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                                    By George Lakoff and Elisabeth Wehling

In taking over the framing of just about every major issue, conservatives have hidden major truths. Democrats need to speak those truths from their own moral perspective. To show how, we have just published THE LITTLE BLUE BOOK: The Essential Guide for Thinking and Talking Democratic. Here is how the book applies to the Wisconsin Recall.

The Wisconsin recall vote should be put in a larger context. What happened in Wisconsin started well before Scott Walker became governor and will continue as long as progressives let it continue. The general issues transcend unions, teachers, pensions, deficits, and even wealthy conservatives and Citizens United.

Where progressives argued policy — the right to collective bargaining and the importance of public education — conservatives argued morality from their perspective, and many working people who shared their moral views voted with them and against their own interests. Why? Because morality is central to identity, and hence trumps policy.

Progressive morality fits a nurturant family: parents are equal, the values are empathy, responsibility for oneself and others, and cooperation. That is taught to children. Parents protect and empower their children, and listen to them. Authority comes through an ethic of excellence and living by what you say, rather than by enforcing rules.

Correspondingly in politics, democracy begins with citizens caring about one another and acting responsibly both for oneself and others. The mechanism by which this is achieved is The Public, through which the government provides resources that make private life and private enterprise possible: roads, bridges and sewers, public education, a justice system, clean water and air, pure food, systems for information, energy and transportation, and protection both for and from the corporate world.  No one makes it on his or her own. Private life and private enterprise are not possible without The Public. Freedom does not exist without The Public.

Conservative morality fits the family of the strict father, who is the ultimate authority, defines right and wrong, and rules through punishment. Self-discipline to follow rules and avoid punishment makes one moral, which makes it a matter of individual responsibility alone. You are responsible for yourself and not anyone else, and no one else is responsible for you.

In conservative politics, democracy is seen as providing the maximal liberty to seek one’s self-interest without being responsible for the interests of others. The best people are those who are disciplined enough to be successful. Lack of success implies lack of discipline and character, which means you deserve your poverty. From this perspective, The Public is immoral, taking away incentives for greater discipline and personal success, and even standing in the way of maximizing private success. The truth that The Private depends upon The Public is hidden from this perspective. The Public is to be minimized or eliminated. To conservatives, it’s a moral issue.

These conservative ideas at the moral level have been pushed since Ronald Reagan via an extensive communication system of think tanks, framing specialists, training institutes, booking agencies and media, funded by wealthy conservatives. Wealthy progressives have not funded progressive communication in the same way to bring progressive moral values into everyday public discourse. The result is that conservatives have managed to get their moral frames to dominate public discourse on virtually every issue.

In Wisconsin, much if not most progressive messaging fed conservative morality centered around individual, not social, responsibility. Unions were presented as serving self-interest — the self-interests of working people. Pensions were not presented as delayed earnings for work already done, but as “benefits” given for free as a result of union bargaining power. “Bargaining” means trying to get the best deal for your own self-interest. “Collective” denies individual responsibility. The right wing use of “union thugs” suggests gangs and the underworld — an immoral use of force. Strikes, to conservatives, are a form of blackmail. Strikebreaking, like the strict father’s requirement to punish rebellious children, is seen as a moral necessity.  The successful corporate managers, being successful, are seen as moral. And since many working men have a strict father morality both at home an in their working life, they can be led to support conservative moral positions, even against their own financial interests.

What about K-12 teachers? They are mostly women, and nurturers. They accepted delayed earnings as pensions, taking less pay as salary — provided their positions were secure, that is, they had tenure. In both their nurturance and their centrality to The Public, they constitute a threat to the dominance of conservative morality. Conservatives don't want nurturers teaching their children to be loyal to the “nanny state.”

The truth that The Public is necessary for the Private was not repeated over and over, but it needed to be at the center of the Wisconsin debate. Unions needed to be seen as serving The Public, because they promote better wages, working conditions, and pensions generally, not just for their members.  The central role of teachers as working hard to maintain The Public, and hence The Private,  also needed to be at the center of the debate. These can only be possible if the general basis of the need for The Public is focused on every day.

Scott Walker was just carrying out general conservative moral policies, taking the next step along a well-worn path.  

What progressives need to do is clear. To people who have mixed values — partly progressive, partly conservative — talk progressive values in progressive language, thus strengthening progressive moral views in their brains. Never move to the right thinking you’ll get more cooperation that way.

Start telling deep truths out loud all day every day: Democracy is about citizens caring about each other. The Public is necessary for The Private. Pensions are delayed earnings for work already done; eliminating them is theft. Unions protect workers from corporate exploitation — low salaries, no job security, managerial threats, and inhumane working conditions. Public schools are essential to opportunity, and not just financially: they provide the opportunity to make the most of students’ skills and interests. They are also essential to democracy, since democracy requires an educated citizenry at large, as well as trained professionals in every community. Without education of the public, there can be no freedom.

At issue is the future of progressive morality, democracy, freedom, and every aspect of the Public — and hence the viability of private life and private enterprise in America on a mass scale.  The conservative goal is to impose rule by conservative morality on the entire country, and beyond. Eliminating unions and public education are just steps along the way.  Only progressive moral force can stop them.

THE LITTLE BLUE BOOK is a guide to how to express your moral views and how to reveal hidden truths that undermine conservative claims.  And it explains why this has to be done constantly, not just during election campaigns.  It is the cumulative effect that matters, as conservatives well know.

The LITTLE BLUE BOOK can be ordered as en e-book or paperback at:

Or at your local bookstore as of June 26.

Originally posted to George Lakoff and Elisabeth Wehling on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Dream Menders, Political Language and Messaging, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Badger State Progressive, Progressive Hippie, German American Friendship Group, and Street Prophets .

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (149+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theKgirls, profundo, kestrel9000, JayC, TomP, Dood Abides, wv voice of reason, Wary, YsosadisticGOP, 3goldens, jamess, DSC on the Plateau, JTinDC, terrya, muddy boots, Gustogirl, nofear, Nisi Prius, Egalitare, Sandino, Getreal1246, on the cusp, MartyM, Leftcandid, Amber6541, California06, bronte17, MinistryOfTruth, Empower Ink, thea lake, TheOrchid, Glen The Plumber, LivesInAShoe, Gowrie Gal, OutCarolineStreet, bumbi, micwazoo, Loudoun County Dem, DBunn, blue armadillo, rigcath, janislav, markthshark, TracieLynn, poliwrangler, patchmo13, zerelda, nannyboz, davis90, NoMoreLies, Dave in Northridge, jfromga, Cardinal96, rgjdmls, Jackson L Haveck, peptabysmal, LillithMc, Haningchadus14, PBen, greenbell, StellaRay, historys mysteries, idbecrazyif, politik, anodnhajo, greengemini, David PA, sturunner, LynChi, Demeter Rising, kimoconnor, MisterOpus1, Radiowalla, rubyr, Xapulin, mkor7, Sun Tzu, WisVoter, swansong50, Skennet Boch, fiddlingnero, Persiflage, bnasley, verdeo, drnononono, Statusquomustgo, slowbutsure, BeninSC, Mimikatz, figbash, elwior, Shockwave, New Rule, oortdust, ask, llbear, jennylind, boofdah, jessical, democracy inaction, rosarugosa, ATL Dem, skod, countwebb, Ice Blue, translatorpro, angelajean, Vicky, DianeNYS, Alice Venturi, Aquarius40, non acquiescer, createpeace, buckstop, Bluesee, madhaus, Tim DeLaney, Susipsych, bsegel, SaveDemocracy, Habitat Vic, uciguy30, blueoasis, peachcreek, Spirit Dancer, nomandates, corncam, Parthenia, Timari, highacidity, x, eclecta, ruleoflaw, blueoregon, AlwaysDemocrat, tbirchard, FarWestGirl, rivercard, madgranny, AllanTBG, ogre, Eddie C, dharmafarmer, mntleo2, dalemac, Redfire, Larsstephens, catfishbob, Mokurai
  •  yes yes yes!!!! (33+ / 0-)

    The Public is necessary for the Private.

    The Republicans have been masterful at painting government workers as lazy, obnoxious Motor Vechicle clerks. Everyone supposedly hates waiting in line (although I've personally never had a bad experience there).

    The public sector is mostly teachers, firefighters and police. My kids' teachers are absolutely amazing caring kind individuals who gave of themselves in ways for which I will be eternally grateful.

    Police were amazingly kind to me after I was attacked -- long before they were given sensitivity training towards rape victims -- and they got him off the streets.

    The firefighters saved my dad when he slipped down the stairs at my house.

    The Public is absolutely necessary and we need to talk everyday about who the Public Workers truly are!!!!!  

    The search for truth and knowledge is one of the finest attributes of a man, though often it is most loudly voiced by those who strive for it the least -- Albert Einstein

    by theKgirls on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 05:14:00 AM PDT

  •  I will buy and read... (41+ / 0-)

    ... we need all the help we can get.

