It’s the Mind, stupid

George Lakoff:

  …the choice of Sarah Palin as their vice presidential candidate reflects their expert understanding of the political mind and political marketing. Democrats who simply belittle the Palin choice are courting disaster. It must be taken with the utmost seriousness…

  …the Palin nomination changes the game. The initial response has been to try to keep the focus on external realities, the “issues,” and differences on the issues. But the Palin nomination is not basically about external realities and what Democrats call “issues,” but about the symbolic mechanisms of the political mind — the worldviews, frames, metaphors, cultural narratives, and stereotypes. The Republicans can’t win on realities. Her job is to speak the language of conservatism, activate the conservative view of the world, and use the advantages that conservatives have in dominating political discourse.

Either it’s nuts or political jujistu of the first water. And even if it’s the former, it could turn into the latter. Obama and the dems can’t wonk their way to victory, even if that’s their nature. (And it is.)

3 comments

  1. Calvin Dodge’s avatar

    It’s the liberal mind, stupid.

    Basically, Lakoff’s article boils down to:

    1) Liberals are reality-based
    2) Conservatives are not
    3) Therefore, conservatives must rely on skillful marketing to fool people, because they can’t persuade them with the truth.

    That is SO funny, given that:

    1) Liberals claim an ultra-liberal (as defined by his voting record) candidate can magically bring the country together
    2) They also claim that a product of the Chicago machine, who demonstrated loyalty to that machine (supporting corrupt incumbents over challenging reformers) will somehow reform government to make it kinder, nicer, or something like that
    3) They claim that renewable energy sources (i.e., ground-based solar-powered processes) can solve the energy crisis, when anyone who actually DOES THE MATH can see that it’s not possible, even if they stopped their opposition to actual renewable projects (like wind turbines off the Massachusetts coast).

  2. Emil Sotirov’s avatar

    The dems are children of the American academia. The academia of literalism and 18th century notions of “facts”, “history”, “reality”, etc…

    I still remember the primitive course in formal logic I was forced to take at the Doctoral Program in Architecture at the University of Michigan back in 1992. And, sadly, I was the only one to wonder what was a high-school level course (at best) doing at the 8th year college level.

    Here is something I wrote in 2006 when I heard about a movie called “Idiocracy” (I liked the title but still haven’t seen it):

    “Idiocracy happens when good and highly educated people – fearing a repeat of the (presumably) intellectual-born horrors of 20th century Europe – prefer to inhabit a mental 18th century utopedia (induced by the literalism of American academia), thus leaving the non-evidence based world (a.k.a. business, politics, and culture) to Limbaughs, Dohertys, Foleys, DeLays, Lays, Roves, Chenneys, and Bushes.”

  3. Bob Kalsey’s avatar

    I suspect Palin was selected to play the role of the be-lipsticked pit bull, in which she can attack Obama with more of the vicious sarcasm she barked in her acceptance speech — leaving McCain to play the conciliatory statesman: the uniter-not-divider of the team. Great strategy, if a tad cynical. The conservative base will love it, the powerless will admire it, it will be a generous gift to the press, and McCain can respond to any criticisms of Palin’s excesses with a wag of the head, a wink of the eye, a knowing smile and a “Well, golly, you know, she’s got a mind of her own, our Sarah does.” And that will just reinforce the perception of her as an outsider who’s not afraid to say what she thinks. For a lot of voters, that’s more important than what she does think. It’s going to be an entertaining campaign, and in November we’ll find out if sarcasm beats substance.

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