Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Important: Lakoff's take on Obama, we should educate ourselves

Fivethirtyeight posted a special article written by George Lakoff and submitted to fivethirtyeight, entitled George Lakoff on the Obama Code.

Lakoff was the progressive who caught onto the way Republicans were winning the framing debate some years back and helped educate the left by explaining to us that we can't keep debating on their turf. A prime example of that is the term, "tax relief." Using the terms suggests that taxes are an affliction, so reducing them is always then a good thing. There are many other examples as well in which we stumble into their way of framing things (i.e. 'global warming controversy,' or 'war against terror.') It's like becoming the visiting team every time we debate with Republicans. That's not to say that we can't win a debate (sometimes the visiting team wins the game) but as long as we are debating using their language we are already starting at a disadvantage.

So Lakoff has analyzed the 'Obama code,' and discusses how we are likely to see things work, and the meaning of what Obama says, prior to tonight's speech. I won't repost the whole thing here (since Nate Silver is a guy I respect and he deserves credit for being selected by Lakoff as the outlet for this insightful article) but if you follow the link it's worth a read.

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