cognitive framing is an old and elementary one. Actually "reframing ' should be the word used, as all ideas have frames to begin with, whether Goerge Lakoff is smart enough to recognize them or not.
Cognitive reframing is a therapeutic psychological technique wellknown to clinicians and at least forty years old, but with a history going back at least to William James.
You could also easily trace it to the ancient Stoic school of philosophy in Greece, which taught, "it is not the event itself but that which I think about the event, which makes all the difference."
As usual, the Slimes feeds recycled dreck to its slobbering readers and "frames" it as cutting edge news!
It goes back to the old thing, "if you tell a lie often enough, it will become the truth."
Language alone is not enough to sell people on bad ideas. Except for really stupid people.
you mean he is the Dem's Karl Rove????
No he's the dem's Chomsky.
Simply the latest fad for fulfilling Orwell's "1984". Words are symbols for thought or the way we express our thoughts. Therefore, if the words are confused the hope is to confuse our thoughts.
There are three primary ways we learn. Visual - seeing mind pictures of what we are reading or being told. Auditory - more in tune with hearing what we are learning. Feelings - an emotional involvement with what we are learning, normally by relating to past experiences. Obviously, the more senses involved the more we retain. That is what they are talking about when they say "framing the issue", involving as many senses as possible in a personally relevant way.
Conservatives know this naturally. It is the bases for sales and advertising, a key part of free enterprise. Liberals know it, too, as they use it to sell their lies about their intentions. The truth is they have been using these techniques forever.
All this new linguistics bs is another attempt to explain to themselves why they continue to lose. They don't blame it on the message, they blame it on their inability to "get their message out". They are just trying to get another running start to sell their lies, to re-energize their base who have been getting so depressed they are beginning to stray from the reservation.
The NY Times is late on this issue. The SF Chronicle had this story about 6 months ago, Rush talked about it extensively. He is a prof at UC Berkeley.
Herr Goebels was a cunning linguist too.
Is he a snake handler? That has to be his main criteria when handling the dims.
He forgot to mention that the Republicans are also skilled supporting issues that the majority of Americans will vote for....
Oh, really? I thought the ancient Greeks and Romans covered this in their teaching of "rhetoric" and "oratory" thousands of years ago.
That makes him a near-perfect guru for the Democrats. It also makes him a distinctly minor threat to Karl Rove and the Republicans. (Frank Luntz was one of my professors. Smart guy, though a bit of a loose cannon.)
A little more Orwellian Doublespeak isn't going to help them. Everyone knows the game they're playing.
'Delousing Van': Nazi Euphemism for Murder
A 1942 document which describes the installation of two large ovens at the 'bathing installations for special action' - a Nazi code-word for the homicidal gas chambers.
'Vergasungsapparate': Gassing as a 'Remedy' for Jews (Document NO-365)
Euthanasia: Nazi euphemism for the deliberate killings of institutionalized physically, mentally, and emotionally handicapped people. The euthanasia program began in 1939, with German nonJews as the first victims. The program was later extended to Jews.
Final Solution: A Nazi euphemism for the plan to exterminate the Jews of Europe.
Resettlement: German euphemism for the deportation of prisoners to killing centers in Poland.
I doubt that there's anything new here. It's the same basic idea the New Leftist Dems have been working with for the past twelve years or more. Not, "how can we change to appeal better to the voters," but "how can we repackage ourselves to look better to the voters."
Repackage, reframe; same old, same old.
TOP SECRET: Democrat Core Values
I saw his INFOmercial.
He is a skilled weasel with words but his tecnique is dependent on the ignorance of the desire to be gulable fo the listener.
There is no substance to his argument.
ie he says Republicans are strong father model, democrats are loving parent model. note no mother, the a-sexual "parent".
ie homosexual marriage is not about marriage it is about looooooove. TOTAL LEGAL BS, the law has NEVER considered love in marriage.
ie Tax relief is not right, tax FAIRNESS.
He also works on using left wing talking points as a factual assumption. such as, the USA is less secure, the USA squandered international credibility. IOW the USA should bow to the alter of UN (and france).
Word play with no substance.
He is a modern Goebles.
If your title is *Don't Think of an Elephant* aren't you telling people to think about elephants (Republicans) ??
While I may consider democRats just a slightly lighter version of communism, as a debate point your idea is VERY good.