George Lakoff offers 10 points for democracy activists
George Lakoff, former Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley and now Director of the Center for the Neural Mind & Society (cnms.berkeley.edu), writes on his blog:
1 – To understand the basic issues, read “A Minority President.”
2 – Know the difference between framing and propaganda: Frames are mental structures used in thought; every thought uses frames. Every word in every language is defined relative to a mental structure — a frame. Frames, in themselves, are unavoidable and neutral. Honest framing is the use of frames you believe and that are used to express truths. Propaganda expresses lies that propagandists know are lies for the sake of political or social advantage.
3 – Hold Republicans accountable. Trump is dominating the media, partly to establish his authority, but mainly to divert attention and provide cover to Republican leaders. Keep focused on Republican actions. Minimize publicizing Trump — his image, his name, his tweets.
4 – Focus attention on substance, not sideshows. Trump’s attacks on freedom, democracy, and the innocent matter more than his tweets. Positively and strongly reframe his pre-emptive framing (see tweet diagram).
5 – Focus on democracy and freedom. In a government by, for, and of the people, there is, or should be, no distinction between the public and the government. The consequences are:
- Empathy: government should care about, and for, the public;
- Transparency: government should inform the public truthfully;
- Freedom and Opportunity: the private depends on public resources, both for private enterprise and private life. For example, if you’re not educated, you’re not free. If you have no health care, you’re not free. If you’re impoverished, you lack opportunity.
Republicans are destroying all of these by:
- Removing “regulations,” which are public protections;
- Imposing gag rules and budget cuts on government agencies removes transparency;
- Privatizing education, protection, communication, infrastructure, nature; etc. are attacks on freedom.
6 – Be careful not to . . .