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Book Data

ISBN: 9781931498715
Year Added to Catalog: 2004
Book Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 5 3/8 x 8 3/8, 144 pages
Book Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Old ISBN: 1931498717
Release Date: September 1, 2004
Web Product ID: 292

Also By This Author


Don't Think of an Elephant!

Know Your Values and Frame the Debate

by George Lakoff

Articles by this Author

Alternet

Conservatives Are Waging a War on Empathy -- We Can't Let Them Win
By George Lakoff, AlterNet. Posted June 1, 2009.

The Sotomayor nomination has given radical conservatives new life. They have launched an attack that is nominally aimed at Judge Sotomayor. But it is really a coordinated stealth attack -- on President Obama's central vision, on progressive thought itself, and on Republicans who might stray from the conservative hard line.

There are several fronts: Empathy, feelings, racism, activist judges. Each one has a hidden dimension. And if progressives think conservative attacks are just about Sotomayor, they may wind up helping conservatives regroup.

Conservatives believe that Sotomayor will be confirmed, and so their attacks may seem irrational to Democrats, a last gasp, a grasping at straws, a sign that the party is breaking up.

Actually, something sneakier and possibly dangerous is going on.

Let's start with the attack on empathy. Why empathy? Isn't empathy a good thing?

Empathy is at the heart of progressive thought. It is the capacity to put oneself in the shoes of others -- not just individuals, but whole categories of people: one's countrymen, those in other countries, other living beings, especially those who are in some way oppressed, threatened, or harmed. Empathy is the capacity to care, to feel what others feel, to understand what others are facing and what their lives are like. Empathy extends well beyond feeling to understanding, and it extends beyond individuals to groups, communities, peoples, even species. Empathy is at the heart of real rationality, because it goes to the heart of our values, which are the basis of our sense of justice.

Progressives care about others as well as themselves. They have a moral obligation to act on their empathy -- a social responsibility in addition to personal responsibility, a responsibility to make the world better by making themselves better. This leads to a view of a government that cares about its citizens and has a moral obligation to protect and empower them. Protection includes worker, consumer, and environmental protection as well as safety nets and health care. Empowerment includes what is in the President's stimulus plan: infrastructure, education, communication, energy, the availability of credit from banks, a stock market that works. No one can earn anything at all in this country without protection and empowerment by the government. All progressive legislation is made on this basis.

The president wrote of empathy in The Audacity of Hope, "It is at the heart of my moral code and it is how I understand the Golden Rule -- not simply as a call to sympathy or charity, but as something more demanding, a call to stand in somebody else's shoes and see through their eyes."

President Obama has argued that empathy is the basis of our democracy. Why do we promote freedom and fairness for everyone, not just ourselves or the rich and powerful? The answer is empathy. We care about our countrymen and have an obligation to act on that care and to set up a government for the protection and empowerment of all. That is at the heart of everything he does.

The link between empathy and democracy has been established historically by Professor Lynn Hunt of UCLA in her important book, Inventing Human Rights. Hear her speak here.

The link between empathy and progressive thought is spelled out in my book Moral Politics and in my new book The Political Mind, just out in paperback.

In describing his ideal Supreme Court justice, President Obama cited empathy as a major desideratum. Why? Because that is what our democracy is about. A justice has to take empathy into account because his or her decisions will affect the lives of others. Before making a decision you have to put yourself in the shoes of those who your decision will affect. Similarly, in judging causation, fairness requires that social causes as well as individual causes be taken into account. Empathy forces you to notice what is crucial in so many Supreme Court cases: systemic and social causes and who a decision can harm. As such, empathy correctly understood is crucial to judgment. A judge without empathy is a judge unfit for a democracy.

President Obama has described Justice Sotomayor in empathetic terms -- a life story that would lead her to understand people who live through oppression and deprivation and what it does to them. In other words, a life story that would allow her to appreciate the consequences of judicial decisions and the causal effects of living in an unequal society.

Empathy in this sense is a threat to conservatism, which features individual, not social, responsibility and a strict, punitive form of "justice." It is no surprise that empathy would be a major conservative target in the Sotomayor evaluation.

