Friday, October 21, 2005



·         Jefferson tried and FAILED TO CREATE AN INTERNATIONAL COLLITION to police the Mediterranean against Muslim Terrorists (Barbary Pirates) attacking American Merchant Vessels

·         Jefferson launched a UNI-LATERAL WAR against Muslim Terrorists (Barbary Pirates) in order to secure trade if Africa and the Middle East.

·         The WAR-MONGERING Jefferson was always on the lookout for ways to take the Floridas from Spain. Jefferson said, “I had rather have war against Spain than not, if we go to war against England. Our Southern Defensive force can take the Floridas, volunteers for a Mexican army will flock to our standard, and a rich pabulum will be offered to our privateers in the plunder of their commerce and coasts. Probably Cuba would add itself to our confederation”

·         Jefferson established AMERICAN IMPERIALISM via the principle of manifest Destiny as it concerned western lands.  

·         Jefferson slow rolled the American Naval build-up, reducing INTERNATIONAL CREDIBILITY with France and England and Spain, all of whom took advantage of the opportunity to seize American cargos and impress American sailors.
  1. Jefferson CONSPIRED TO STEAL A FEDERAL ELECTION with Aaron Burr, who, through various intrigues, secured the New York state electoral voters for Jefferson. In return, Burr was put on the ticket for Vice President.  

·         Jefferson introduced an embargo against the France and England designed to  deter them from acts against American Vessels that in effect only ruined the AMERICAN ECONOMY

·         Jefferson ABUSED AND EXPANDED THE POWER OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH AND THREATENED OUR CONSTITUTIONAL FREEDOMS by introducing measures that included the ability to seize property and to prevent the departure of vessels as part of the embargo, and unconstitutionally made a treaty with France and bought the Louisiana territory without the treaty being approved by the Senate and without funds for the purchase being approved by congress.

·        Jefferson OPERATED A CLOSED ADMINISTRATION by restricting official opportunities to meet with the President to members of Congress and those invited to dinner (where political topics were banned),holding no public addresses or levees and almost never making  public statements and all the while keeping the unconstitutional Negotiations with France over the Louisiana purchase secret from the American public.

·         Jefferson REFUSED TO HAND OVER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS TO INVESTIGATORS in the case of Marbury vs. Madison

·         Once the Louisiana purchase was signed, Jefferson ESTABLISHED AN UNDEMOCRATIC PUPPET GOVERNMENT for the Territory, appointing a Magistrate and a council of “notables”. Louisiana was essentially a Foreign country with a diverse population of English, French, Spanish and Creole. Jefferson believed they were “as yet incapable of self-government as children” and ignored delegations and petitions from the territory asking for representative government.

·         Jefferson WIDENED THE POLITICAL DIVISIONS AMONG AMERICANS by refusing to honor appointments made by the previous administration (Marbury), encouraging and funding libel suits against his political opponent’s publications while paying others to libel his opponents in the press ( Jefferson was proved to have colluded with and supported James Callender by letters written in his own hand), leaking confidential information to the press and penning  the anti-administration Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions while a member of the administrations therein criticized

·         Jefferson DESCRATED INDIAN BURIAL MOUNDS on his property by digging through them and plowing over them

·         Jefferson ADVOCATED RACIAL SEGREGATION and believed Black people could not live in peace in the same vicinity as white.

·         Jefferson believed UNCHECKED IMMIGRATION should be avoided, fearing the immigrants would “bring with them the principles of the governments they leave, …or if able to throw them off , it will be in exchange for unbounded licentiousness”

·         Jefferson believed the Native Indians should discard their old ways IN FAVOR OF THE DOMINANT “WHITE” CULTURE as their hunter/gather society could not be sustained with the increased population of white settlers.
·         Jefferson drafted a bill for Proportioning Crimes and punishments in which Sodomy was PUNISHIBLE BY CASTRATION

·         Jefferson THREATENED THE SURVIVAL OF ENDANGERED ANIMALS by trying to encourage the sale of Whale Oil in markets overseas.

