Thursday, October 21, 2004

Why are Post-Modernists/Deconstructionists considered to be the Left?

Lakoff's students are blogging his class. Last time they met, they spent some time answering questions I posted on the blog there. I asked what was the position (in Lakoff's bi-modal scheme) of deconstructionists/post-modernists, as well as animal rightists (my views here:

Here are my questions - and I welcome additional answers:

1) Why are Post-Modernists/Deconstructionists considered to be the Left? Is it their historical source, or they somehow fit into the Liberal system (perhaps on a big radial diversion away from the core). I find it difficult to align disdain for science and reality with the Nurturant Parent model.

2) The same question on "Animal Rightists" (as opposed to "animal welfare" people which are clearly core liberals)? Is it just a huge radial deviation from the core? Their mindset (and tactics) reminds me more of anti-choice people than anti-war people.

You can see the questions and Lakoff's short answers here:

...and more in class notes linked here:

Now, my next set of questions:

1) "Moral Politics" goes into quite a lot of detail about the way Nurturant Parents raise their children of both sexes. However, the chapter on Strict Father only talks about the methods and consequences of raising sons ( How does a Strict Father family raise daughters? What is the effect of it? And, related to this, what accounts for the existence of two types of conservative women. The first type is a "submissive wife" who votes Republican because her husband (or father, or brother, or boyfriend, I've seen all combinations recently) tells her to do so. The second type is a vocal fiery conservative. What accounts for the existence of Ann Coulter and Phyllis Schlafly?

2) I am also in the process of analyzing a number of interviews (and debates) given by Democrats over the past year or so, concentrating on John Kerry, Teresa Heinz Kerry, John Edwards and Elizabeth Edwards. Once I am done, I will write a post on my blog about it, but the first impressions are that Elizabeth is a master re-framer. She re-phrases every question before answering, with the interviewer never seeming to notice what has just happenned. Elizabeth seems to combine a natural ability with a learned method (perhaps she read Lakoff). Has anyone else done such an analysis?

John Edwards seems to be a natural re-framer (which explains his great primary numbers with conservatives and independents), but makes occasional mistakes revealing he does not re-frame purposefully(

John Kerry, and especially Teresa, seem never to notice when the question is based on a conservative frame and keep falling into traps or, alternatively, appear not to answer the question. Howard Dean, who actually read Lakoff, is just as bad as Teresa. Sharpton was a fantastic re-framer in the primaries' debates, too! Others were clueless.

posted by coturnix @ 7:31 PM | permalink | (2 comments) | Post a Comment | permalink