If only the Democrats had read George Lakoff a few years ago, we might not be in the position we find ourselves in today: out of power in the White House, out of power in Congress, and out of power in the Courts.
Lakoff has written down, in language liberals can understand, what Ralph Reed, Newt Gingrich, and Frank Luntz intuitively realized a long time ago. Language matters.
By defining a concept such as tax relief, the right wing of the Republican party not only set the terms of the debate, they seized the high ground. By defining tax cuts as tax relief, the right also defined those who were against tax cuts as essentially bad people.
If you are confused by this, you desperately need to read this book. Lakoff’s insights will not only send a chill of recognition through you. More importantly, he shows us the way out of the morass. Americans who want to be first to set the agenda need to be quick, and must understand the use of language. Agenda setters also need to be unapologetic and unafraid.
George Lakoff will be one of the most influential political thinkers of the progressive movement when the history of this century is written. It is up to those who want change to make good use of his unique insights.