    That being said, I still am very demoralized... knowing what I do of human thought and emotions, I am increasingly concerned that "the math is not here" for us in America... meaning that, for the most part, the brain washing of half of the electorate is permanent...

    No amount of passion, compassion, logic... whatever... will arouse a cognitive dissonance in them that can't be instantaneously quashed by their "faith"... We are indeed a country victimized at multiple levels with our own "Shock Doctrine"... the Orwellian endless wars have left us all with a societal PTSD(permanent brain damage!).... making us continually ripe for further victimization by the wealthy... and they have ENDLESS funds for their propaganda and all the laws on their side...

    Alas, I am beginning to think that the old adage, "The truth shall set you free..." is, in reality, a half truth in itself... "The truth shall get you killed..." is becoming more accurate...


    "Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom"

    by Dood Abides on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 05:31:27 AM PDT

    •  Strongly agree about the brainwashing. (23+ / 0-)

      I only know one, and that one will stick her fingers in her ears and go "La, la, la" so she cannot hear. (She is family, and we don't talk politics ever.) It's sad, because she's very smart. "The truth shall get you killed" -- or at least physically assaulted, perhaps by a group -- is all too true in my neck of the woods. I lay low locally for just that reason.

      Personally, I think the Democratic party would do well to hire experts in de-programming cult members. Physical pathways in the brain have been created by brainwashing and self-perpetuate unless the pathways are disrupted. It is that bad.

      What has proven not to work is using multisyllabic, unemotional communication that rests on logic alone. That just does not stick. With respect for Mr. Lakoff, I think we need to completely re-examine our communication.

      With so many lives in crisis because of the financial crisis, the time is ripe for plain talk. Small words and short sentences may have a chance to be heard by the millions are working so hard to keep body and soul together, they have little time for multi-syllabic, long sentences, which are more common to reading and writing.

      The haters have infinite funds for brainwashing, but we are asked to buy a book?

      We can do better than this.

      All the best, Dood. Looking forward to your next light-hearted contribution whenever it comes!

      "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

      by cotterperson on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 07:10:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I like you idea of deprogrammers. Those (10+ / 0-)

        taken in by propaganda are like those taken in by a religious cult. This seems to fit with Lakoff's conservative morality argument.

        To argue with those taken in by conservative morality is nearly impossible, because changing their stance would mean repudiating what they believe. Deprogramming sounds like the way to go.

        "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

        by Lily O Lady on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:21:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I can so relate to the fingers in the ears (11+ / 0-)

        and the la la la bit.  My housemate is a 69 year old male Republican.  He is a very confident and opinionated Fox News and right-wing radio viewer/listener.  High school educated.  He has worked as a cook and a casino dealer.  He was born in Texas, lives in Southern California now, is Hispanic ethnically.  He was raised to believe, and still does, that Ronald Reagan was/is a God.  He is in very good physical health.  When we discuss politics and I say something that doesn't compute to his right-wing brain, he literally stands up, looking panicked and disoriented and somewhat angry, his head moving from side-to-side shaking "no", his arms flailing a bit, while he says "No, no, I won't listen to this!" very vehemently, but also very panicked, while he makes a move to flee.  Other times he just gets angry immediately and raises his voice, cuts off anything I might be saying and essentially tries to shout me down.  Needless to say, I have decided to avoid having any discussions with him about politics.  He does, however, continue to make snide remarks to me about the latest "news" and "facts" he has "learned" from Fox News and other conservative "news" sources about the "evil" Democrats.

        "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy

        by helpImdrowning on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:33:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  'The Cult of Neoconservatism', I like it. We may (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cotterperson, Dood Abides

        need to frame it that way to make headway against it. Good call.

        Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. The Druid

        by FarWestGirl on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 05:51:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think one lesson (9+ / 0-)

      is we need to think things through, and we need to listen.

      The exit polling was pretty clear: by a substantial margin the public did not think a recall should be used for something other than misconduct.

      It is not clear to me that the result in Wisconsin stands for anything more than the public's view that the use of recall should be very limited.

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 07:15:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Although already the framing is that (21+ / 0-)

        Unions are bad. "The people have spoken and agree that destroying unions is a good thing".

        I've seen that meme on multiple "news" sources and of course the RW is running with that.

        That one third of union households voted for Walker is still astounding to me...whatever their reasons. The results will be played endlessly as a vindication of Walker's extreme policies. "See, they like me! They really like me!"

        I worry like Dood above that the brainwashing in this country is so pervasive and the media so compliant that we may never be able to overcome the Age of Ignorance that is upon us.

        "one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress" -- John Adams

        by blue armadillo on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 07:25:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In this instance (8+ / 0-)

          we created our own disappointment.  We fought a battle thinking it would be a clear ideological fight - but it was not.

          The union vote in the recall wasn't that different that the union vote in other elections.  In 2008 39% of union households voted for McCain.

          The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

          by fladem on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 07:45:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But it was a clear ideological fight, (11+ / 0-)

            one that I think this diarist has done an excellent job of describing---one that was more about morality then policy.

            And I also don't agree that "we created our own disappointment."  That is simply too facile and too harsh for my tastes---and it belies the many righteous things fought for with heart and passion.

            You stated in a comment above that the recallers should have "listened" better, regarding the number of people who did not believe in the recall. Well, I followed the battle from the beginning, and NEVER was this information out there the way it was one day after the election, and the Washington Post poll.  This was not common wisdom throughout the battle, but rather information revealed in hindsight.

            There are many lessons to be learned from the Wisconsin recall, and I think this Diarist illustrates a very important one.  But the idea that the recallers chose the wrong fight is a lesson preached based on loss.  And if we stop fighting because we think we might lose, we're in trouble.

            •  No, the public (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dood Abides

              didn't see it that way.  They did not agree with the basic idea of using a recall to change policy.

              We should have known that would have been an issue before the fight was launched.

              We did not listen.

              The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

              by fladem on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 11:25:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  They were convinced by the money (3+ / 0-)

                There are many people who would have voted against a sitting governor in a recall election due to policy.  If a Democratic governor had outlawed guns or hunting they would have been gone.

                The answer is that the Republicans have managed to create class warfare between the low income and middle income classes.  Since the middle class has pensions and health insurance they feed on the resentment of the lower class that doesn't.  That gets the poor to vote against their economic self-interest because "If I can't have it they shouldn't have it too".

                What the Democrats need to do is convince the poor that they CAN have it too, but not as long as the Republicans are in charge.

                THAT is the solution.

                Which is good news for John McCain.

                by AppleP on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 12:40:42 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Recall (11+ / 0-)

        The recall was also framed early on by ads especially in the rural areas targeted to the Tea Party.  That is what money can buy.  The recall was a desperate attempt to stop the bleeding in WI more by urban Progressives and not by rural Tea Party.  $30 million buys lots of framing and most of it was false.

      •  The problem was the media (11+ / 0-)

        framing of the recall and the sycophantic portrayals of Walker by the corporate media. The misconduct (in the form of favoritism/corruption) of the Walker Regime and his previous county executive office was patently obvious to those who were well informed on the issues. Furthermore, recalls were utilized for far less egregious reasons to remove politicians. Case in point, Senator George Petak of Racine in 1996, who was recalled for flip-flopping a vote in favor of a 0.25 percent sales tax to help pay for the Brewer's Miller Stadium. At that time (I am/was a Wisconsin resident since 1995), I heard no media punditry or opinion stating that a recall was for misconduct only.

        Trickle Down Economics 101: They get the golden parachute, we get the golden shower.

        by NoMoreLies on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:00:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  . . .even though it appears that there WAS (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NoMoreLies, New Rule

        misconduct by Walker. The John Doe investigation got no traction in the last days and now it seems to have died. Is it because "the people have spoken" that no one cares any longer that Walker may indeed be guilty of misconduct?

        "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

        by Lily O Lady on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:16:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The fact Walker was milwaukee county executive (8+ / 0-)

          and supervised an out of control staff in his office who embezzled funds from a disabled veteran charity and campaigned on behalf of their boss on the taxpayer dime should be telling enough. You are the boss and need to be aware of your employees behavior and issue corrective actions if the behavior is illegal or immoral.

          Trickle Down Economics 101: They get the golden parachute, we get the golden shower.

          by NoMoreLies on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:35:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think we can say (10+ / 0-)

          the John Doe investigation has died.  Not at all.  Fact is, we don't know what's going to happen with the John Doe now, as we did not know before the election.  

          I don't think those who have spent well over a year on this investigation are going to throw their hands up and drop the whole thing because the recallers lost.  This is not about the vote, it's about the law.  We'll see what happens, but we don't know anything yet.

          •  I hope not. It would be good to see (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            StellaRay, highacidity

            justice done. What would the public think of their votes against recall then?

            "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

            by Lily O Lady on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:41:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  John Doe is by no means dead. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              StellaRay, rosarugosa, madhaus

              There is some indication that Feds are involved as well. It's just an excruciatingly slow and methodical process.

