Thursday, July 21, 2005

Pretty good article here on George Lakoff. I’m a fan and I’m glad he and the Rockridge Institute are getting national recognition - and credit – for the noticeably effective voice of the ‘minority party’ in these Bushy days.

I can personally relate to some of the comments about the post-election party soul-searching. The Institute was - and continues to - hold seminars in Berkeley, building better grass-roots campaigners. It's amusing to me to observe some local Dem activists reaction to Lakoff. There’s some snobbery in their quick dismissal of his framing ideas. He's an academic; a linguist. Heavens to murgatroid. “We have to focus on how to communicate our ideas, in our own words,” was an example of a particularly myopic and self-absorbed participant. Surprisingly, it was not from the mouth of an old school, baby booming, Chomsky-fed, lefty liberal. I heard this from a late 20’s, early 30’s, Party Operative. A Climber. So much for progress, from self-described ‘progressives.’

I can't help it. I still like the notion of Liberal, more than Progressive; in spite of all the framing both receive. It retains charm, in a quaint, utopian, sense. It appeals to me in the same way over-hearing a Woody Guthrie song through an open window would, as I walk by an old Victorian house. Is there a frizzy gray-haired woman inside? Is she wearing a gingham smock dress, busy with something; but taking a moment to glance at the LP cover? Is she seeing it through laughing eyes, alive with intelligence and memories? Charmed, I'm sure.


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