Once in a great while, some leftist luminary will make it all terribly clear to us in the Right.
Courtesy of Zombie at PJ Media, we have the following:
The 10 Most Important Things Democrats Should Know
By George Lakoff and Elisbeth Wehling
Authors of THE LITTLE BLUE BOOK
- Don't repeat conservative language or ideas, even when arguing against them.
- All politics is moral, and morality trumps policy. Talk about the moral bases of your policy positions openly and regularly.
- Facts have no meaning outside of frames, metaphors, and moral narratives. Always discuss facts within moral frames, because people do not reason outside of those moral frames.
That little list was sent out by George Lakoff's publicist. Lakoff, if you aren't already aware, is Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at U.C. Berkeley, and an important Democratic tactician. His recent book The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic, is one long argument for the points above. Indeed, he states the matter succinctly in the book itself:
To sum up:
- Use your own language; never use your opponent's language.
- Be aware of what you believe and repeat it out loud over and over; never repeat ideas that you don't believe in, even if you are arguing against them.
But wait just a moment: He who is absolutely unwilling to confront his opponents' arguments is not arguing. He's merely repeating his case endlessly, since he's forbidden himself to grapple with objections to it.
Lakoff's thesis, then, amounts to a prescription for "persuasion" through endless repetition -- essentially a mental bludgeon wielded at anyone who allows himself to be subjected to Lakoffian haranguing.
Now, given the behavior of leftists in the mass media, this might strike you as "a blinding flash of the obvious." What makes it significant isn't that the Left's talking heads are already using Lakoff's guidelines, but that they've been formalized and prescribed as such. The Democrat Party is rather hierarchical: the kingmakers and top strategists issue orders to the lower echelons of activists and spokesmen, who can be counted on to follow them...because if they don't, they'll lose access to inner Democrat circles and any possibility of patronage.
But the rhetorical tactic is now a matter of public record, with the signature of a respected Democrat strategist at the bottom. Therefore, it can be used against them: "Why, Mr. Democrat Spokesman, aren't you willing to confront the human cost of your policies? Why won't you admit that crime is worst in legally disarmed states and cities? Why won't you grapple with the lifelong dependency induced by luxuriant welfarism? Why won't you concede that the public schools are failing to educate our kids because they're overloaded with non-scholastic missions? Are you afraid of these facts?"
Of course, it helps if you can cut off Mr. Democrat Spokesman's microphone long enough to get all that out in an audible fashion. But the effort must be made, for a simple reason: When it's permitted to go unchallenged, sanctimonious repetition works.
Food for thought.