George Lakoff* wrote a brilliant and insightful piece, What Conservatives Really Want**, probably the most important piece I’ve read this century, and I’m not kidding—essential reading! My dear conservative friends and relatives need to read this. People of faith, whether conservative, libertarian, or progressive, or liberal all need to read this. People who choose no faith at all need to read this.
I want to quote from the article freely in this post, but I would do everyone a disservice if that then made you think you didn’t need to read it in its entirety. Here is just one sentence:
Budget deficits are a ruse, as we’ve seen in Wisconsin, where the Governor turned a surplus into a deficit by providing corporate tax breaks, and then used the deficit as a ploy to break the unions, not just in Wisconsin, but seeking to be the first domino in a nationwide conservative movement.”
A few people with extremist views, with an unyielding religious commitment to dominate everyone in the United States, have been and continue to be engaging in a war in this country, and not the “culture wars” of which they so fondly speak. This is a religious war and a financial war to be sure, and this war is killing the soul of this democracy. The extremists have been carefully and deliberately redefining words and issues in a steady and consistent effort led by their think tanks to win their war on America. Contract with American, my ass! Contract on America, at least on America as we have known it for 200 years.
American citizens need to see this for what it is, and, if the majority of citizens in this country want to live in a nation that has the values these extremists espouse—then so be it. I would just leave. But this must be an informed decision, not the malevolently crafted deceitful manipulation behind smoke and mirrors that is currently being foist on this country.
The mindset and values at issue here, the ones George Lakoff clearly unfolds, will continue to impact policy, law, economics… all of which impact people, us, you and me, “we the people.” Clarity is needed. He provides that.
Here are the links:
- a link to the article at truthout
- a link to a pdf of the same Creative Commons article posted at truthout that can be downloaded (right-click and save)
And for the intellectually curious and serious minded among us: another fantastic piece, an interview by Lois Beckett with George Lakoff that further explores the thinking of this brilliant man: Explain Yourself: George Lakoff, Cognitive Linguist (link to pdf –> here)
* “an American cognitive linguist and professor of linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught since 1972. … he is most famous for his ideas about the centrality of metaphor to human thinking, political behavior and society.” –Wikipedia
**posted on February 19, 2011 at truthout