But the target is not empathy as it really exists. Instead, the conservatives are reframing empathy to make it attackable. Their "empathy" is idiosyncratic, personal feeling for an individual, presumably the defendant in a legal case. With "empathy" reframed in this way, Charles Krauthammer can say, echoing Karl Rove, "Justice is not about empathy." The argument goes like this: Empathy is a matter personal feelings. Personal feelings should not be the basis of a judicial decision of the Supreme Court. Therefore, "justice is not about empathy." Reframe the word "empathy" and it not only disqualifies Sotomayor; it delegitimizes Obama's central moral principle, his approach to government, his understanding of the nature of our democracy, and progressive politics in general.

Read the whole article on Alternet.

 

AlterNet

How We Talk About the Environment Has Everything to Do with Whether We'll Save It
By George Lakoff, AlterNet. Posted May 20, 2009.

EcoAmerica is soon to make public a report on the framing of the environment called "Climate and Energy Truths: Our Common Future." The New York Times, on May 1, 2009, ran a front-page story on the report by John M. Broder called "Seeking to save the Planet, with a Thesaurus." It amounted to a belittlement of the report.

Broder quoted Drexel University Professor Robert J. Brulle as saying that "ecoAmerica's campaign was a mirror image of what industry and political conservatives were doing. 'The form is the same; the message is just flipped,' he said. 'You want to sell toothpaste, we'll sell it. You want to sell global warming, we'll sell that. It's the use of advertising techniques to manipulate public opinion.'"

The story missed most of the main issues, but at least it was on the front page. Broder, a fine environmental policy reporter, did his best with a very limited understanding of framing. I am glad that Broder and the Times saw that the issue is significant enough for the front page.

This is an attempt to make better sense of that story.

Framing is Understanding

How the environment is understood by the American public is crucial: it vastly affects the future of our earth and every living being on it.

The technical term for understanding within the cognitive sciences is "framing." We think, mostly unconsciously, in terms of systems of structures called "frames." Each frame is a neural circuit, physically in our brains. We use our systems of frame-circuitry to understand everything, and we reason using frame-internal logics. Frame systems are organized in terms of values, and how we reason reflects our values, and our values determine our sense of identity. In short, framing is a big-deal.

All of our language is defined in terms of our frame-circuitry. Words activate that circuitry, and the more we hear the words, the stronger their frames get. But if our language does not fit our frame circuitry, it will not be understood, or will be misunderstood.

That is why it matters how we talk about our environment.

But the frame circuitry in our brains doesn't change overnight. Just using the language of scientific facts and figures does not mean that the significance -- especially the moral significance -- of those facts and figures will be understood. That moral significance can only be communicated honestly and effectively using the language of value-based frames, preferably frames already there in the minds of the public.

What makes this hard is that there are two competing valued-based systems of frames operating in our politics, one progressive and one conservative. Parts of the conservative framing system is actually at odds with a realistic understanding of the environmental problems facing us.

For many years, the powerful conservative Republican messaging system in the country has communicated a greatly misleading picture to the public, successfully getting their frame-circuits established in the brains of a large proportion of the public. Meanwhile, the environmental movement and the Democrats have done a less-than-sterling job of communicating the reality of what we all face.

Luckily, a large proportion of the public has versions of both conservative and progressive value-systems in their brains, applying to different issues. Many Americans are conservative on some issues and progressive on others. It would be nice if political value systems were not involved here, but they are. The good news is that it may be possible to activate a realistic view of our situation by using the fact that many swing voters and even many Republicans are partially progressive, from the perspective of the value-systems already in place in their brains. If we are to talk about the environment effectively, we need to make use of this neural fact to bring about a true understanding of our situation through honest communication.

Read the whole article here.

 

Building on the Progressive Victory

BuzzFlash.com
By George Lakoff
December 13, 2006

As the 110th Congress prepares to take office, the post-election tug-of-war for the soul of the Democratic Party continues, with DLC folks spinning the election as a victory for centrism and others pointing to the role of economic populism.

The tug-of-war began on November 7, as Rahm Emanuel sprang to the podium in front of national TV cameras to announce a victory for centrism. Two days later fellow centrist James Carville called, unsuccessfully, for the resignation from the DNC of Howard Dean. Dean's 50-state strategy had been crucial in the Democratic victory. Carville and Emanuel are veterans of Bill Clinton's administration. They appear to want a centrist Congress and a centrist DNC in preparation for Hillary Clinton's presidential run.

The struggle to explain the election continues because it may well affect how Congressional Democrats will decide to act. Economic populism or centrism? The truth, I think, is both more complex and more interesting — and brings progressive values to center stage.