              I don't know how much of an impact an indictment would have on those who voted for Walker. When it's one of their tribe they make excuses, deflect or claim every politician does it, and make him into a martyr for the cause. I'm not holding my breath that suddenly they'll see the light. Besides there are plenty of other rabid righties ready to pick up the torch where Walker leaves off.

              •  I was thinking more about the independent (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                StellaRay, highacidity

                voters rather an the rabid Walker supporters. The so-called reasonable ones depicted in the press. Maybe they're just a figment of the media's imagination. But if they're real, would their idea that a recall is only for wrongdoing be challenged by the facts?

                "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

                by Lily O Lady on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 11:17:58 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  The recall (0+ / 0-)

                was decided by about 15% of the electorate who voted for Obama in 2008, but did not think that a recall should be used in anything but an instance of misconduct.

                An indictment would have helped, but an indictment is not a conviction.

                The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

                by fladem on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 11:30:01 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  An investigation (0+ / 0-)

          is not the same as a conviction.

          The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

          by fladem on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 11:27:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  And yet, previous polling last Nov. and Jan., (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rosarugosa, highacidity, GustavMahler

        showed that people were in favor of recalls.

        ...the anti-recall sentiment was manufactured by a very smart, very effective and very expensive campaign by Walker and his allies....

        A St. Norbert College/Wisconsin Public Radio poll of Wisconsin voters, conducted in November as the petition drive to force the recall elections was being launched, asked if voters supported using the recall to remove Walker from office. Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed said “yes,”....

        In January 2012, when the recall petitions were filed, the Marquette University Law School Poll asked Wisconsin voters: “Regardless of how you would vote if a recall election were held, do you think the recall process should be changed to allow recalls only in cases of criminal wrongdoing, or should it be kept as it is currently with no such restrictions?”

        The answer: 53 percent of those surveyed said the recall provision should be “kept as it is currently with no such restrictions,” while just 43 percent said recalls should be allowed “only in cases of criminal wrongdoing.”

        What changed over the ensuing months?

        Read more:

        Walker, your pink slip is coming, unless the orange jumpsuit gets you first.

        by non acquiescer on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 01:41:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The problem is that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          non acquiescer

          low information voters are easily swayed by TV ads. The difference is the $30 million the Kock Bros. poured in the state.

          What ever was in those ads changed peoples minds.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. - Elbert Hubbard -9.62/-8.15

          by GustavMahler on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 07:20:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  In actuality, the demographics are on our side (0+ / 0-)

      Several percent of the Southern Baptist Convention falls away every year. Their own numbers. See The Incredible Shrinking Church, by Frank Page, former President of the SBC. You can see the generation gap on almost every issue.

      The Generation Gap and the 2012 Election

      Older people tend to be much more conservative (except on Social Security), while young people embrace diversity and so on. Those in between are reportedly less supportive of Barack Obama now than they were in 2008.

      Busting the Dog Whistle code.

      by Mokurai on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 03:37:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  For more (7+ / 0-)

    See also Moral Politics and Don't Think of an Elephant for more.

    Appealing to progressive morality is the best way to persuade swing voters who combine liberal and conservative values.

    Join the 48ForEastAfrica Blogathon for the famine in east Africa: Donate to Oxfam America

    by JayC on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 05:32:16 AM PDT

    •  would Jesus end Medicare & give tax cuts to 1%? (5+ / 0-)

      Jesus was a Liberal.
      vote Democratic!

      "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

      by MartyM on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 06:32:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And not just appealing to it, but helping create (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541, StellaRay

      it in public discourse.

      In any political discussion with ANYONE, the progressive morality undergirding all issues & potential policies must be spoken to, defined & made apparent so it can defeat conservative morality in listeners.  As noted above, until progressive billionaires start funding the widespread media dissemination of such moral concepts--an uphill task at this point given the successful profitization of "news" organizations--our promotive actions will be small-scale by comparison, so we can't miss opportunities.

      Before elections have their consequences, Activism has consequences for elections.

      by Leftcandid on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 06:39:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Was it lame progressive OR lame DLC 'moderate' (5+ / 0-)


    There is a difference, even though neither works beyond certain subsets of the shrinking dem constituency.

    and then there is the little itty bitty problem of diaper pissing progressives AND phake ass moderates NOT making much of anything work better, anyway!

    (how many of you have had to wipe out your piddly shit 401(k) or IRA while congress plays unemployment extension bingo? how many of you had to incur mass student loans from the rapacious privateers, or, skip that retraining attempt? How many of you have had to try to pay $600 month for Cobra when you're getting 1200 on unemployment? )

    So, even if there wasn't the pathetic Dukakis - Gore - Kerry messaging & tactics, even if you had some Clinton - Obama types who've won in the big league ----  

    what has the average putz got in the last 30 years?

    I go to Democratic thing-ies in Seattle and sundry elected crow about protecting this or that from being completely eliminated - and that is good! - BUT

    when the fuck has our side been kicking the asses of those lying bastards in the last 30++ years?

    I had NO bandwidth to follow Walker Vs. whoever - but, from the monday morning quarter backing I've skimmed, it seems like the campaign against Walker was just another Democratic POS ??


    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 05:43:18 AM PDT

    •  If you mean the Democratic PARTY, (9+ / 0-)

      perhaps a POS, 'way too little, 'way too late. The activists in Wisconsin, definitely not! They provide a model for standing together courageously against the subversion of democracy. They did the hard work of consciousness-raising, an essential step in creating change.

      A good question is, I think, did the activists raise the consciousness of the Party regulars? That, I believe, had much to do with the recall loss.

      "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

      by cotterperson on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 07:19:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  George Monbiot (10+ / 0-)

      has a pretty good piece in the Guardian today that argues that the moral difference stance is flawed, and that recent Democratic defeats can be put down to a lukewarm attitude by the party regulars + lack of interest by the working class because they see little difference in final policy and therefore decline to vote.  

      If Haidt (the analyst who pointed out moral differences between conservatives and progressives)) and his admirers were right, the correct strategy would be for Labour, the Democrats and other once progressive parties to swing even further to the right, triangulate even more furiously, and – by seeking to satisfy an apparent appetite for loyalty, authority and sanctity – to join the opposing tribe. But if the real problem is not that working-class voters have switched their voting preferences but that they are not voting at all because there's too little at stake, the correct political prescription is to do the opposite: to swing further to the left and to emphasise not "order and national greatness" but care and economic justice.

      "There's a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in". Leonard Cohen

      by northsylvania on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 07:54:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Joining the opposing tribe (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        northsylvania, NoMoreLies, elwior

        Yes, we've had too much of that from the party leadership, and it has come back to haunt them.

        Good points. Economic justice should prevail if we keep repeating the need for it.

        "We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty." Edward R. Murrow

        by Betty Pinson on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:21:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Economic justice" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          StellaRay, Aquarius40

          is a popular term in progressive circles, but I don't know what it means, frankly.  Does the average non-pollitical citizen know what it means? I don't think so.

          Does it connect with the real aspirations of real people?

          Since we are talking "framing" in this thread,  I think "economic justice" is due for a makeover.  

          It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

          by Radiowalla on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:36:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  An honest day's work (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            for an honest day's pay. How's that for starters?
            Beyond that environmental damage versus economic benefit, sacrifices made for further education, hazard pay, and other ancillary issues could be addressed.
            Sitting around and raking a percentage while sitting on your ass would not be included, though sales and marketing a reduced rate ;-)

            "There's a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in". Leonard Cohen

            by northsylvania on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 02:43:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  delivering the bacon? a chicken in every pot? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            catfishbob, Radiowalla

            I'm NOT apologizing or making excuses - I've been kind of busy  in my 52 years working & making sure that when the boss got pissed and was looking for asses to kick in the street --

            it wasn't me.

            BUT ----- we got leaders who all want to be the Rodin statue dude, sitting on his fucking ass pondering his belly button ---

            aside from needing to make shit work,

            we need to be able to effectively messaging when shit ain't working,

            ESPECIALLY if it ain't working cuz some rich pig fuck intentional made it NOT work so the rich pig could siphon off OUR surplus into HIS hookers and beemers and mansions.

            the opportunity IS there - the bottom 80% ++ of us have been getting the shaft for decades.


            Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

            by seabos84 on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 09:13:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Mostly, conservatives lie, because their (7+ / 0-)

    main interest is to dominate and that truth would be rejected, if it were to be admitted.
    Why do they need to dominate?  Because they are insecure and incompetent.  Being possessed of few talents but the gift of gab, they have to rely on prevarication to get their way.  Those bereft of the gift of gab, as well, have to resort to theft.  If they can steal legally, so much the better.  If they can't, they eventually end up in jail, where they are, rather ironically, taken care of better than they can manage themselves.
    We would probably save ourselves a lot of trouble, if we just recognized that some people are incompetent and provided them with sufficient social support to keep them quiescent. Acquisition probably only turns into an obsession (greed) as a consequence of repeated frustration.  The greedy need more because their obsession keeps them from ever having enough.
    I will grant that conservatives want to be nurtured. It's as if they still haven't gotten over being weaned.  Of course, the advent of bottle-feeding has brought with it a solution of sorts -- it's now considered acceptable to wander around with a water bottle in hand to effectively suckle oneself whenever the urge shows up. Perhaps that accounts for there being fewer conservatives among the millennials.