Jefferson is universally hailed by both the right and the left as one of top three Presidents. The point was not to malign him, but show how effectively half-truths can spin can be used in the media to make ANYONE look bad.  Jefferson set the right expectations for a President in his first inaugural address:“I have learned to expect that it will rarely fall to the lot of imperfect man to retire from his station with the reputation and the favor that bring him into it…. I shall often go wrong through defect of Judgment. When right I shall often be thought wrong by those whose positions that will not command the view of the whole ground. I ask for your indulgence for my own errors, which will never be intentional; and your support against the errors of others, who may condemn what they would not if seen”

Don’t Think Like a Donkey: A Critical Analysis of the Thoughts of Dr. George Lakoff

Chapter 1: The Ramifications of Nurturant Morality

In his various works, Dr. George Lakoff describes a concerted effort by the right to impose a Conservative worldview by coining and repeating certain phrases that carry with them a part of the Conservative Worldview or “Frame.” He describes the differences between Nurturant and Strict Father Morality and how these two world views can be reflected in different Frames.

In a chapter on arguing with conservatives he advises: “Never Answer a Question Framed from your opponent’s point of view. Always reframe a question to fit your values and your frames.” This is important because Dr. Lakoff believes it is the prevalence of certain Frames that win elections, not thinking about Facts.

Dr. Lakoff says there is “a set of Myths believed by Liberals and Progressives… The First one goes like this: The Truth will set us free. If we just tell people the facts, since people are basically rational beings, they’ll all reach the right conclusion.” “Neuroscience’s tells us that each of the concepts we have—the long term concepts that structure how we think—is instantiated in the synapses our brains. Concepts are not things that can be changed just by telling us a fact. We may be presented with facts, but for us to make sense of them they have to fit what is already in the synapses of the brain. Otherwise the facts go in and then they go right back out. They are not heard, or they are not accepted as facts, or they mystify us: why would anyone have said that? Then we label the fact as irrational crazy or stupid. That is what happens when progressives just “confront conservatives with the facts.” It has little or no effect, unless the conservatives have a frame that makes sense of the facts. Similarly, a lot of progressives hear conservatives talk and do not understand them because they do not have the conservatives’ frames. They assume that conservatives are stupid.” Or more simply put, “Just speaking truth to power doesn’t work. You need to Frame the truths effectively from your perspective” because certain frames “force a certain logic” In other words, Dr. Lakoff believes Truth is never objective, but is relative to the observer’s Worldview.

Dr. Lakoff says that articulation of these frames (or worldviews) “Need to be repeated over and over again and refined until they take their rightful place in our synapses.” It is as if Dr. Lakoff is saying “If you say something enough times, it becomes true”

The Scientific Method, however, relies upon the assumption that reality behaves the same regardless of which observer is put in place. One Frame is going to more accurately mirror the objective conditions in the real world no matter how many times a false frame is repeated.

The Second Myth Lakoff warns Progressives against is the belief that “It is irrational to go against your self interest, and therefore a normal person, who is rational, reasons on the basis of self-interest. Modern economic policy and foreign policy are based on that assumption”

Dr.  Lakoff feels this belief is wrong, because people don’t always vote for their Economic Self-interest and a Nobel Prize winner implied that the rational actor theory was wrong. An investigation of the work cited, however, reveals that the basis of a rational actor theory is not in question, only the ability of that actor to assign a proper weight to information he receives. Rather than discuss the problem of appropriate weighting, Dr.  Lakoff asserts that “People Vote their identity. They Vote their values. They Vote for who they identify with. They may identify with their self-interest. That can happen. It is not that people never care about their self-interest, but they vote their identity. And if their identity fits their self interest, they will vote for that. It is important to understand this point. It is a serious mistake to assume that people are simply always voting their self-interest”

Dr. Lakoff’s insistence on Rational Self-interest as a different concept than Identity in order to explain why Voters do not vote for Democrats, tells us that progressives believe a person’s best self-interest is whatever a Progressive believes it to be. Dr. Lakoff of course, fails to see that Values are called that because people think of them as valuable. Individuals are assigning a different weight to the importance of a value than what Dr. Lakoff would assign himself, and therefore they act “against their self interest” People allowed to assign their own weights may decide that protection of valuable things that are held jointly (for instance the morals of a society) is part of their self interest. Lakoff seems oblivious to the fact that what one determines to be in one’s self interest may be based on a number of factors, and on the perceived effects of different actions in the future. 