Framing has been part of the controversy. Framing has been about the deepest progressive values, ideas, and principles, future progressive policies, and the enterprise of accurately framing reality. Centrists, because of their concern with moving the party to the right, away from progressive values, have falsely framed framing itself as being mere messaging and spin.

It is time to return to accurate framing, beginning with the election itself.

To read more of this article Click on the link

 

Staying the Course Right Over a Cliff

The New York Times
By George Lakoff
October 27, 2006

THE Bush administration has finally been caught in its own language trap.

“That is not a stay-the-course policy,” Tony Snow, the White House press secretary, declared on Monday.

The first rule of using negatives is that negating a frame activates the frame. If you tell someone not to think of an elephant, he’ll think of an elephant. When Richard Nixon said, “I am not a crook” during Watergate, the nation thought of him as a crook.

“Listen, we’ve never been stay the course, George,” President Bush told George Stephanopoulos of ABC News a day earlier. Saying that just reminds us of all the times he said “stay the course.”

What the president is discovering is that it’s not so easy to rewrite linguistic history. The laws of language are hard to defy.

“The characterization of, you know, ‘it’s stay the course’ is about a quarter right,” the president said at an Oct. 11 news conference. “ ‘Stay the course’ means keep doing what you’re doing. My attitude is, don’t do what you’re doing if it’s not working — change. ‘Stay the course’ also means don’t leave before the job is done.”

A week or so later, he tried another shift: “We have been — we will complete the mission, we will do our job and help achieve the goal, but we’re constantly adjusting the tactics. Constantly.”

To fully understand why the president’s change in linguistic strategy won’t work, it’s helpful to consider why “stay the course” possesses such power. The answer lies in metaphorical thought.

Metaphors are more than language; they can govern thought and behavior. A recent University of Toronto study, for example, demonstrated the power of metaphors that connect morality and purity: People who washed their hands after contemplating an unethical act were less troubled by their thoughts than those who didn’t, the researchers found.

“Stay the course” is a particularly powerful metaphor because it can activate so many of our emotions. Because physical actions require movement, we commonly understand action as motion. Because achieving goals so often requires going to a particular place — to the refrigerator to get a cold beer, say — we think of goals as reaching destinations.

Another widespread — and powerful — metaphor is that moral action involves staying on a prescribed path, and straying from the path is immoral. In modern conservative discourse, “character” is seen through the metaphor of moral strength, being unbending in the face of immoral forces. “Backbone,” we call it.

In the context of a metaphorical war against evil, “stay the course” evoked all these emotion-laden metaphors. The phrase enabled the president to act the way he’d been acting — and to demonstrate that it was his strong character that enabled him to stay on the moral path.

To not stay the course evokes the same metaphors, but says you are not steadfast, not morally strong. In addition, it means not getting to your destination — that is, not achieving your original purpose. In other words, you are lacking in character and strength; you are unable to “complete the mission” and “achieve the goal.”

“Stay the course” was for years a trap for those who disagreed with the president’s policies in Iraq. To disagree was weak and immoral. It meant abandoning the fight against evil. But now the president himself is caught in that trap. To keep staying the course, given obvious reality, is to get deeper into disaster in Iraq, while not staying the course is to abandon one’s moral authority as a conservative. Either way, the president loses.

And if the president loses, does that mean the Democrats will win? Perhaps. But if they do, it will be because of Republican missteps and not because they’ve acted with strategic brilliance. Their “new direction” slogan offers no values and no positive vision. It is taken from a standard poll question, “Do you like the direction the nation is headed in?”

This is a shame. The Democrats are giving up a golden opportunity to accurately frame their values and deepest principles (even on national security), to forge a public identity that fits those values — and perhaps to win more close races by being positive and having a vision worth voting for.

Right now, though, no language articulating a Democratic vision seems in the offing. If the Democrats don’t find a more assertive strategy, their gains will be short-lived. They, too, will learn the pitfalls of staying the course.

George Lakoff, a professor of linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, and a senior fellow at the Rockridge Institute, is the author of “Thinking Points: Communicating Our American Values and Vision.”

 

George Lakoff & Evan Frisch -- Five Years After 9/11, Drop the War Metaphor

BuzzFlash
George Lakoff and Evan Frisch
September 11, 2006

Language matters, because it can determine how we think and act.