    "In the name of the nation, and of the dollar and of the rule of law, you and your children shall sacrifice for the good of all." Rmoney prayer

    by hannah on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 05:43:40 AM PDT

  •  We're all in this together (21+ / 0-)

    While his language could be a bit sharper, Lakoff's fundamental point about the absence of a clear progressive moral vision is exactly on target, and Wisconsin is indeed a case in point.  From a policy point of view, the central issue in Wisconsin is the proper balance between the public and private sector.  In that sense, Wisconsin is a microcosm of our national debate.

    The right has successfully framed that debate in moral terms-- that a bloated public sector is taking from you what is rightfully yours.  The progressive response to this should be obvious-- that we are all in this together, and that unless we stand together, we will all fall.  How often do you hear people in leadership positions in the Democratic Party talk that way?  

    I've taken to saying that the moral foundation of all progressive politics is the principle of social solidarity. Or, as Paul Wellstone used to say, "we all do better when we all do better."  Until this moral vision is advanced in a clear and consistent way (and backed up with action), the right will continue to dominate the debate, regardless of which party is in office.

    •  Obama talks that way (7+ / 0-)

      which leads Republicans to call him a "socialist."

      The progressive response to this should be obvious-- that we are all in this together, and that unless we stand together, we will all fall.  How often do you hear people in leadership positions in the Democratic Party talk that way?  

      "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

      by MartyM on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 06:35:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sometimes he does (8+ / 0-)

        Obama talks this way sometimes, but not consistently. It is my observation (though this would have to be confirmed by rigorous analysis) that when he talks this way, his poll numbers go up, and when he backs away (as he almost always does) his poll numbers go down.  He gave a speech a few months back (I forget where) on exactly this theme.  It got all kinds of favorable press converage, then he failed to follow through.

        It is also intersting that his poll numbers went up when Occupy Wall St was in the news, even though he distanced himself from it.  Then when Occupy Wall St was not in the news, his numbers went down.  The reason, I suspect, is that Occupy Wall St shifted the news frame to something more favorable to Obama

        •  He gives great speeches (11+ / 0-)

          but when he closes out the very people from discussions that might actually make any of the happy talk reality, it makes some of us rather skeptical that he is entirely sincere about fighting for what is right for the people.

          I say that with great regret and having voted for him knowing full well that politicians are politicians like a scorpion will always be a scorpion...but still. I had high hopes that he would actually put up more of a fight for the common citizen.

          I'll still vote for him but my enthusiasm that he might actually be able and willing to fight to effect any real change has dwindled. I'd love to be proven wrong on that though.

          "one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress" -- John Adams

          by blue armadillo on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 07:33:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't know that now is the time to liken (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            New Rule, Aquarius40

            President Obama to a scorpion, but I understand your disappointment, even if I don't agree with you.  I hope you are wrong as well, and hope that I am not wrong equally.  I suppose this is what it means to be "in this together".

            "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy

            by helpImdrowning on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 09:59:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  it is from the old tale of the (0+ / 0-)

              scorpion that cannt help but sting a simply is what a scorpion does. It's not out of evil or malice just it is what it is. And politicians are politicians. Some rare few are really in public service and see it as such (I truly believe Howard Dean is one of those) but mostly they are politicians doing what politicians do, no matter how convincingly they tell us they are different.

              "one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress" -- John Adams

              by blue armadillo on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:03:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I "are" educated and am fully aware of the (0+ / 0-)

                story of the scorpion and the frog.  I was trying to be subtle, which I have come to realize is not necessarily appreciated here.  My point, again, is that I don't believe that the President of the United States is the "scorpion".  I hope you understand where I am coming from.  Yes, I loved Howard Dean as well.  My first monetary donation was to Howard Dean for America; $500.00.  I had never given money before.  I have given money since. Yes, politicians are politicians and they do what they do and say what they say, but I would rather have an imperfect man who is decent than a man who professes to be "perfect" who is obviously not decent.  I wish you well.

                "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy

                by helpImdrowning on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 04:23:06 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly! (9+ / 0-)

      We need to distill the language we use into to digestible, emotion-driven bites and avoid academic jargon or buzzwords.  Lakoff, with all due respect, does a fine job as a theoretician but is less effective, IMHO, as a crafter of the very framing we need.

      You use "social solidarity," and I know exactly what you mean, but this is not a term that is easily understood outside of progressive blogs and seminars. .  Plus, it has some negative historical connotations.  OTOH, I love your quote from Paul Wellstone, "we all do better when we all do better."  Now that's social solidarity!

      Here are a couple of other suggestions to throw in the mix:  "Sticking together as Americans"
      "We're all part of the American family"
      "A fair shot for every family"

      It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

      by Radiowalla on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 07:27:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Instead we have Amy working for body armor (0+ / 0-)

      so the police will feel free to crack down us if we get uppity.  You notice the national party didn't want another Wellstone.  Even Franken has gone risk averse.

    •  The loss of Paul Wellstone was a great one (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      New Rule

      indeed and still makes me quite sad.  Your points are excellent and well stated.

      "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy

      by helpImdrowning on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 09:53:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The problem is, their frame is a little true. (0+ / 0-)

      Because corporations have done so much to buy and sell government, to a certain extent government has become an arm of the corporations to protect or even assist in robbing the populace blind.

  •  great framing, great take ... (8+ / 0-)

    Democracy is about citizens caring about each other.

    The Public is necessary for The Private to exist.

    Eliminating Pensions is thef.

    Unions protect worker rights.

    Public schools create opportunity.

    Democracy requires educated citizens.


    and thanks for sharing, professor.

    What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
    -- Maslow ...... my list.

    by jamess on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 05:52:45 AM PDT

    •  villify and divide... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I think both sides have two sides, certainly, your points are spot on for the unions.

      On the other side though:
      Unions have not done themselves any favors by

      1) Protecting jobs at the expense of protecting incompetent workers
      2) Some unions have been rather heavy-handed and there have been legitimate concerns of "thuggery"
      3) collective bargaining has put local municipalities at risk...

      I live in the san francisco bay area where the pension funds for San Jose increased from $73 million in 2001 to $245 million in 2012 (and represent about 25% of the operating revenue).

      And in 10 years, you can extrapolate that figure out to another significant increase.   That $245 million, representing 25% of the operating revenue is not sustainable.  Now, I don't know how the city can justify eliminating pension benefits for past employees (you call it thievery... I wouldn't disagree with you)...

      But San Jose is not alone...EVERY municipality is facing a similar crisis.   The pensions are not sustainable in this environment.  

      The reality of the situation is that unions and pensions are going to be a huge issue in the next 5 years as municipalities grapple with how do manage their operating revenue.   And while unions can call them cities have to cut back on schools, services, and public safety because of the large portion representing pensions for public employees...the public will NOT take kindly to unions and I think San Diego and San Jose cutting back on the pension payments to current AND former public employees is not a blip but rather a harbinger of things to come.

      •  So are you going to bus workers in from Mexico? (0+ / 0-)

        I think the public really wants the servant put back in public servant.

        •  Pensions are not sustainable... (0+ / 0-)

          If 25% of the operating budget of a city is due to to go former retired workers...And if current pension policies continue...that rate will increase dramatically over the next 10 years (as it has exponentially increased over the last 10 years)...

          How does a society support itself?

          You want an example of what happens? Look at Greece.  They have a great lifestyle - early retirement at 55, really nice pensions...   But their country is on the verge of bankruptcy because they cannot continue to support those that have retired.

          You can't have police officers, fire fighters, and teachers draw 75% of their salary upon retirement without their own pension supporting themselves.  

          The only way it works is if the system supports itself  - having current tax payers and cities pay 25% of their operating budget to retired people cannot last.  That means public union members having to pay more into their benefits, take a salary cut or some combination of the two.   There are no other options.

          You can get mad, you can cry injustice and unfairness...but at the end of the day, the large pensions of public unions won't and cannot last.

          You can stick your head in the sand...but the public is already showing you what they plan on doing with both San Jose and San Diego voting to retroactively cut pensions for public employee union workers.

          I'm not sure how they can change/modify a pension plan after the fact...but its been done and that is a change who's trend will continue to increase.

      •  That was never the case in Wisconsin, but, I (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        New Rule, helpImdrowning, Aquarius40

        understand your points. In Wisconsin, for the most part, the unions worked with the government, and in a good way, not a bad way.

