Theory Of Everything

In July I pointed to The Right Christians’ Theory Of Everything, and their idea of “worldview politics.” They look at George Lakoff’s work describing how people form their political opinions:

Lakoff’s research has led him to conclude that most of us use a metaphor of our nation as a family. The government at the federal, state and local level is thought of as the “parent” and the citizens stand in the role of “children.” Those who understand politics in this way do not all have the same family model, however. People that we usually think of as conservatives hold a Strict Father worldview of the nation and politics. Liberals have a Nurturant Parent worldview.

The beauty of Lakoff’s conceptual systems is that they do a far better job of describing American politics than the old ideological models. “Strict Fatherites” see the world as a dangerous place filled with evil, and believe that survival is dependent on self-discipline and moral strength. Their “common sense” tells them that self-discipline is only created by strict enforcement of a system of rewards and punishments that teach everyone, especially children, that they must work hard, obey authority and keep morally pure if they are to succeed. Moral strength is threatened by non-conformists and those who are so morally weak that they give in to the temptations of “evil.” It then is not surprising that Strict Fatherites would object to governmental interference with the system of rewards and punishments established by an unregulated free market system no matter how harsh its effects. Government policies that try to ameliorate the impact of the market only serve to undermine self-discipline and make citizens less able to survive this harsh world. The government’s job instead is to punish those who do not conform to the moral standards of the majority because otherwise, the impurity of their behavior will spread like a disease throughout the society. The woman with an unwanted pregnancy should be forced to carry the fetus to term so that she learns from her “mistake.” Homosexuals should be punished to prevent their “perversion” from spreading. When the government is doing its job properly, the natural and moral order is maintained in which God is superior to men, men to women, adults to children, rich to poor and human beings to nature.

“Nurturant Parents” see the world very differently. Their picture of the family places empathy, communication and respect above discipline, strength and purity. At the heart of the moral system is what Lakoff calls a “strong” Golden Rule:

Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.

This requires not only that we desire to help others but that we endeavor to understand their values and desires so that we can provide the help that they want to receive, not the help we want to give. Providing this kind of nurturance is benefical both to the recipient and the giver. Recipients who are respected, nurtured and communicated with become people who respect, nurture and communicate with others. Givers gain moral strength and happiness from giving.

Nurturant Parents think the nation as family has an obligation to help those “children” who are poorly fed or housed or educated. Both those who are helped and those who help with benefit. Women with unwanted pregnancies should receive our understanding and assistance. Homosexuals should be respected and accepted.

I think it is essential to become familiar with George Lakoff’s work, to help understand what is happening with politics in America. I recommend his book Moral Politics : How Liberals and Conservatives Think.

Unite

From Common Dreams, A Case Against the Case Against the Case For Howard Dean: Can We All Stop This Madness?

“Whether it’s Newsweek or Guerrilla News, the message is clear: “Once the progressives learn who Howard Dean really is they will run from him faster than Dick Cheney fleeing to his ‘undisclosed location.'”

Truth be told, I’m still waiting for a minority radical feminist who puts renewable energy above everything else and guts the military budget to invest in renewable state-of-the-art public schools (including free college education). But you know what? I’ll be waiting a little while longer. While I could write articles saying Dennis Kucinich isn’t my dream candidate – “After all, one need not point out that our candidate of hope is not EVEN a minority radical feminist.” – while I could do this, I don’t. And why? Because today there is a bigger fight to be fought. “

Well, I’m not voting for anyone whose middle name is not Courtney. Period.

Birkenstock Liberals

I’m reading this NY Times story about Dean. I come across this line:

But the presidential-style trip could increase the risk of Dr. Dean peaking too early

What the hell does that even mean? “Peaking too early?” Huh? Somehow more than 10,000 people coming out to see him just in Seattle is a bad thing? It shows that he is in touble?

And then there’s this:

The feisty crowds were filled with Birkenstock liberals…

Birkenstock liberals??!! What respectable newspaper would even print something like that? Did it get FAXed straight from the Republican National Committee? Birkenstock liberals?????!!!!!

I have already completely stopped watching MSNBC. I don’t even turn to that channel anymore. Ever. Of course I never watched FOX. I’m seriously considering taking the NY Times off of my daily reading list, except for Paul Krugman.

Birkenstock liberals?????!!!!!

Update – Oh, Holy Shit! Later in the article is says Dean supporters are “mostly aging flower children.”

mostly aging flower children!!

Still Out

I set up an old e-Machines we had at home, and then IT died! I have no idea what happened to it, but it seems to have had its directory corrupted… It won’t start up into Windows anymore. So I’m still not able to post regularly. I’ll try to get a few posts in today.

The Friday Announcements

The Bush administration makes announcements late on Fridays when they want to “bury” the story. Fewer people pay attention to news over the weekend. Today’s story is here.

Who’s Daniel Pipes? He’s the guy I wrote about here in response to this and this. That’s right, Bush is so radical that he appoints the guy who writes far-right nonsense like “Why Do So Many Professors Hate America?” THAT is the kind of person Bush is appointing to important posts.