For a few hours after the towers fell on 9/11, administration spokesmen referred to the event as a “crime.” Indeed, Colin Powell argued within the administration that it be treated as a crime. This would have involved international crime-fighting techniques: checking banks accounts, wire-tapping, recruiting spies and informants, engaging in diplomacy, cooperating with intelligence agencies in other governments, and if necessary, engaging in limited “police actions” with military force. Indeed, such methods have been the most successful so far in dealing with terrorism.

But the crime frame did not prevail in the Bush administration. Instead, a war metaphor was chosen: the “War on Terror.” Literal — not metaphorical — wars are conducted against armies of other nations. They end when the armies are defeated militarily and a peace treaty is signed. Terror is an emotional state. It is in us. It is not an army. And you can’t defeat it militarily and you can’t sign a peace treaty with it.

The war metaphor was chosen for political reasons. First and foremost, it was chosen for the domestic political reasons. The war metaphor defined war as the only way to defend the nation. From within the war metaphor, being against war as a response was to be unpatriotic, to be against defending the nation. The war metaphor put progressives on the defensive. Once the war metaphor took hold, any refusal to grant the president full authority to conduct the war would open progressives in Congress to the charge of being unpatriotic, unwilling to defend America, defeatist. And once the military went into battle, the war metaphor created a new reality that reinforced the metaphor.

Once adopted, the war metaphor allowed the president to assume war powers, which made him politically immune from serious criticism and gave him extraordinary domestic power to carry the agenda of the radical right: Power to shift money and resources away from social needs and to the military and related industries. Power to override environmental safeguards on the grounds of military need. Power to set up a domestic surveillance system to spy on our citizens and to intimidate political enemies. Power over political discussion, since war trumps all other topics. In short, power to reshape America to the vision of the radical right — with no end date.

In addition, the war metaphor was used as justification for the invasion of Iraq, which Bush had planned for since his first week in office. Frank Luntz, the right-wing language expert, recommended referring to the Iraq war as part of the “War on Terror” — even when it was known that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11 and indeed saw Osama bin Laden as an enemy. Fox News used “War on Terror” as a headline when showing film clips from Iraq. Remember “Weapons of Mass Destruction?” They were invented by the Bush administration to strike terror into the hearts of Americans and to justify the invasion. Remember that the Iraq War was advocated before 9/11 and promoted as early as 1997 by the members of the Project for the New American Century, who later came to dominate in the Bush administration. Why?

The right-wing strategy was to use the American military to achieve economic and strategic goals in the Middle East: to gain control of the second largest oil reserve in the world; to place military bases right in the heart of the Middle East for the sake of economic and political intimidation; to open up Middle East markets and economic opportunities for American corporations; and to place American culture and a controllable government in the heart of the Middle East. The justification was 9/11 — to identify the Iraq invasion as part of the “War on Terror” and claim that it is necessary in order to protect America and spread democracy.

What has been the result?

Domestically, the “War on Terror” has been a major success for the radical right. Bush has been returned to office and the radical right controls all branches of our government. They are realizing their goals. Social programs are being gutted. Deregulation and privatization are thriving. Even highways are being privatized. Taxpayers’ money is being transferred to the ultra-rich making them richer. Two right-wing justices have been appointed to the Supreme Court and right-wing judges are taking over courts all over America. The environment continues to be plundered. Domestic surveillance is in place. Corporate profits have doubled while wage levels have declined. Oil profits are astronomical. And the radical rights social agenda is taking hold. The “culture war” is being won on many fronts. And it is still widely accepted that we are fighting a “War on Terror.” The metaphor is still in place. We are still taking off our shoes at the airports, and now we cannot take bottled water on the planes. Terror is being propped up.

But while the radical right has done well on the domestic front, America and Americans have fared less well both at home and abroad.

What was the moral of 9/11?

To Osama bin Laden, the moral was simple: American power can be used against America itself. This moral has defined the post 9/11 world: the more America uses military force in the Middle East, the more damage is done to America and Americans.

The more Americans kill and terrorize Muslims, the more we recruit Muslims to become terrorists and fight against us.

The war in Iraq was over in 2003 when the US forces defeated Saddam’s army. Then the American occupation began — an occupation by insufficient troops ill-suited to be occupiers, especially in a country on the brink of a civil war, where neither side wants us there.