  •  I Get It, But (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Leftcandid, mkor7
    The Wisconsin recall vote should be put in a larger context. What happened in Wisconsin started well before Scott Walker became governor and will continue as long as progressives let it continue. The general issues transcend unions, teachers, pensions, deficits, and even wealthy conservatives and Citizens United.
    You can stop there. Here's what happened and why:
    The Walker recall effort would, in fact, splinter the masses of anti-Walker protesters. Many progressives and most of the state's labor unions rallied behind former Dane County executive Kathleen Falk who, in January 2012, announced her intent to challenge Walker. Tom Barrett, who had lost the governor’s race to Walker in 2010, didn't announce his candidacy until late March, his entry pitting Democrat against Democrat, his handful of union endorsements pitting labor against labor. Unions pumped $4 million into helping Falk clinch the Democratic nomination. In the end, though, it wasn't close: Barrett stomped her in the May 8th primary by 24 percentage points.

    By now, the Madison movement was the captive of ordinary Democratic politics in the state. After all, Barrett was hardly a candidate of the uprising. People who had protested in the streets and slept in the capitol groused about his uninspired record on workers' rights and public education. He never inspired or unified the movement that had made a recall possible -- and it showed on Election Day: Walker beat Barrett by seven percentage points, almost his exact margin of victory in 2010. Democrats and their union allies needed to win over new voters and old enemies; by all accounts they failed.

    And had Barrett by some miracle won, after a few days of celebration and self-congratulation, those in the Madison movement would have found themselves in the same box, in the same broken system, with little sense of what to do and, in a Barrett governorship, little hope. Win or lose, there was loss written all over the recall decision.

    This gets to my earlier point: in crucial elections, the democrats have a habit of going with the wrong candidate, which makes the already difficult task of getting out the vote even more difficult.

    "The private economy is doing fine". President Obama 6.8.2012

    by Superpole on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 06:03:53 AM PDT

    •  Falk would have lost by even more (10+ / 0-)

      First of all, the fact that the article quoted refers to the "Madison movement" shows that that author has no idea what he is talking about.  It was a Wisconsin movement-- not a Madison movement.

      Second of all, while it is true that Barrett was not the candidate of the movement, neither was Falk.  Falk was the candidate of the union leadership.  She had no more organic connection to the movement than did Barrett.  The chief difference between them is that Falk was willing to commit herself publicly to vetoing any state budget that did not restore public sector collective bargaining rights-- a pledge that would have doomed her to catastrophic defeat in the general election.

      That particular pledge is an example of the type of politics that Lakoff is condemning.  Rather than offering a moral vision of the public good that is inclusive (which is what Lakoff is calling for), Falk framed herself as the candidate of the "self-serving government workers."  There are virtually no Walker voters who would have voted for Falk, but there are plenty of Barrett voters who would have not voted for Falk.

      As I reflect on all this, I become convinced that we lost the messaging war in the fall and winter, and that there's little that either Falk or Barrett could have done to have turned that around in the context of the truncated campaign.

    •  Um...turnout was at a record high (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cardinal96, Superpole, New Rule

      The grassroots came out en masse to support Barrett...

      I don't think your argument flies.  

      People saying that Barrett was outspent also miss the mark.   True there was a ton of money on Walker's side...but the fact of the matter is that Barrett lost the messaging battle LONG before that.   Walker's side framed the debate exactly because the public has gotten disenchanted with the unions, "high pension payouts, etc..."

      The vast majority of people had made up their minds before the recall election...that's why Barrett didn't close the gap.

      The people who voted for Walker last time...voted for him this time.   None of the people who voted for Walker last time, voted for Barrett this time.

      There was a TON of money...but in the end...they were preaching to the choir.   All of the canvassing, all of the $millions of dollars in ad...had a net effect of ... zero.

      The money wasn't the issue, the messenger wasn't the issue...

      The message was the issue.

      •  Barrett lost votes in rural Wisconsin (7+ / 0-)

        Barrett got blown out in rural Wisconsin-- even in counties where Democrats often do well.  He ran several percentage points behind his 2010 showing throughout rural Wisconsin.  That's where we lost the election-- and that is where we lost the messaging battle.  I do agree, though, that we lost the messaging battle in rural Wisconsin well before the election.

        •  Dems don't do well in rural counties...period. (0+ / 0-)

          Now, I'm from the left coast and admit I don't know much about the demographics in Wisconsin.   Have Democrats had much success in the past in rural counties in Wisconsin?

          But in my frame of mind...I still remember the vastness of red throughout the country when looking at the 2000 and 2004 presidential election results mapped out.   Blue were in urban pockets and along the coasts.  It was red from sea to shining sea...

          I can't imagine a progressive message being well-received in a rural county.

          •  Northern and Western WI are ancestrally Dem (0+ / 0-)

            There are a lot of rural progressives in the northern and western parts of Wisconsin. Ron Kind is a Democrat who represents WI-3 in Congress; his district includes Eau Claire and LaCrosse.

            "We don't have government anymore, we have an auction." -Lori Compas

            by DownstateDemocrat on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 06:21:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  They do in Wisconsin-- or they lose (0+ / 0-)

            Take a look at a county level map of either the 2000 or 2004 presidential elections in Wisconsin.  The Democrats narrowly carried Wisconsin in both years.  You'll notice that a whole bunch of rural counties in western Wisconsin, largely along the Mississippi River, went Democratic in both years.  If the Democrats can't carry the swing rural counties in western Wisconsin, they can't carry the state.

      •  R'd But (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Voter turnout was "record high".

        Correct, but you're forgetting our pathetic voter turnout overall-- around fifty percent for POTUS elections, and what? 25% for midterms-- 2010 midterms by the way saw nine democratic governor seats flipped to repuglican; including WI, MI, and OH.

        Russia has higher voter turnout.

        We needed 65-68% turnout for a Barrett win. Nearly everyone here is in total denial regarding the millions of marginalized people who don't show up on election day, and how this harms dems more than repugs.

        The democratic party's move to right under Clinton has been a gigantic fail. This essentially worked once: for Clinton in 1996. You can't out-conservative the
        conservatives. Forget it.

        This failed in 2000, and it's been failing since.

        The people who voted for Walker last time...voted for him this time.   None of the people who voted for Walker last time, voted for Barrett this time.

        There was a TON of money...but in the end...they were preaching to the choir.   All of the canvassing, all of the $millions of dollars in ad...had a net effect of ... zero.

        Beengo! The notion the dem candidate just has to stay in the box, spend millions on pointless, negative advertising-- is nonsense.  it's the old way of thinking, and means continued fail for the dems.

        "The private economy is doing fine". President Obama 6.8.2012

        by Superpole on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:56:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  70%+ turnout... (0+ / 0-)

          Guess what?


          2nd highest turnout in the COUNTRY even though it wasn't even a presidential election.

          I tell you again (not to be obnoxious)...turnout was not the issue.

          Even messaging wasn't the issue to an extent...

          When Walker made his stand, Democrat state senators fleed the state...everyone and their mother in Wisconsin got the message.   Public unions came out en masse, Walker had the podium...both sides got their message out.

          The high turnout this past election was evidence that the message on both sides got out.   That is unusual.  Usually, one side gets their message out and it squashes the turnout for the other party.   This time...both sides got their message out... and the public clearly believed not only in Walker's message ...but perhaps, the results of Walker's actions.   Now maybe the current economic climate in Wisconsin had nothing to do with Walker's actions...but budgets are more in balance, and employment in the state has risen.

          I think people are looking for a political leader who can bring about these results - reign in the budget crisis, decrease unemployment, get the state/country back on the "right" track.

          If Walker and Wisconsin continue to see improvement in the months bodes poorly for Obama and public employee unions because that rumbling you're hearing could be a tsunami of anti union sentiment as evidenced to date by Walker holding on to his governorship, San Jose (CA) and San Diego (CA) rolling back pension benefits for current AND past employees.

      •  Money wasn't the issue, but people made up their (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        minds based on Walker's ads from January thru May, or maybe already had their minds made up. But it is true that Walker began attacking Barrett (in ads) before Barrett was even running.

      •  Walker's message was pounded into (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The public consciousness over and over again before most Wisconsinites knew diddly-squat about Barrett.

  •  There's a Very Clear Progressive Vision. But Very (10+ / 0-)

    few Democrats are progressives.

    There's no way the Democratic Party is going to follow this advice till progressives start doing a lot of organizing outside and begin replacing Democrats with progressives.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 06:15:29 AM PDT

    •  Agree and Disagree (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Egalitare, LillithMc, greenbell, New Rule

      I agree that there are structural reasons why the Democratic Party is so bad at messaging, and I agree that chief reason is that the constituencies that have the strongest vested interest in good messaging are marginalized within the party.  I also agree that this will only change if there is progressisve organizing that goes on outside the structure of the party.

