Monday, November 03, 2003

What's with the Left and Linguists?

In an enlightening interview with UC Berkeley professor of Linguistics George Lakoff, who is an founding member of the Progressive think tank the Rockridge Institute, it is explained that the reason people are begining to vote for more Conservative candidates has nothing to do with ideas or issue but is rather a result of the Right taking control of the language. The interview with Prof. Lakoff is nothing be a series of softball questions but even so it's a great window on why the left it slowly falling apart.

First we have a little conspiracy theory;

Because they've put billions of dollars into it. Over the last 30 years their think tanks have made a heavy investment in ideas and in language... And now, as the New York Times Magazine quoted Paul Weyrich, who started the Heritage Foundation, they have 1,500 conservative radio talk show hosts. They have a huge, very good operation, and they understand their own moral system.

Some good warm fuzzy lefty love;

the progressive worldview is modeled on a nurturant parent family. Briefly, it assumes that the world is basically good and can be made better and that one must work toward that. Children are born good; parents can make them better.

Ok. But what about the conservative worldview?
The conservative worldview, the strict father model, assumes that the world is dangerous and difficult and that children are born bad and must be made good. The strict father is the moral authority who supports and defends the family, tells his wife what to do

So if the world is basicly a good place than please explain to me as if I where a child how Pol Pot, Chaing Kieshek, Mao, Stalin, Idi Amin, Baby Doc, Hitler, Tito, Napolean, Cortez, Franco, Mugabe, Nero, Caligula, Atila and Gengis Khan ever existed.

Here's a good one;
First, you have the frame for "relief." For there to be relief, there has to be an affliction, an afflicted party, somebody who administers the relief, and an act in which you are relieved of the affliction. The reliever is the hero, and anybody who tries to stop them is the bad guy intent on keeping the affliction going. So, add "tax" to "relief" and you get a metaphor that taxation is an affliction, and anybody against relieving this affliction is a villain.

Not done with talking about taxes;
It is an issue of patriotism! Are you paying your dues, or are you trying to get something for free at the expense of your country? It's about being a member. People pay a membership fee to join a country club, for which they get to use the swimming pool and the golf course. But they didn't pay for them in their membership. They were built and paid for by other people and by this collectivity. It's the same thing with our country

Whoa! It's hard to make much sense of this as it's lacking logic but I'll try. First he acting as if the idea of a tax burden is simply nothing more then a linguistic construct of the Right. If only the Left could take control of the debate and explain to all those middle income folk that those taxes they pay aren't a burden. There maybe no more greater example of "Ivorytowerism" in print today. Second is a 2 parter... a) There is the implication that conseratives think there should be no taxes. Wha...? Smaller governement doesn't mean no government. That would be the radical anarchists not Jonah Goldberg. b) The second implication is that working hard and not wanting the government to eat all over you income in taxes is, "wanting something for nothing". No, Prof. L, that would be the government hand outs to 3 generation welfare recipients.

Sigh. This guy is nothing more than a communist that is showing a great deal of resistance to excepting the idea that maybe, just maybe, the reason the Left is losing influnce is that their movement has become devoid of any honest intellect. One wonders what sort of conversations go on at the Rockbridge Institute and how bad of an echo chamber it must be.

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