This is further illustrated by Dr. Lakoff ‘s explanation of the Third Progressive myth; that “political campaigns are marketing campaigns where the Candidate is the product and the candidates positions on issues are the features and qualities of the product. This leads to the conclusion that polling should determine which issues a Candidate should run on” Such an approach neglects the obvious fact that some agendas might logically conflict with others in terms of their goals or outcomes. While Lakoff denounces this approach, he implies it only fails because Progressives fail to “say what they idealistically believe” and “talk to their base using the frames of their base,” which he asserts Conservatives do much better. What this really demonstrates is that Progressives are oblivious to the real world constraints that force a need to make trade-offs.

Dr. Lakoff asserts that Conservative and Progressive world views, and therefore the things they “idealistically believe”, are based on a difference between those who support a “Strict Father” Frame vs. a “Nurturing Parent” Frame of Government. He likens our Nation to a family using phrases such as “Our Founding Fathers” and “Sending Our sons to War” as proof that people conceive of a nation and a government as some sort of family. Of course, following that logic, because Edison was Father of the Electric Light, and the Wright Brothers were the Fathers of Aviation, most people must consider Lamps and Planes as part of a family structure as well. In short, the whole idea of the “Government as a Family” is an attempt to Frame the Debate. Lakoff asserts that EVERYONE sees the Government as a sort of Family Unit, in which our leaders are the parents, and that everyone is just applying the type of family control they would like in that situation. This is obviously false.

He says, “The Nuturant Parent worldview is gender neutral. Both parents are equally responsible for raising the children. The assumption is that children are born good and can be made better. The world can be made a better place, and our job is to work on that. The parent’s job is to nurture their children and to raise their children to be nurturers of others. What does nurturance mean? It means two things: empathy and responsibility….”

Applied politically, this means that Progressives see themselves as Self-assigned Parents of others and therefore think Citizens are Children they are responsible for. (which goes along with the idea that hey are the ones who determine what is in someone’s best self interest) Hence their obsession with protecting everyone from Crime, Drugs, seatbelt less cars or passengers, smoking (except for Marijuana), food additives, environmental destruction (except for Cultural), work hazards, consumer hazards, and diseases (unless its AIDS because tracking the spread of THAT disease is homophobic)  Dr. Lakoff often uses the same word, “Discipline”, in describing both the idea of conservative Child Discipline (exemplified by painful punishment with “sticks, belts and wooden paddles on the bare bottom”) and the idea of Adult Self-Discipline. The lack of delineation between the two ideas may either be deliberate framing in order to confuse the two and give the latter a bad connotation, or simply derives from a difficulty of thinking of other citizens as adults.

Dr. Lakoff says that “Empathy” and “Responsibility” are the core Progressive values from which the other Progressive values are derived: "Responsibility implies protection, competence, education, hard work and social connectedness; empathy requires freedom, fairness and honesty, two-way communication, a fulfilled life (unhappy, unfulfilled people are less likely to want others to be happy) and restitution rather than retribution to balance the moral books. Social responsibility requires cooperation and community building over competition. In the place of specific strict rules, there is a general “ethics of care” that says, “Help, don’t harm.” To be of good character is to be empathetic and responsible, in all of the above ways."

“If you empathize with someone and want them to be fulfilled in life and be treated fairly, then you will respect their individuality, accord them maximal freedom (consistent with the freedom of others), and you will appreciate diversity as a value.”

