Lakoff on how Conservatives are winning by framing the issues
George Lakoff is a communications expert who studies how language shapes our thoughts, and for the past few years, he's done insightful work on political discourse and its hidden assumptions, or "frames." In a timely piece in Huffington Post, he answers the question of What Conservatives Really Want.
It's worth reading the whole piece, because it helps to put this week's events in Wisconsin into the right, uh, perspective, and also understand why Democrats aren't always effective at framing and delivering their messages:
Democrats help conservatives when they function as policy wonks -- talking policy without communicating the moral values behind the policies. They help conservatives when they neglect to remind us that pensions are deferred payments for work done. "Benefits" are pay for work, not a handout. Pensions and benefits are arranged by contract. If there is not enough money for them, it is because the contracted funds have been taken by conservative officials and given to wealthy people and corporations instead of to the people who have earned them.