The number of lives lost on 9/11 is currently listed as 2973. As of this writing 2662 Americans have been sent to their deaths in Iraq, a Muslim country that did not attack us. At the current rate, within months more Americans will have been sent to their deaths by Bush than were murdered at the hands of bin Laden.

9/11 was a crime — a crime against humanity — and terrorism is best dealt with as crime on an international level.

It is time to toss the war metaphor into the garbage can.

The war metaphor is still intimidating progressives. To come out against “staying the course” is to be called unpatriotic, weak, and defeatist. To say, “no, we’re just as strong, but we’re smarter” is to keep and reinforce the war metaphor, which the conservatives have a patent on.

It is time for progressives to jettison the war metaphor itself. It is time to tell some truths that progressives have been holding back on. What has worked in stopping terrorism is just what has worked in stopping international crime — like the recent police work in England. What has failed is the war approach, which just recruits more terrorists. In Iraq, the war was over when we defeated Saddam’s army. Then the occupation began. Our troops are dying because they are not trained be occupiers in hostile territory on the cusp of a civil war.

Bush is an occupation president, not a war president, and his war powers should be immediately rescinded. Rep. Lynn Woolsey’s resolution to do just that (H.R. 5875) should be taken seriously and made the subject of national debate.

I am suggesting a conscious discussion of the war metaphor as a metaphor. The very discussion would require the nation to think of it as a metaphor, and allow the nation to take seriously the truth of our presence in Iraq as an occupation that must be ended. You don’t win or lose an occupation; you just exit as gracefully as possible.

Openly discussing the war metaphor as a metaphor would allow the case to be made that terrorism is most effectively treated as a crime — like wiping out a crime syndicate — not as an occasion for sending over a hundred thousand troops and doing massive bombing that only recruits more terrorists.

Finally, openly discussing the war metaphor as a metaphor would raise the question of the domestic effect of giving the president war powers, and the fact that the Bush administration has shamelessly exploited 9/11 to achieve the political goals of the radical right — with all the disasters that has brought to our country. It would allow us to name right-wing ideology, to spell it out, look at its effects, and to see what awful things it has done, is doing, and threatens to keep on doing. The blame for what has gone wrong in Iraq, in New Orleans, in our economy, and throughout the country at large should be placed squarely where it belongs — on right-wing ideology that calls itself “conservative” but mocks real American values.

Metaphors cannot be seen or touched, but they create massive effects, and political intimidation is one such effect. It is time for political courage and political realism. It is time to end the political intimidation of the war metaphor and the terror it has loosed on America.

George Lakoff is a Senior Fellow at the Rockridge Institute, the author of Whose Freedom? and Don’t Think of an Elephant!, and Professor of Linguistics.

Evan Frisch is Rockridge Institute's Technology Strategist and responsible for expanding our capacity to empower the progressive community online.

© 2006 The Rockridge Institute, www.rockridgeinstitute.org

 

The Post-Katrina Era

By George Lakoff
Posted on AlterNet
September 6, 2005

It is impossible for me, as it is for most Americans, to watch the horror and suffering from Hurricane Katrina and not feel physically sore, pained, bereft, empty, heartbroken. And angry.

The Katrina tragedy should become a watershed in American politics. This was when the usually invisible people suddenly appeared in all the anguish of their lives -- the impoverished, the old, the infirm, the kids and the low-wage workers with no cars, TVs or credit cards. They showed up on America's doorsteps, entered the living rooms and stayed. Katrina will not go away soon, and she has the power to change America.

The moral of Katrina is mostly being missed. It is not just a failure of execution (William Kristol), or that bad things just happen (Laura Bush). It was not just indifference by the President, or a lack of accountability, or a failure of federal-state communication, or corrupt appointments in FEMA, or the cutting of budgets for fixing levees, or the inexcusable absence of the National Guard off in Iraq. It was all of these and more, but they are the effects, not the cause.

The cause was political through and through -- a matter of values and principles. The progressive-liberal values are America's values, and we need to go back to them. The heart of progressive-liberal values is simple: empathy (caring about and for people) and responsibility (acting responsibly on that empathy). These values translate into a simple principle: Use the common wealth for the common good to better all our lives. In short, promoting the common good is the central role of government.