This means that Progressives believe individual rights end where the rights of others begin but also implies that Progressives should accept any behavior that doesn’t intrude on their personal freedom. Dr. Lakoff doesn’t present any system by which conflicts in values might be resolved, implying Progressives implicitly believe that everyone will independently define the boundaries of their personal freedom at the same points.  This further bolsters the idea that Progressives do not recognize the real world constraints that result in tradeoffs and belies the fact that Dr. Lakoff still believes what he asserts to be a myth: “since people are basically rational beings, they’ll all reach the right conclusions”
“If you want your child to be fulfilled in life, the child has to be free enough to do that. Therefore Freedom is a Value….You do not have very much freedom is there is no opportunity or prosperity. Therefore Opportunity and Prosperity are progressive values”

According to Dr. Lakoff, Progressives believe that everyone must be given freedom, enabled by wealth and opportunities, to execute their moral obligation to be happy and fulfilled. Of course, the wealth and opportunity that give people freedom comes from somewhere, so someone must be "freed" of their wealth and opportunity so it can be given to someone else.  Unfortunately, as will be shown repeatedly, Progressives only seem to be fulfilled when they are making decisions for others. The progressive principle of freedom is really a license override the decisions of others.

"If you really care about your child, you want your child to be treated fairly by you and others. Therefore Fairness is a value." Dr. Lakoff asserts "Fairness is understood metaphorically in terms of the distribution of material objects. There are three basic liberal models of fair distribution: (1) equal distribution; (2) impartial rule-based distribution; and (3) rights-based distribution. Metaphorical fairness concerns actions conceived of as objects given to individuals. One can act to the benefit of others equally, impartially and by rule, or according to some notion of rights. According to this metaphor, moral action is fair action in one of these ways."

Thus it becomes evident that Progressives believe that “Fairness” is using the government to redistribute wealth, opportunities and “rights” more evenly over the population by taking wealth, opportunities and rights from some and giving them to others.

Dr. Lakoff, lists other values in “Don’t think of an Elephant”, but the Rockridge Institute’s list is more concise:
  • "Community: Healthy communities are based on cooperation, honesty, trust, and open communication.

  • Cooperation: Responsibility to others requires cooperation and empathy. Cooperation is the basis for community, and requires open communication, honesty and trust.

  • Trust: Trust is needed for open communication and cooperation. We are trustworthy when we treat others fairly and responsibly.

  • Honesty: Honesty is the hallmark of open communication, and is necessary for trust and cooperation.

  • Open Communication: Open communication is at the heart of empathy and responsibility. To know how to care for others, we must communicate with them to understand their needs. Cooperation relies on two-way communication."

Of course this can be even more concisely stated as “Progressives believe in Community Building via co-operation enabled by open communication, trust and honesty. “

In the Nurturant Model a “Community is a Family”; when expanded to society this implies Community building involves the imposition of Nurturant morality on the society
Dr. Lakoff says, "The Nurturant Parent worldview is gender neutral. Both parents are equally responsible for raising the children. The assumption is that children are born good and can be made better. The world can be made a better place, and our job is to work on that."

"It is assumed that the world should be a nurturant place."

These statements imply the following about the "progressive world view"
Men and Women are the same and interchangeable when it comes to child care
Parents are both responsible for raising their own children
Children naturally know how to get along with others and live in a community, but parents make them better at it.
The World is largely controllable, and the job of a Progressive is to impose their ideas on the world, and the others who live in it, in order to change the world for the "better" (in their judgment)

In a "Nurturant parent model", "The parent's job is to nurture their children and to raise their children to be nurturers of others. What does nurturance mean? It means two things: empathy and responsibility. If you have a child, you have to know what every cry means. You have to know when the child is hungry, when he needs a diaper change, when he is having nightmares. And you have a responsibility - you have to take care of this child."

Which means, Progressives have a moral responsibility to feel for and take responsibility of their children, and teach their children to do the same to others
"Since you cannot take care of someone else if you are not taking care of yourself, you have to take care of yourself enough to be able to take care of a child"

Therefore, Progressives believe Individuals have a responsibility to take care of themselves before they can be allowed to help others.
"Further, it is your moral responsibility to teach your child to be a happy, fulfilled person who wants others to be happy and fulfilled. That is part of what a nurturing family life is about. It is a common precondition for caring about others"

Therefore, Progressives believe it is a moral duty to teach children to do whatever makes them happy and fulfilled and encourage them to accept others who are doing the same and that if someone is unhappy or unfulfilled, or doesn't accept others who are, then that person is incapable of caring about others.
"And if you are an unhappy, unfulfilled person yourself, you are not going to want other people to be happier than you are. The Dali Lama teaches us that. Therefore it is your moral responsibility to be a happy, fulfilled person. Your Moral Responsibility."

