In a recent article by George Lakoff, the author explains how Republicans won the message war and confirmed Scott Walker as the governor of Wisconsin.
“Where progressives argued policy — the right to collective bargaining and the importance of public education — conservatives argued morality from their perspective, and many working people who shared their moral views voted with them and against their own interests. Why? Because morality is central to identity, and hence trumps policy.”
In other wards, speaking to moral values trumps policy speak and facts …
Lakoff went on to provide the basic solution for progressives:
“What progressives need to do is clear. To people who have mixed values — partly progressive, partly conservative — talk progressive values in progressive language, thus strengthening progressive moral views in their brains. Never move to the right thinking you’ll get more cooperation that way.
“Start telling deep truths out loud all day every day: Democracy is about citizens caring about each other. The Public is necessary for The Private. Pensions are delayed earnings for work already done; eliminating them is theft. Unions protect workers from corporate exploitation — low salaries, no job security, managerial threats, and inhumane working conditions. Public schools are essential to opportunity, and not just financially: they provide the opportunity to make the most of students’ skills and interests. They are also essential to democracy, since democracy requires an educated citizenry at large, as well as trained professionals in every community. Without education of the public, there can be no freedom.”
Would you like to know how to express your progressive moral values and put issues into that higher context? Well, Lakoff and Elisabeth Wehling have written a book on how to do that:
“The Little Blue Book is a guide to how to express your moral views and how to reveal hidden truths that undermine conservative claims. And it explains why this has to be done constantly, not just during election campaigns. It is the cumulative effect that matters, as conservatives well know.