      I don't, however, think that we currently have a clear progressive vision.  Part of the reason it is so important to organize outside the context of the party structure is that we need our own spaces where we are able to develop and hone our own program and vision and organize around it.

    •  Actually, this is a very good point. (6+ / 0-)

      One of the reasons Democrats these days have a hard time articulating moral positions (at least the ones Progressives are interested in) is nto because they can't think of the appropriate frames for them; it's because they haven't personally adopted those positions.  They're working in a different direction than the one we would like them to.  Organizing will help them start to adopt those positions, which will provide motivation for finding/adopting better frames.  

      The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

      by TheOrchid on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 06:52:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  One get's the sense that many Democrats... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...are hoping against hope for some untarnished, unassailable label that they could rally behind without fear of being attacked for "owning" it.

      It took me a decade or so to disabuse myself of that fantasy, so I probably have developed too much patience for those who are still working on that.

      Though it really is amazing that balance - which is what most of us really believe we are striving for - could be so very hard to champion. Yet balance is the anathema of those who value and aspire to any inordinate Elite Control.

      Balance makes the Elite less so, and to borrow Mitt Romney's haircut assault rallying cry "(We) can’t (be) like that. That’s wrong. Just look at (us)!

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 07:10:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  its a numbers game (0+ / 0-)

      about 20-25% are progressives, 20-25% are conservatives.

      The country leans progressives start off a contest behind the proverbial eight ball.

      You've got about 8-10% "leaners" - one way or the other...that gives you the all important true "independents" and "undecided" voters. 30% are right smack dab in the middle.

      A hard core conservative message turns them off, a progressive message turns them politicians (on either side court and flirt with their "base" but run to the middle after the primaries.

      Any 3rd party candidate that starts to make headway (Ralph Nader, Ron Paul, Ross Perot)... are like bellweather for the 30% in the middle.   Once the 3rd party candidate starts picking up steam...the side closest to them (Republican or Democrat), take up the mantle of their particular cause du jour (Taxes, environment, etc)...and skewer the 3rd party chance to win.

      You're right, there is a clear progressive just does not resonate with the 30% in the middle.  Progressives have tried to couch their message in "bible terms", have sought to re-label their views for midwestern sensibility... but so far, it hasn't taken.

      The Tea Party with their simple message of "cut taxes" has resonated...because everyone wants to pay less taxes...but for the large part...the 30% of independents are also turned off by the far right rhetoric as well.

  •  Never liked the nurturing family/strict father... (7+ / 0-)

    ...framing.  I'm not sure how many people can really relate to a "nurturing family" these days, but they can certainly identify with the strict father.

    I prefer the framing of a team - Progressives prefer a community that acts as a team of equals, with everyone pulling in the same direction.  That produces a team of winners.  Conservatives prefer a team of superstars where all are working for themselves; that approach usually produces expensive, overpriced flops.

    Re unions, I like the image of sheep and wolves.  Without unions, you're just a single sheep versus a wolf - who do you think is going to win?  With a union, you have a group of rams against a wolf; the wolf can't hope to win.

    But having said that, I will buy the book.  Thanks for your efforts.

    The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

    by TheOrchid on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 06:43:51 AM PDT

    •  True - and I'll add (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson, TheOrchid
      Conservative morality fits the family of the strict father, who is the ultimate authority, defines right and wrong, and rules through punishment. Self-discipline to follow rules and avoid punishment makes one moral, which makes it a matter of individual responsibility alone. You are responsible for yourself and not anyone else, and no one else is responsible for you.
      I grew up in a progressive household but my parents always told me that I was the person who controlled the situation - never to get in a car with someone who had been drinking etc.  

      It's true - there are many situations in life where one has to take charge and be responsible for ones self.  That said, I would take it a step farther and pull the coil wire from my friends car so it wouldn't start so he couldn't drive - I learned you can't negotiate with a drunk so you do what you have to do to protect others as well as yourself.

      The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

      by ctexrep on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 06:57:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nurturing Family--Weakest aspect of Lakoff (10+ / 0-)

      I've long thought that the "nurturing family" metaophor is the weakest element of Lakoff's analysis.  It casts people in the role of children, with the government in the role of nurturing parent.  That is not how most people want to see themselves.

      A better progressive metaphor, I think, is the tight-knit extended family-- a family whose members may disagree, argue, and get on each other's nerves, but who are there for each other in a pinch.  That is a much more powerful metaphor for the progressive moral vision than is the "nurturing family."

    •  Strict father is assumed default preferable... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson, TheOrchid, rosarugosa the current rhetorical landscape.

      Lakoff used the terms to describe. He DOES NOT suggest that we use "Nurturing family" as some bumper sticker or rallying cry. Part of what he's getting at is our coming to grips with Conventional Wisdom assumptions that, as the Big Dog inelegantly but accurately suggested "Strong and wrong trumps weak and right."

      Our strength as a nation has always been our numbers and our capacity to do great things as a people. That gets lost when we allow ourselves to be measured only and exclusively by the yardstick that the Financial Elites prefer.

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 07:25:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nice. Great framing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 07:40:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is a great approach to framing in a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      way that will appeal to a wider range of people.  It might even make more of them actual voters.

      "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy

      by helpImdrowning on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 11:21:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Riane Eisler's (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Dominator vs. Partnership model is much preferable, IMO.

  •  "Never move to the right... (12+ / 0-)

    thinking you’ll get more cooperation that way."

    Words to live by.

    "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened." Sir Winston Churchill

    by psnyder on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 06:44:21 AM PDT

  •  From the heart of Waukesha County (16+ / 0-)

    I am definitely feeling the blues.  

    As a non-union member, who believes this was about more than just union busting, and who picketed at the capital in snow and cold (falling sick a couple times), collected recall signatures, and phone banked....I am very, very blue.

    Yeah, having a little bit of a pity party.  I'll get over it. Just not yet.

    Due to recent cutbacks, the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off.

    by cyeko on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 06:58:32 AM PDT

    •  Thank you for your work, cyceko. (8+ / 0-)

      You've got every right to be blue having given all you had. When it passes, please know you activists have been a much-needed model for all of us. If more of us can follow your lead, and if the Party learns from their weak support of your work, a better world is still possible.

      Peace, and rest well.

      "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

      by cotterperson on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 07:39:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I hope you know how much many of us from (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rosarugosa, highacidity, jofr, cyeko

      all over this country were impressed and inspired by the actions and heart you and your fellow Wisconsinites brought to this fight.  It was truly awesome.  I'm from California but my heart was in Wisconsin.  We eagerly and hopefully watched you guys rally and protest at the Capital against Walker and the Republican's theft of workers rights, and cheered your championing of Democratic causes.  We sincerely felt we had a personal stake in the recall election and everything it stood for.  You all seriously touched our hearts, motivated our souls, and brought us together.  Don't think for one minute that any of your efforts were wasted or in vain.  We have just begun to fight.  You are us and we are you.  Rest up, there is much more for all of us to do.  I wish you well.

      "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy

      by helpImdrowning on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 11:42:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You're going to take from me and give to you? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cardinal96, Vicky

    That was the basic message of Republicans.  A public that has been hammered by job losses, falling home prices, and rising gas prices, sees public employees as over paid, lazy, and taking money out of my pocket to put in theirs.

    We have to change that, and it means many public employees will have to see their wages and benefits come back in line with the community they serve.  The best way to do that is to tie public employee wages and benefits to the median wages and salaries of the community.  We will continue to lose if we try to defend the status quo.

    •  Fighting over crumbs (9+ / 0-)

      They're taking the pie and leaving you to fight over crumbs.

      That's the truth, but I don't know if it's good framing.

      Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 07:42:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  How about the overpaid (6+ / 0-)

      CEO and ownership classes. We need to show how that doing far more to ruin society and drag down the middle class than anything paid to middle class government workers. The divide and conquer is a right wing meme. Wisconsin state workers had already suffered pay cuts and givebacks before Scott Walker was inaugurated, but Diane Hendricks, Scott Walkers billionaire sugar mama who gave his campaign $510,000, paid Wisconsin state taxes in 2010, but paid zero Wisconsin state taxes in 2011 after Walkers policies took effect, despite ample income. The teachers and state employees still contribute and pay taxes, as do the vast majority of the ordinary public, while millionaires, billionaires, and profitable corporations do not or pay very little. Why aren't we hammering this home?

      Trickle Down Economics 101: They get the golden parachute, we get the golden shower.

      by NoMoreLies on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:11:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  this. (0+ / 0-)

        "..The political class cannot solve the problems it created. " - Jay Rosen

        by New Rule on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 10:19:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I have used this very argument with (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NoMoreLies, highacidity

        right-wing folks I know.  I ask them, "Why is it okay for a relative handful of corporate CEO's to make a ton of money plus more and more every year, while everybody else is expected to make less and less every year?  How is it that Corporate profits have gone up and up every year, while they say there is no money to create new jobs?  How is it that oil company profits are the highest they have ever been in the history of the world, yet gas prices continue to go up and up?".  I try to keep it very simple, but they obviously don't have an answer for this and usually change the subject.  Cognitive dissonance in action.