Progressives believe that if you are unhappy, you will automatically wish others to be unhappy. This is in direct conflict with Dr. Lakoff’s assertion that “children are born good and can be made better.” It is immoral to be unhappy or unfulfilled, therefore moral behavior is doing what it takes to be happy or fulfilled. However, Lakoff asserts that this DOES NOT translate to "if it feels good, do it":

"Conservatives seem not to understand what nurturant morality is about, both in the family and the nation. They find any view that is not strict to be "permissive""

permissive (adjective) Definition: lenient Synonyms: acquiescent, agreeable, allowing, approving, easy-going, forbearing, free, indulgent, latitudinarian, lax, liberal, open-minded, permitting, susceptible, tolerant Antonyms: intolerant, strict Source: Roget's New Millennium Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.1.1)Copyright © 2005 by Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. All rights reserved

"Nurturant parenting is, of course, anything but permissive, with its stress on teaching children to be responsible for themselves and empathetic and responsible toward others, and raising them to be strong and well-educated enough to carry out their responsibilities. The conservatives parody liberals as permissive, as supporting a feel-good morality- doing whatever feels good. The conservatives just don't get it. They seem ignorant of the vast difference between responsibility and permissiveness"

Accordingly, the only morally acceptable way to be "happy and fulfilled" is by being responsible and empathetic towards others. Moral Behavior is Responsible behavior. Parents have the ability to discipline their children through "promotion of responsible behavior via empathetic connection, the example of responsible behavior set by the parents, the open discussion of what the parents expect (and why), and, in the case of non-cooperation, the removal of privileges that go with cooperation"

However, Dr. Lakoff asserts Moral Authority is a metaphor in the Strict Father model, and " is patterned metaphorically on parental authority, where parents have a young child's best interests at heart and know what is best for the child. Morality is obedience. Just as the good child obeys his parents, a moral person obeys a moral authority, which can be a text (like the Bible or the Koran), an institution, or a leader. "

Since Nuturant Parents have no Moral Authority, only Parental Authority, it is hard to see how they can morally remove privileges from their children or determine that certain behaviors are right or wrong. Instead, Dr. Lakoff asserts that Progressives believe that children become responsible by caring about and watching parents who do whatever it takes to make themselves happy and fulfilled. Therefore, progressives believe that parents have the authority to morally remove privileges that allow their children to be Happy and fulfilled, in order to discourage children from behavior deemed by the parents to be irresponsible.

 "Nurturant parent morality contains a structural feature that guarantees that experiential morality is not overridden, namely, that moral empathy has the highest priority in that moral system. The idea that Morality is Empathy entails that if you feel what others feel, you will abide by experiential morality since, by empathy, you yourself will experience any harmful effects of what you do to others."

In conclusion it appears that the Progressive moral code can be reduced to caveat on a feel-good philosophy: "If it feels good and you "empathize" with the person, do it " If you don't experience (empathetic) pain when you do something, then it is morally right to do it.

Dr. Lakoff says "Empathy includes empathy with nature.... liberals have empathy even for criminals (and thus defend their rights and are against the death penalty) "
Dr. Lakoff fails to explain how Progressives have evolved to have perfect and reliable empathy with others, including an ability that includes completely different lifeforms like animals and plants (Gaia) or even inanimate objects. Progressives believe they understand what motivates a burglar, a murderer, or a pedophile, and can feel those things along with them.  It is more likely that Progressive merely assume their empathy is accurate, since it is a huge investment of time and energy to get to know people, and even then there are limits to the knowledge. In conclusion, Dr. Lakoff appears to assert that Progressives can accurately read other peoples minds.

