Saturday, April 02, 2005

Arggggh...back to this argument...again!


Not one, but two Progressive bloggers misunderstand Lakoff: Brad Plummer and Ezra Klein. I have already, several times, lamented the sit uation (Lakoff, Femiphobia and Writing On/For Blogs) that arises when people read only articles or the "Elephant" book and write highfallutin critiques with out understanding the first thing about what Lakoff is all about. They are both smart guys. If they would just read "Moral Politics" instead....

I have critiqued Lakoff before, many times (e.g., most recently in Regressives), but thier criticism focuses on the wrong issues altogether.

The main misunderstanding: they think that Strict Father and Nurturant Parent are, in themselves frames. NO!!!! Strict Father and Nurturant Parent are NOT frames - they are tools for us to keep in mind when we MAKE frames (Nurturant Is Not Coddly).

The above mistake reveals that they do not understand what framing is. Coining a catchy phrase will not do a miraculous job. It takes a lot of work, a lot of organization and a lot of time to CHANGE a frame.

Lakoff is not going to be a Democratic answer to Luntz. Luntz is a pollster who measures what works and goes with it even if it is a great lie. Lakoff will probably hire a pollster to do that part of the job, but will mainly orchestrate a much larger strategy of CHANGING PEOPLE'S MINDS - literally, changing the way Americans' brains work - THAT is fram ing, not playing with words and slogans. Framing is not just invention of phrases, it is not use of language per se - it is a skill of using language in a way that makes your voter's brain THINK IN A CERTAIN WAY. Check out Rockridge Forum and Feldman's F rameshop for some good work there, and let Lakoff do his job.d{

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