        "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy

        by helpImdrowning on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 10:22:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That makes no sense in the real world (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NoMoreLies, rosarugosa

      Are you going to pay public workers the median income in Greenwich?  Are you going to pay the doctor and nurse at the VA the same as their patients?  Fact is the guy making $250k thinks the math teacher is his servant.

      •  Tie them to median, not make them the median (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        New Rule

        Just as we liberals talk about the ratio of CEO's to workers wages, we need some type of scale to tie a VA doctor (maybe 3 times median) to the community.

        If the average public worker package is higher than the average tax payer paying for that package, we're going to get more and more results like WI, and CA.  We simply can't tell hurting tax payers that they should pay whatever the unions can negotiate for public employees.  Trying to keep the status quo is a formula for defeat of Democrats around the country.

    •  Where do you get that meme? (0+ / 0-)

      None of the numbers I have seen show teachers, police, or firefighters anywhere getting paid too much or having any kind of overgenerous pensions. On the contrary, pay has been in decline for decades. In addition, all of the numbers show appalling cuts to their support services, whether that is school budgets or safety gear.

      What I remember from Wisconsin is a huge tax giveaway by Walker to corporations and the rich, thus creating a budget deficit, followed by the claim that it was the unions who were responsible for the deficit and then the union-busting legislation.

      A flat-out, despicable, vicious lie that Romney has now seized on and distorted even further to slander our President with.

      Busting the Dog Whistle code.

      by Mokurai on Fri Jun 15, 2012 at 04:02:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  T&R republished to Political Language & Messaging (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Nuance is lost upon those who choose not to look.

    by poliwrangler on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 07:37:24 AM PDT

  •  Yes, but. (5+ / 0-)

    It's not just about having a handy blue book of messaging and speaking from our values.

    As you point out, wealthy liberals (or even wealthy Democrats) have not made a counter-move to the vast network of right wing media, think tanks, and communications infrastructure, which at this point includes right-wing churches.  Al Gore's attempt with Current is the only such effort I know about, whereas as soon as Fox News first aired, if not before, all the Democrats needed to create their own media structure.

    If you can't disseminate the message as well as your opponent, it won't matter how good your message is.  Hence the fact that money can buy elections.

    That said, your advice is obviously good.  But without a means to employ it, even good advice is not going to work. I suppose if the rich won't do it, we could try to create our own version of such a messaging infrastructure.  That's probably what we should be working on right now.

    Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 07:38:55 AM PDT

  •  Winston Churchill wouldn't have been any good (5+ / 0-)

    if a lot of people hadn't heard him.

    You can have the most wonderful content in the world and it won't help if you have no broadcasting mechanism.

    Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 07:43:46 AM PDT

  •  So close but so far- Wisconsin ethos (4+ / 0-)

    In Wisconsin, at least, it's not quite like that.  Here, the foundational myth of Wisconsin society is based on the independent yeoman farmer.  Most people consider themselves to either be one or to be one step removed.  It's fundamental to the identity.

    But the thing about that type of people is that they naturally take care of each other, neighbors, and even strangers who need help.  The reason is that it's a sign of individual strength to be able to support others.  But to be forced to do so by an outside authority, such as a government, is an insult.

    Even your suggestions are too policy-wonky and specific.  What would work far better is to show how ideas like solidarity actually fulfill 'right-wing' morals like individual strength.

    But such necessitates a massive change in even how the 'left' thinks of such things.  This idea that people have to be FORCED to help others has to end.

  •  Republicans lack empatby. They cannot (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, bumbi, Aquarius40

    picture themselves being in a situation where they will need the kind of help being offered to the people currently suffering under our system of rapacious capitalism. Many of them will end up under the boot of this system and ask themselves what the hell happened. The answer voted for it.

    The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. G.B. Shaw

    by baghavadgita on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 07:53:24 AM PDT

  •  It is about framing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

    by idbecrazyif on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:05:58 AM PDT

  •  And will the Democratic politicians listen? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    helpImdrowning, 3goldens, New Rule, jofr

    Unfortunately, probably not.  They will continue to make the mistake Lakoff warns about:

    Never move to the right thinking you’ll get more cooperation that way.
    Obama made that mistake since being elected (with a break to get re-e-lec-ted, of course).  

    You'd think the Dems would see how effective Luntz has been for the Repubs and try to counter him y following Lakoff's advice.  But that would make too much sense.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:13:09 AM PDT

  •  Thank you, Mr. Lakeoff (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Loved your book, "Don't Think of an Elephant."  Just terrific insight as always.

    Lawrence, KS - From ashes to immortality

    by MisterOpus1 on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:19:19 AM PDT

  •  While Blue Books and moral arguments sound (9+ / 0-)

    like a strategy for progressives to pursue, this assumes a level playing field. And the playing field is decidedly not level. Sunday talk shows are skewed right. Truth and propagandistic lies are given equal weight in the media. Talk radio has been dominated for years by right wing hate speech. I can just hear Rush Limbaugh equating the Little Blue Book with Chairman Mao's Little Red Book. And you can bet that that will stick!

    I'm not sure how progressives can win this propaganda war with such low visibility, unless progressive ideals can be imbued with some forbidden cachet.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 08:33:30 AM PDT

  •  Teach this to Obama... (0+ / 0-)

    he's the one in need of lessons.

  •  Whoever owns the word "freedom" wins. (5+ / 0-)

    I have no idea how the right has hijacked this word. Walker drops the word freedom all the time.  Here is a segment from Walker's 2011 inauguration speech.

    Our rights as free people are given by our creator, not the government. Among these rights is the right to nurture our freedom and vitality through limited government.

    These rights were articulated in our original constitution. They were never amended nor revised. And these rights are evident and expressed in our cherished freedoms. Among them... freedom of press, freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

    Article I, Section 22 of the state constitution reads so eloquently: "The blessings of a free government can only be maintained by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality and virtue, and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles."

    Today, in this inauguration, we affirm these values and fundamental principles. It is through frugality and moderation in government that we will see freedom and prosperity for our people.

    He says "free" eight times in these six consecutive sentences, and this speech is nearly identical to every speech he says.  Of course it's a lie.  The 400 billionaires who own more than half of the country and desperately want the other half sure don't seem concerned with freedom for anyone but themselves.

    The only freedom the right offers is freedom from freedom -- freedom to be robots/slaves/dittoheads of those at the top who have all the money and power.  Those on the right repeat the lie that if we destroy the only thing standing between us and our would-be oppressors, freedom (not oppression) will magically appear.  

    The left offers true freedom.  The freedom to spend time with your family, freedom to earn more money (via unions), freedom to grow, freedom to learn, freedom to say what you want, freedom to not be afraid of drinking dirty water, freedom to not go bankrupt when you are sick, freedom to leave your job and become an entrepreneur (because of Obamacare).

    When people think of Obama, the first thing they need to think of is freedom.  When they think of Romney they need to think of oppression, because that is honestly the only thing that Republicans offer.  

    That's why righties have to lie so much -- they need 51% of people to sign up for greater oppression, which is a tough sell.

    After witnessing Wisconsin, I'm convinced that the winning candidate will be the one who is most closely aligned with freedom.  Democrats are the only party that offers freedom, but the only problem is that we often lack the money to remind people of it.

    Walker has taught me that the only thing that matters is talking about freedom.  That's it.  If we do that, we win.

    "Without faith we cannot move, without science we cannot see." -Albert Einstein

    by quiet is the new loud on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 09:23:32 AM PDT

    •  In the sense that conservatives, moderates, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      quiet is the new loud

      and at least some majority of independents are easily swayed by rhetoric and propaganda, I believe you are right in the sense that grabbing some of these people over to our side could help get us over the finish line.  Let's face it, we need all of the help that we can get.

      "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy

      by helpImdrowning on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 10:31:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am currently reading (0+ / 0-)

      Colin Woodward's "American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America."

      Woodard notes that Tidewater (and Deep South and Borderland) elites focused on LIBERTIES (Latin libertas) - an idea from classical republicanism of ancient Greece and Rome where the learned focused on THEIR liberties as enlightened rulers in a naturally ordered, hierarchical society. Leaders such as Washington, Jefferson, and Madison emulated the learned, slave-holding elite of Athens.

      In contrast, the Germanic concept of freiheit, FREEDOM, informed political thought of Yankeedom and the Midlands. Such freedom was the birthright of free individuals, equal before the law. Many Anglo-Saxon tribes had the right to rule themselves through assemblies, as seen in the Icelandic Althingi and the town meetings of New England.

      Interestingly to me, these concepts are similar to the priestly and prophetic strains of Christianity and/or to Public vs. Private Protestantism.