A conclusions that is bolstered by Dr. Lakoff’s own words: "Empathy itself is understood metaphorically as feeling what another person feels. We can see this in the language of empathy: I know what it's like to be in your shoes. I know how you feel. I feel for you. To conceptualize moral action as empathic action is more than just abiding by the Golden Rule, to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The Golden Rule does not take into account that others may have different values than you do. Taking morality as empathy requires basing your actions on their values, not yours. This requires a reformulation of the Golden Rule: Do unto others as they would have you do unto them. "

Apparently a Progressive "Feels For Others" in the literal sense, ignoring any feelings that the individual might have on their own. Dr. Lakoff's version of the golden rule dictates you must accept another person’s values if you are to act responsibly, morally, and according to empathy (and hence this will lead you to be happy and fulfilled). Progressives believe that no one has the right to judge anyone else, except by their own value system. This leads to a Progressive expectation that they will be judged based on their intentions, not on what actually follows from their actions. In a Progressive view, what it takes be moral, responsible, happy and fulfilled varies from person to person, demands respect and acceptance of other peoples moral systems and ultimately results in a system that lacks an  ultimate moral authority that defines right and wrong within a society. This conclusion seems especially odd because many of Dr. Lakoff’s ideas are judgments on the relative merits of conservative morality. One must assume that such judgments cause Dr. Lakoff no empathetic pain, and therefore must be morally correct.

 "Strict Father morality allows one to impose experiential harm on others in the name of the abstract metaphorical principle that Morality is Strength. In short, strict father morality allows you to hurt people in the name of morality. That violates experiential morality, which is the foundation of every abstract moral system. "
”In the place of specific strict rules, there is a general "ethics of care" that says, "Help, don't harm." Dr. Lakoff asserts that, from the perspective of Strict Father Morality, "multiculturalism is immoral, since it permits alternative views of what counts as moral behavior. Multiculturalism thus violates the binary good-evil distinction made by Moral Strength... "

Dr. Lakoff has the following to say about "moral strength": "A major part of the Moral Strength metaphor has to do with the conception of immorality, or evil...Moral strength ... is required if one is to stand up to some externally defined evil. The metaphor of Moral Strength sees the world in terms of a war of good against the forces of evil, which must be fought ruthlessly. Ruthless behavior in the name of the good fight is thus seen as justified. Moreover, the metaphor entails that one cannot respect the views of one's adversary: evil does not deserve respect; it deserves to be attacked! The metaphor of Moral Strength imposes a strict us-them moral dichotomy. The metaphor that morality is strength induces a view of evil as the force that moral strength is needed to counter. Evil must be fought. You do not empathize with evil, nor do you accord evil some truth of its own. You just fight it....The metaphor of moral strength does not occur in isolation. It defines a cluster of other common metaphors for morality” which include the metaphors of Moral Authority (defined above) and Moral Bounds: "moral action is seen as motion within prescribed bounds or on a prescribed path. Immoral people are those who transgress the bounds or deviate from the path. The logic of this metaphor is that transgressors and deviants are dangerous to society not only because they can lead others astray, but because they create new paths to traverse, thus blurring the clear, prescribed, socially accepted boundaries between right and wrong."

Therefore, a  person with a "Nurturant Parent" Morality confronting a person with "Strict Father" morality must either submit to the moral judgment (moral strength) of the "Strict Father" system or they must adopt a Nuturant principle of "Moral Strength" that allows the Nurturant system to (immorally) ignore the values of the other.

"liberals too have the metaphor of Moral Strength, but it is in the service of empathy and nurturance. The point of moral strength for liberals is to fight intolerance and inhumanity to others and to stand up for social responsibility. "

Hence, Progressives do have a belief in evil, moral authority, and moral bounds after all; however since their Moral Strength serves Nurturance and Empathy, anyone NOT exhibiting those values becomes evil. Since a "strict Father" system, implicitly does not exhibit those values, to Progressives any Strict Father Morality system is Evil. This may explain why many Progressives are so hostile to Religions in general, and Christianity in particular. Nurturant Morality is in truth only tolerant of others with "Nurturant morality", since people with "Strict Father" moral systems will put "moral strength" (right and wrong) before "experiential morality" (empathy).

