Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Please note I have a new phone number...


Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

George Lakoff and "Don't Think of an Elephant!"

It is always difficult to say what someone else's motivation is. I don't think George Lakoff has ever been motivated by a desire for progressive change. He makes a lot of money working to keep people trapped in the Democratic Party. Now, this doesn't mean he doesn't have some really good ideas that people can't use as they struggle for real progressive change based on real progressive values... but, it does mean we have to use his advice to INCLUDE specific progressive solutions to our problems. It also means that we have to understand that for real change to take place we have to develop organizations capable of bringing about progressive change--- to Lakoff's credit he only claims to be a linguist interested in framing discussion, dialog and debate. Can we use his ideas to turn the tables on Obama and the Democrats who are evading real solutions to our problems? I think so. I use Lakoff's book all the time when teaching people to write letters to the editor, leaflets and newsletters. I do find it extremely interesting that George Soros claims to have learned a lot from Lakoff and I got this article off of Tom Hayden's website; Hayden is the primary leader of the "Progressives for Obama" the group that has brought the art of evading specific solutions and movement building to new levels--- and, for what purpose? To hoodwink us all into supporting Obama.

Several years ago I was in a rather large discussion group that included some state legislators and labor leaders who gathered for the sole purpose of discussing "Don't Think of an Elephant!" I provided my thinking on this and almost everyone in the room challenged me. So, I opened the book to page 92 and read. After I was done there must have been 15 people trying to talk and "explain" what Lakoff meant by this statement.

I responded by simply saying, "George Lakoff is a most highly regarded linguist. He is an expert in his field. I assume this is why we have all come together for six sessions to discuss this important book and its ideas. Now, understanding that Lakoff is a brilliant communicator do you really expect me to believe that Lakoff has written something here that he didn't mean?" At which point the Democratic Party hack who had brought us all together went ballistic (some present accused me of making him go "postal"). Obviously the intent was to bring people together to "teach" them not to talk about solutions to problems because according to Lakoff this is when you lose elections.

This is the main conclusion for this book and the PRIMARY lesson Lakoff wants us to "learn."

It is right there... the opening paragraph under "Policy Directions" on page 92 in the final chapter (Chapter 8-What Unites Progressives).

And Lakoff cautions against getting "militant."

Well; when do people get militant? When they get fed up because very specific problems they are having are not being solved. And here we have the great "progressive linguist" advising not to bring forward specific solutions to problems. Why? Because you probably won't get elected. Translated: You won't get the big bucks from Wall Street.

As a worker I find Lakoff to be the epitome of middle class arrogance. His book was intended just for use in the kind of discussion groups I was a part of. It offends me to no end that someone who is well-heeled as a result of advising the Democratic Party and creeps like Obama how to win would expect me and working people to forgo solving our problems so that some worthless opportunist can get elected to do what Obama has done and we are supposed to accept this as "progressive." The very word "progressive" implies that people-friendly solutions will be found to problems. I hardly call anything we have been subjected to by Obama and the Democrats over the past two years as having been "people friendly."

So. how could Lakoff ever have meant for these tactics to be used "in the service of progress?"

I gave Lakoff the benefit of the doubt so I wrote him with the very concerns I am expressing here. He actually called me. He called me to tell me that he couldn't answer my question because I wasn't one of his clients--- in other words, I wasn't paying him to answer me.

I would like to have George Lakoff answer my concerns right here on FaceBook for everyone to see. Let him explain why he helps Democrats get elected by evading explaining what they are going to do to solve our problems. In fact, Lakoff doesn't doesn't want our problems solved because he makes money taking advantage of our problems.

With this said, I encourage everyone to pay close attention to what George Lakoff writes for two reasons:

1. To learn how to frame the debate/s.

2. To learn how you are going to get screwed by the very politicians--- like Obama--- who are going to have you thinking they are on your side when nothing could be further from the truth because the problems of working people are just like our national debt: The Nation's debt is the Wall Street Bankers' profits. Just like Wall Street coupon clippers reap their biggest windfalls in profits off the backs of working people whose problems are Wall Street's profits... if you don't believe me at least think about it. Who profits from paying workers poverty wages instead of real living wages? Who profits from a huge pool of unemployed? Who profits from wars that kill jobs just like they kill people?

Isn't it nice to know that the Democrats have been so well trained to make us think they are going to solve our problems when George Lakoff has trained them not to even think about solving our problems?