  •  Framing the Results of the Recall (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rosarugosa, Vicky, Aquarius40, We Won

    What troubles me is that there has been little or no recognition that Walker may have won but the recall took his rubber stamp Senate away from him, a significant victory.  There is also little or no recognition that the voters seemed to have rejected Walker's recall because they did not approve of a recall for political purposes.  According to one report I saw, the majority of voters thought that recalls should be used only for illegality and corruption in office.

    These two ideas mean that we are giving away a perceived victory and failing to understand one underlying reason for loss.  Neither of these are good.

    Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

    by gmoke on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 09:31:57 AM PDT

  •  Unfortunately, Americans are now a very selfish (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    New Rule, Lily O Lady

    lot.  The Republican message resonates, I think, because it appeals to selfish self-interest, while hiding behind the facade of patriotism, [macho] strength, and individuality.  By so hiding, it allows those who buy it to delude themselves into thinking that they are not actually selfish, greedy bastards who don't give a damn about their fellow human beings.

    The Little Depression has exacerbated this selfish trend; and, without a very persuasive, consistent, and emotionally resonant message to counter the Republican one, we may be in for a drubbing in November.  Even if "our side" wins, look at what that gets us:  Mark Pryor and Claire McCaskill seeking to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, and a President who buys into the whole neoliberal/austerity garbage economics.


  •  This article and the frame presented is good in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    New Rule

    that it explains certain things, like why many conservative people felt the protests were "tantrums".

    There is something that we are not being honest about here. Taxes in Wisconsin, at least property taxes are quite high, at least for homeowners. Walker said he cut taxes or kept them even, without layoffs. Technically, he is correct. Actually, he did cause layoffs and fees to go up, etc., etc., but you have to do research to figure it out.

    Many people want public education, but they want the schools to get by on less. Logically, that would mean cut back on administration, not teachers or classroom supplies. But instead there is an anti-teacher sentiment. (You could substitute any public worker for teacher-it is the same thing)

    My guess is the tax-cutting is what got rural Wisconsin on Walker's side. I don't know, but I think if you have more land, you pay more taxes. Taxes went down for the first time in a long time.  Yes, tuition at colleges will go up, but only families  with college age kids care about that.

    Remember when Bush sent out tax rebates? People like that. They get $500 in the mail and they vote again for the guy. Walker is doing the same thing, in his way. People hate high taxes.

    I think it is simple and we are over analyzing things.

    If it is true that 10-16% of people don't like Walker, but voted for him anyway, because they don't like recalls, then we have lost the battle, but not the war. If that is true, then there are many more intelligent people in the world than I would think and my tax idea only applies to about 40% of the population.

  •  There is a religious divide working as well (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rosarugosa, Lily O Lady, Aquarius40

    People who are religious tend to dismiss the role of government too;

    Believers in an Active God Don't Believe in a Social Safety Net

    A recent survey conducted by Gallup for Baylor University finds very strong correlations between belief in an active God which has a plan for individuals with believing that people shouldn't collect on unemployment insurance. It's not hard to understand why such a correlation would exist

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 10:09:33 AM PDT

    •  There are many progressive churches with strong (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      social justice programs. I always associate religion with social justice, eventhough I know people here on Daily Kos don't.

      I think of nuns and priests (not pedophiles, obviously), people like Mother Teresa of Calcutta as progressives, mainly.

  •  During the campaign... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rosarugosa, Aquarius40

    ...I heard the progressive moral arguments often, and I also heard and saw a lot from the Republicans that had absolutely nothing to do with promoting any morality.

    Still, I agree that we could benefit from a more organized attempt to stress the progressive moral argument. It was often just thrown in. I can't discount the money, though. Walker started running ads last October.

    I think we'll know more after the November elections when we see if any of the newly redistricted state districts vote in ways that the Republicans didn't expect when they drew the new boundaries. No recalls , just straight up, regularly scheduled elections.

    "They are an entire cruise ship of evil clowns, these current Republicans"...concernedamerican

    by Giles Goat Boy on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 10:19:59 AM PDT

  •  So many people on the left call this BS. (0+ / 0-)

    Booman springs to mind, but it's always seemed so perfect to me. People are stupid, they need to feel righteous (moral) for voting for something.

  •  out loud and every day is not louder than RW radio (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rosarugosa, LillithMc

    thanks for the great work but until the left recognizes and responds to their most important and effective messaging and framing tool the left is just going to be playing catch up.

    even when liberals make headway on something the high paid PR pros in the think tanks will devise a counter attack and blast it out the radio megaphone and soon it's got the louder buzz.

    climate change demands the left adjust ASAP and stop pretending their radio advantage can continue to be ignored.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 11:48:44 AM PDT

  •  We needed you at Netroots Nation (0+ / 0-)

    This was a conversation in some places, but not enough of the panelists have a clue. How do we better get the word out?

  •  Recall in California (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The recall in CA followed the blackouts for blackmail by Enron and friends.  Everyone paid large utility payments for several months until Grey Davis stepped in with some state money.  Grey Davis was furious at the GOP-related scam.  The GOP organized the deregulation and invited the energy companies in to do their rip-offs. When Davis went after the money they stole, the fat cats stepped in with their "Walker" in the form of Swartzenegger.  Arnie was cool and most people voted for him as a well-known actor (like Reagan).  Arnie never went after the stolen loot.  What really happened to Davis who had just been reelected never made the news.  But the state flipped to Democratic after the blackout mess and other than Arnie and GOP obstruction, has remained blue.  WI and other red states could change if the fat cats steal enough to be obvious.
    There is real objection to public unions that has been stoked for years by the GOP.  In that case, the unions and their members need to do a better job with their frames or they are toast.

  •  A lot of this "public" phobia (0+ / 0-)

    comes out of evangelical theology. While conservatives have always tended towards "me over we", by virtue of their emotional and psychological natures, once the evangelicals took over the Republican Party, the emphases shifted towards anti-government & anti-community policies. Evangelicals believe that people are "saved" only by their individual acceptance of Christ; the group, the community, the Public, cannot save you. For them, everything begins and ends with the individual.

    We've all heard it before: "personal responsibility," "nanny State," "self-sufficiency." Community not only doesn't help social behavior and social ills, it is corrosive to them. Why? Because community lessens the will of the individual to take personal responsibility for his/her own behavior and well-being. Which is to say, it lessens the will of the individual to rely solely on Christ for anything good. To rely on anything other than God and oneself is to accept impurity into one's own being, and purity on all levels of being is very, very important to conservative evangelicals.

    Conservatives in general, and evangelical conservatives in particular, tend to have a very Hobbsian view of life and other people. Folks on the liberal end of the spectrum don't, as a rule. No doubt reality resides somewhere in between the two views, but I know I'm a happier, more hopeful person than most conservatives I know. And the anti-Hobbsians really do have a strong moral base for their views and policies. All we need to do is make the effort to make our case to The Public, clearly and unequivocally. Liberalism may not lead to rainbows, butterflies, and fluffy bunnies, but I think that it does make for a stable, pluralistic society.

    The whole point of society is to be less unforgiving than nature. - Arthur D. Hlavaty

    by Alice Venturi on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 12:44:59 PM PDT

  •   Thank you so much, Mr.Lakoff. (0+ / 0-)

    I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization -- SCOTUS Justice O.W. Holmes Jr.

    by Irons33 on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 01:44:47 PM PDT

  •  Tipped, recced and republished to (0+ / 0-)

    I started with nothing and still have most of it left. - Seasick Steve

    by ruleoflaw on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 04:49:58 PM PDT

  •  Compas and Dexter were Camp Wellstone grads (0+ / 0-)

    We needed someone who could run a Paul Wellstone-type campaign in order to counter Walker's enormous spending advantage. If the WDP had recruited a sacrificial lamb to go up against Big Fitz, Compas would have probably run for Governor and defeated Walker. I would have gotten a kick out of seeing Compas make Walker look like a fool in the gubernatorial debates, of course, I got a kick out of seeing Barrett make Walker look like a fool the way it was, but Barrett basically ran his campaign around his debate performances.

    "We don't have government anymore, we have an auction." -Lori Compas

    by DownstateDemocrat on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 05:22:52 PM PDT

  •  You can tell all the truths you want... (0+ / 0-)

    ...but if you're going to be as badly outspent as Democrats were in Wisconsin, it's going to be an uphill battle with the overall economy in the shape it's in.

    How about making your book available for free so you can empower more people with your talking points? Or...

  •  it's ironic that it's referred to as morality (0+ / 0-)

    the conservative "morality" he describes is anything but; When someone conservative refers to religious faith, I ask them how they can justify wars or other conservative policies from a religious perspective. No answer because they can't...

    when I see a republican on tv, I always think of Monty Python: "Shut your festering gob you tit! Your type makes me puke!"

    by bunsk on Tue Jun 12, 2012 at 06:49:00 PM PDT

  •  John Nichols - re-framing successful by Repubs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rosarugosa, LillithMc

    Framed: How Redefining Direct Democracy as Anti-Democratic Won Wisconsin

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