Through the Concept of Progressive Moral Strength, one can surmise how a conflict between individuals with different moral values would be resolved in the Progressive view (like deciding between nurturing your child or nurturing a pedophile that wants to have sex with your child.) If a progressive has an empathetic feeling that someone is unhappy, or have reason to believe that  they don't care about others, then that person MUST be immoral and irresponsible (because they are not happy), and therefore evil. A progressive may then assume a moral authority over the "evil" that justifies all further actions. Since there are no "specific strict rules" each Progressive Individual is an independent and autonomous Moral Authority. In effect, progressives believe they can proclaim moral authority over anyone at will based only on their own individual opinion of another’s motives or actions.

Remembering that Moral authority is "patterned metaphorically on parental authority", we can now surmise as to how a Progressive Parent claims moral authority over their "child". Anyone who (in a progressive's opinion) does not practice "experiential morality" (Responsibility and Empathy), or who is “unhappy and unfulfilled" must be a metaphorical child. Dr Lakoff confirms this with the following: "The metaphor of morality as nurturance can be stated as follows: -The Community is a Family - Moral agents are Nurturing parents - People needing help are Children needing care - Moral action is Nurturance This metaphor entails that moral action requires empathy, involves sacrifices, and that helping people who need help is a moral responsibility. "

Therefore, An adult to a progressive is any self-reliant person who is happy and fulfilled that assumes responsibility for others (a nurturing parent.) A Child to a progressive is anyone who needs care (in their opinion and via their highly accurate powers of empathy)
Dr. Lakoff states that Progressive Principle of Equity mandates: "If you work hard; play by the rules; and serve your family, community, and nation, then the nation should provide a decent standard of living, as well as freedom, security and opportunity"
"morality is conceptualized as uprightness, it is natural to conceptualize one's degree of morality as physical height, to understand norms for the degree of moral action as height norms, and to therefore see the possibility for "moral growth" as akin to physical growth. Where moral growth differs from physical growth is that moral growth is seen as being possible throughout one's lifetime."

Growing is, of course, what children do until adult hood. What "Moral Growth" in effect means, is that any individual who does not follow Nurturant Morality; who doesn't work hard or follow the rules; who doesn't serve family, nation or country, is, in effect "still growing". Therefore, Progressives believe that individuals should be given a lifetime of dependency and nurturance, if that is what they need to "grow", even if they are recidivist criminals, or just engage in detrimental and irresponsible behaviors (laziness, drug use etc). To make such things possible, Progressives believe that no one should suffer any adverse consequences as a result of making poor personal choices.
"The world is filled with evils that can harm a child, and it is the nurturant parent’s duty to be ward them off. Crime and drugs are, of course, significant, but so are less obvious dangers: cigarettes, cars without seat belts, dangerous toys, inflammable clothing, pollution, asbestos, lead paint, pesticides in food, diseases, unscrupulous businessmen, and so on. "(Dr. Lakoff does leave some conspicuous omissions such as  of Islamic Jihadists, Pedophiles, and other criminals, presumably because  Progressives Empathize with them)

"if you empathize with your child, you will provide protection. This comes into politics in many ways. What do you protect your child from? Crime and Drugs certainly. You also protect you child from cars without seat belts, from smoking, from poisonous additives in food. So progressive politics focuses on environmental protection, worker protection, consumer protection, and protection from disease. These are the things that Progressives want the government to protect citizens from."

Therefore, Progressives believe they have the (moral) right to make decisions for other people (who are metaphorical children) as to how much risk they are allowed to take, as well as how much they will give to charity, what kind of house you can build and where, what school you your kids attend and its curriculum, etc.  It is the operation of this belief that leads many to label Progressives as elitist and undemocratic.

Chapter 2: Misunderstanding the Conservative Viewpoint

Dr. Lakoff describes "Strict Father Morality" as the Belief that "The World is a Dangerous Place, and it always will be, because there is evil out there in the world. The World is also difficult because it is competitive. There will always be winners and losers. There is an absolute right and an absolute wrong. Children are born bad, in the sense that they just want to do what feels good, not what is right. Therefore they must be made good."

