Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Well Imagine That.....
Turns Out That Being 
Close-Minded Is Pretty Much 
A Liberal Strategy....

If you've ever wondered why self-professed Liberals/Progressives have only ever made up around 16-21% of the American population, I think George Lakoff just demonstrated why with the release of his handy new Little Blue Book.  

Graphic illustration of why 'The Liberal Bubble' is so essential to Liberal peace-of-mind

Lakoff is considered one of those big philosophical movers n' shakers for progressives, one of those guys who comes up with their 'big ideas' about how to present themselves to the unwashed masses. This new book of his is called 'The Little Blue Book as kind of a tip of the hat to Chairman Mao's Little Red Book.  It's supposed to be full of all kinds of helpful ideas and advice to help all the Good Little Progressives out there present Progressiveness in the best possible light to the unconverted.  

Blogger Zombie over at has written a pretty damn good take down of Lakoff's book here.  It's kinda long, but well worth a read.  I encourage you to go over and read the whole thing before going on below: 

Ever notice when Liberals lose elections they always claim the only reason they lost was their terrible MESSAGING?  That's Lakoff you're hearing there.  He's the guy that came up with that: never EVER admit your policies didn't work & that they sucked or that voters heard you out, understood what you wanted and REJECTED it - just confidently claim the people out there were too stupid to understand what you were saying.  

Lakoff's thought has permeated the entire 20% of the American population that is Liberal: when we lose, it's because we didn't EXPLAIN this well enough.  Our policies & beliefs are so friggin' AWESOME and UNQUESTIONABLE that we don't even need to spend one wasted second re-examining them because only stupid people would do that.  

Zombie came up with a helpful chart that pretty much explains the entire first half of Lakoff's book, where he waxes eloquent about faulty messaging being the reason they keep getting their asses kicked by the other 80% of the population: 

As I said in earlier posts such as 'Understanding Liberal Pathology Part I, Liberals are not results-oriented people, they are THEORY-ORIENTED people.  The old joke 'THIS TIME it's going to work because the theory is sound!" is funny because it has an essential truth at the foundation of it.  

Progressives actually condition their minds to shy away from thoughts about results and outcomes. Instead they totally focus on the supposed morally superior intentions that drive their policies - and thusly those policies can never change because it would be tantamount to changing their morality.  

No matter how many times their ideas or policies fail or are rejected, they remain convinced through their own stunted reasoning supplied by people like Lakoff that their only problem is how they are presenting these ideas & policies.  This is why they can't come up with any new ideas or methods, and when the pendulum swings their way again and they resume power they go right back to doing exactly what they were doing before, even though it's never worked.  

The 2nd half of Lakoff's book is filled with his advice to Progressives about how to better sell their progressivism to the public.  Here, as Zombie notes, Lakoff's book quickly demonstrates why you often can't have a real debate with a Lakoff-trained Liberal about the simplest of things.  Here's his advice in a nutshell: 

Look at that point #1 there.  What's the single most crucial thing he wants Progressives to do when conversing about issues & policies with Conservatives? 

Some people read that to mean Lakoff is counseling his readers to IGNORE Conservative arguments.  I don't think that's what he's doing.  He's telling them to recast the Conservative argument within the more 'moral' Progressive framework.  In other words, to expose the bad morality behind the Conservative argument by reframing it.  

I already demonstrated in the middle part of my article "Understanding Liberal Pathology" how Progressives do this constant re-framing of Conservative arguments: 

"We need Medicare reform" / re-framed by Lakoff: "I hate old and sick people."
"We need union pension reform." / re-framed by Lakoff: "I hate working families."
"I have religious objections to funding birth control for other people." /re-framed by Lakoff "I hate women and want to make war on them."
"We need public school reform." / re-framed by Lakoff: "I hate teachers and kids."

"ObamaCare is fine, nothing wrong with this 2,000 page bill, we care 
more than you, and WHY DO YOU HATE OLD PEOPLE &

In other words, every single issue must be reframed to expose the rotten, terrible, no-good, truly awful motives driving the Conservative to make their case, vs. the totally awesome, simon-pure, angelic & god-like morality that has the Progressive advocating doing the opposite.  