The right-wing conservatives now in power have the opposite values and principles. Their main value is Rely on individual discipline and initiative. The central principle: Government has no useful role. The only common good is the sum of individual goods. It's the difference between We're all in this together and You're on your own, buddy. It's the difference between Every citizen is entitled to protection and You're only entitled to what you can afford. It's the difference between connection and separation. It is this difference in moral and political philosophy that lies behind the tragedy of Katrina.

A lack of empathy and responsibility accounts for Bush's indifference and the government's delay in response, as well as the failure to plan for the security of the most vulnerable: the poor, the infirm, the aged, the children.

Eliminating as much as possible of the role of government accounts for the demotion of FEMA from cabinet rank, for Michael Brown's view that FEMA was a federal entitlement program to be cut, for the budget cuts in levee repair, for placing more responsibility on state and local government than they could handle, for the failure to fully employ the military, and for the lax regulation of toxic waste dumps contributing to a "toxic stew."

This was not just incompetence (though there was plenty of it), not just a natural disaster (though nature played its part), not just Bush (though he is accountable). This is a failure of moral and political philosophy -- a deadly failure. That is the deep truth behind this human tragedy, humanly caused.

It is a truth that needs to be told, starting now -- over and over. There can be no delay. The Bush administration is busy framing it in its own way: bad things just happen, it's no one's fault; the federal government did the best it could -- the problem was at the state and local level; we'll rebuild and everything will be okay; the people being shipped out will have better lives elsewhere, and jobs in Wal-Mart!

Unless the real truth is told starting now, the American people will accept it for lack of an alternative. The Democratic response so far is playing right into Bush's framing. By delaying a response for fear it will be called "partisan," the Democratic leadership is allowing Bush to frame the tragedy. And once it is framed, it is hard to reframe! It is time to start now.

Hurricane Katrina should also form the context in which to judge whether John Roberts is fit to be chief justice of the United States Supreme Court. The reason is simple: The Katrina Tragedy raises the most central issues of moral and political principles that will govern the future of this country. Katrina stands to be even more traumatic to America than 9/11. The failure of conservative principles in the Katrina Tragedy should, in the post-Katrina era, invalidate those principles -- and it should invalidate the right of George Bush to foist them on the country for the next 30 years.

John Roberts, as chief justice of a conservative court, would have enormous powers to impose on the nation those invalid principles. Do not be fooled by the arguments of "strict construction," "narrow interpretation" and the avoidance of "judicial activism" that will be brought forth in the hearings. What Roberts is brilliant at is the use of "narrow interpretations" to have maximal causal effect. Narrow interpretation, in his hands, can serve the purpose of radical conservative judicial activism.

Consider a small example, the Case of the Hapless Toad. The Constitution empowers Congress to regulate "commerce ... among the several states." This clause has been interpreted by the Court to make it the constitutional basis for much of civil rights legislation and all major environmental laws.

Over the past decade, the Court has been diminishing the powers of the federal government over the environment by limiting the scope of that clause, even limiting the application of the Clean Water Act. A completely narrow interpretation could eliminate all environmental laws (e.g., clean water and air, habitat protection) and threaten our civil rights. Roberts has written in favor such a narrow interpretation.

The case concerned a developer who wanted to build a large housing tract in California that would destroy one of the last remaining breeding grounds of the arroyo southwestern toad, threatening its continued existence. The U.S. Courts of Appeals on Washington, D.C., upheld the right to life of the toad species under the Endangered Species Act. But Roberts, in a July 2003 opinion, wrote that the Interstate Commerce Clause, on which the Endangered Species act is based, should not apply to "a hapless toad that, for reasons of its own, lives its entire life in California."

Such a narrowing would threaten the legal basis of the Endangered Species Act. Anti-discrimination legislation is also based on the Interstate Commerce Clause. What about discrimination wholly within one state? Were Roberts to apply a similar narrowing criterion, much of anti-discrimination law would go out the window.

The point is simple. Narrow interpretations can have massive causal effects and be a form of radical judicial activism in the conservative cause. After the Katrina Tragedy, we cannot afford a radically activist Chief Justice with the same philosophy that has failed America so badly. The ultimate moral and political issues apply in both cases. John Roberts as Chief Justice would be a danger to our democracy and possibly to our very lives.

George Lakoff is the author of Don't Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate (Chelsea Green). He is Professor of Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley and a Senior Fellow of the Rockridge Institute.

© 2005 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved. View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/25099/


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