Why is this happening...

Several days ago I posted a question here about why people seem to be voting against their own interests. James commented that he thought it was fear and some others weighed in with other suggestions...one of which was to read some of George Lakoff's books. Then a day or so ago someone on Kos put up a short diary stating simply a quote from Isaac Asimov::

“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'” ... which the diarist seemed to think is an explanation for what's happening. i.e., those other folks are ignorant.

Lakoff makes the case that this is not necessarily so, and that we can't persuade others with facts if they simply see things through a different lens...a lens formed by experiences encountered as a child...often through metaphors perhaps expressed by their parents. Lakoff said that if one could explain why some people see Anna Nicole Smith as a gold-digger and others see her a poor girl struggling to overcome the metaphorical "women's lot in life" we'd start to get the picture.

So, he's saying facts are facts, but we interpret them differently...and if we want to convince the other side we have to be able to understand how to communicate from their perspective. I'm still working on that...because it's hard. If I figure something out, I'll post it because we are somehow losing the battle using what we think are facts people should respect.

I welcome your thoughts....


This is why

This is why we should get better at owning language that we have traditionally viewed as off limits. For example, I believe progressives are indeed the real and true conservatives.

For a host of unintended reasons, we have gotten ourselves into a pickle of seeming to be anti-business and pro-government. Most of the progressives I talk with are neither. Many are very successful business people who are not "pro government" in any way. They are "pro problem solving" ... and most tend to take a conservative approach in that arena. A conservative approach means not betting the farm on unproven, ideological ideas ... but rather testing new concepts and discovering what works. A conservative approach means noticing when something is not working (private sector and public alike) and taking action.

The problem, in my view, is that the Democratic party is not generally progressive ... and looks a lot like the Republican party in many areas. That said, the one place where they diverge dramatically is around abortion rights and equality. That's reason enough to never even consider voting for a Republican.

Quote from Lakoff

Start telling deep truths out loud all day every day: Democracy is about citizens caring about each other. The Public is necessary for The Private. Pensions are delayed earnings for work already done; eliminating them is theft. Unions protect workers from corporate exploitation — low salaries, no job security, managerial threats, and inhumane working conditions. Public schools are essential to opportunity, and not just financially: they provide the opportunity to make the most of students’ skills and interests. They are also essential to democracy, since democracy requires an educated citizenry at large, as well as trained professionals in every community. Without education of the public, there can be no freedom.

Sometimes I think we get so afraid of what others will think that we water down our ideas to the point of mush, often failing to achieve even the basics of clarity. Partly political correctness, partly a desire to see and understand all sides of issues ... we end up not standing for anything.

We should be in the lead on education reform, but instead we're sucking wind trying to fend of vouchers. Public school teachers and administrators know what needs to be done to improve schools ... and none of what needs to be done involves more interference by legislators in Raleigh. Nor does it involve cutting teachers, cutting pay, bigger classes, and more reporting.

Same on taxes. Anyone with half a brain knows we are nearing an all-time low tax rate for upper income earners, even while the wealth disparity is also reaching an all-time record. We've gutted the middle class while enabling the superwealthy to run roughshod over the public good. Keep it simple: The wealthiest among us should pay more in taxes than they do right now.

And as I've said on many occasions, I personally believe companies should not pay taxes. Their owners and shareholders, however, should pay a great deal more in taxes. Along with cutting corporate tax rates to zero, we should also cut corporate privileges and rights to zero as well. Corporations are not people. They should not have more rights than people. Their owners should not be able to avoid liability by hiding behind LLC entities.

I don't agree with Lakoff on everything, but I do agree with his call to tell deep truths. Progressives ARE the true conservatives. That is a deep truth we should be shouting from the mountaintops.

Lakoff talks about "framing" and how it affects what we say and

how people hear us. Here's my personal example: Anytime I hear some congress-person or newsperson/pundit say something like "we need to know what the end game is in Iraq/Afghanistan/Syria... I immediately think "schmuck...ass-hole...Ad infinitum" because in my mind anyone who frames war with sports terms obviously doesn't respect our troops or their sacrifices. War is not a game. If they think it is they ought to go "play" for awhile and see how they like it.

So, while I still don't know how to frame political things but it seems an important quest.

Stan Bozarth

Or it might just be the fluoride in the water

I just watched this video "The Hard to Swallow Truth: A Documentary on Fluoride Dangers". Upsetting, and it's Alcoa fault( You will see if you watch the video).

In a nutshell, everyone drinking fluoridated water on a regular basis is getting less intelligent across the board

The documentary goes on to claim that manipulating the population is the aim.

I don't think there's any one reason for what is

happening. Framing certainly has something to do with it, but do not discount Ignorance whether it be willful or unintended. From my debates concerning global warming with folks here and on other blogsites, I am convinved that ignorance does play into the "why" of what is happening. Fundamentalists who believe the Earth was created in 4004 BCE are obviously ignorant of, or ignore, geologic history.
I think the Why of what is happening starts with Greed, goes through Ignorance with a stop at Framing, continues to Fear (of the Other, the Unknown), takes a walk with Apapthy, and returns to rest back at Greed.

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

I don't disagree that willful ignorance is a factor.

Still, I know folks who are pretty smart and well informed that vote Republican and think Rush is a prince. There's more to it than framing...sorta like who you are is based on where you were when...and to get thru to these folks we have to find a way for our words to convey things they're willing to listen to.

Stan Bozarth