Lakoff's point #2 naturally follows point #1; after you re-frame the Conservative's argument using your own language to expose it's rotten morality in point #1, go on to show how you have claimed the moral high ground in point #2.  

Yes folks, George Lakoff is why Progressives not only misconstrue everything you say in an argument to make it look like you hate old people, the sick, the young, the poor, minorities, and the entire planet, it's ALSO why they then go on to pound their chests and crow about how morally superior they are to you.  

Zombie then sums up his fine essay by demonstrating why following Lakoff's advice has caused Progressives to lose - and why they'll KEEP losing as long as they do what he recommends.  

One side is engaging the other's arguments and investigating them and often refuting them, and one side is totally ignoring what the other side says.  By refusing to engage honestly and look at Conservative arguments, Liberals often only know their own lampooned versions of the Conservative position.  For this reason they spend all their time trying to tear down strawmen of their own making.  

Meanwhile Conservatives - having actually listened to what Liberals were arguing and dealing with it - have made much progress in exposing the weaknesses in the Liberal's arguments.  

Lakoff's advice on how to argue socialism vs. capitalism, for instance: 

Lakoff recommends saying,
“This debate is about liberty from corporate government and corporate meddling in our lives,”
“The laissez-faire market limits your personal liberty.”
Each retort is an attempt to reclaim the word “liberty” from those nasty conservatives. In the Lakoff framing, the bigger and more powerful the federal government becomes, the more freedom we have.

Think for a moment about how stupid that 1st sentence is.  'Corporate Government' is supposedly limiting your liberty, and 'meddling' in your life, and to counter this, we must vastly expand the power of the Federal Government because having your liberty curtailed by the Federal Government & having it meddle more in your life is somehow much more preferable.  

In the liberal mind the free market can't have control or decide things like who ends up with the wealth because it's dominated by an evil - greed.  So it's far better if Government controls the market & makes the decision about who ends up with the wealth & distributes it 'fairly' because the Government has altruistic intentions and is made up of a special class of elite people who are totally capable of making these decisions for everybody else.  

As Zombie incredulously notes more than once in his essay, THIS guy is considered one of Progressivism's leading lights?  

Since many of Lakoff's ideas are patently absurd as an attempt to convert others & change minds, some have put forth the idea that the REAL purpose of The Little Blue Book is to ensure those already on the Progressive Reservation and presently captured by the GroupThink stay there through intentionally brainwashing themselves to never seriously take a look at Conservative arguments as they are actually presented.  

Self-Hypnosis? A commenter going by "... is what JQ Public is thinking" notes:
One of the commenters over there had an interesting take. He thinks Lakoff - 'the thinker' - has a purpose beyond what seems to be a fairly stupid surface strategy. While the method might not convert non-believers, it makes the believers they DO HAVE absolutely bullet-proof from facts or reason. They are literally taught not to think - aka, 'indoctrination' in the darkest sense of that word. Such people can be made to do anything.
Ah, so it's not a hypnosis technique taught to readers, but a hypnosis technique directed at readers. If they themselves learn to "think" by never thinking, they can at least never be persuaded themselves.
Probably not his intention, but almost certainly his actual accomplishment.

As long as the top leaders of the Progressive movement keep listening to this guy's advice, I don't think we have that much to worry about in the long run.  

UPDATE! Obama now determined to prove that he follows Lakoff's stupid advice! From Allahpundit at Hot Air:

 The point, as is always the case in “messaging” complaints, is to compliment yourself on the correctness of your policy choices while blaming their failure on some facile communication problems. Serious question for liberals: Do you agree? Last I checked, there are plenty of policy complaints about The One from the left. Am eager to hear someone in his base defend the idea that had his rhetoric at the time soared a bit higher, the Democrats’ failure to include the public option in the final O-Care bill would be no biggie. Being condescended to by your political leaders is fun, huh?
Exit question: What’s the “inspiring” explanation for running guns to Mexican drug cartels?

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