This description of the Conservative mindset (or Frame) is fairly accurate. It also closely resembles the real world conditions observed: It can be empirically shown that people are killed or injured by natural calamities, disease, wars, criminals, accidents and irresponsible behavior. Thus the world is, in fact, dangerous, and has been for centuries and is likely to remain so. Likewise it can be empirically demonstrated that People must compete for natural resources, be it by warfare, barter or by the more civilized method of a monetary system.  In addition there are obvious differences in the talents and abilities of all individuals, which will enable them to excel in some areas and lead them to fail in others. In order to establish a civilized society, some rules of conduct (right and wrong) must be established to enable individuals to predict the societal response to a given behavior. There is no civilized nation that has endured that lacked these rules, and the fall of the Roman Empire gives testament to how important they are to the continuation of a society. Finally, anyone who has cared for a 2 year child knows that they lack knowledge of right and wrong, and teaching them such knowledge is as vital for their survival in society as it is for the survival of the society. Hence, as Dr. Lakoff says: “Preserving and extending the conservative moral system (Strict Father Morality) is the highest priority”In short, the conservative world view is in tune with empirically collected facts about the common reality we inhabit.

Dr. Lakoff errs in interpreting “Strict Father Morality” because  he attempts to understand the motives and actions  of conservatives in terms of (moral) absolutes, instead of considering them to be the result of living in an environment of trade-offs such as the one presented by the real world. Lakoff arrives at these conclusions because he assumes anything considered to be beneficial or “good” by a conservative value system, is also automatically considered “morally right” by conservatives as well. This is, in fact, more axiomatic of Progressive thinking and the Progressive Frame. Conservatives believe that trade-offs are integral in life, and as such, may accept an “immoral system” if it produces beneficial results that outweigh (in the conservatives opinion) the perceived detriments of the system. Conversely, a Conservative may condemn a “moral” system, if it achieves results that they find to be detrimental or immoral. In the end, Conservatives concede, they cannot have their cake and eat it too, and sometimes unpleasant decisions are required. Conservatives also believe that there are degrees to any process, and degrees to any outcome, so they may find one degree of a process acceptable and a different degree unacceptable. Dr. Lakoff’s descriptions of Conservative Beliefs deny the existence of moral and physical trade-offs, and assume an absolute moral principle is in operation.

Dr. Lakoff asserts that The Strict father model assumes “ that the only way to teach kids obedience – that is, right from wrong—is through punishment, painful punishment, when they do wrong” Lakoff misses the fact that this is a trade-off, where the conservative will weigh the system against the result. Few conservatives believe that painful punishment should be administered in anger and few believe there is no such thing as child abuse. Most Conservatives believe in using both a system of rewards as well as a system of punishments (including physical punishments) to teach obedience to children, based on a given systems effectiveness with a given child.

Conservatives believe that “it is moral to pursue your self-interest” because “if everyone pursues their own profit, then the profit of all will be maximized by an invisible hand—that is, by nature – just naturally” Lakoff applies this reasoning ad-nauseam when contemplating the poor. Consequently he says conservatives believe “The Poor, therefore, deserve to be poor and serve the wealthy. The wealthy need and deserve poor people to serve them.” and “The Wealthy have earned their wealth, that they are good people who deserve it”

Conservatives believe that Free Market Capitalism naturally results in a more efficient distribution of resources, resulting in more wealth produced at lower costs, than what might be obtained via other systems. Empirical examination of modern economies and the spectacular failures of communist systems demonstrate this belief to be in line with the real world.  However, it does not follow that pursuit of self-interest (economic or otherwise) is considered by conservatives as a moral good or absolutely beneficial under all circumstances. As Lakoff himself suggests, conservatives believe the operation of Free Markets is a natural phenomenon, without a moral significance. Most would consider sunlight to be beneficial and therefore good, but it doesn’t follow that sunlight is morally good. In general, conservatives are opposed to “if it feels good, do it” and other such self-interest first philosophies. Conservatives who are Strict-Father Christians will deny that the pursuit of self-interest is moral in any sense. Free-Market Capitalism is supported by Conservatives, not because of its moral implications, but because it provides a wider prosperity while maintaining an individuals freedom to make choices. The perceived benefits outweigh the (immoral) incentive that is provided to act selfishly. Social Darwinism is not a mainstream conservative philosophy and most conservatives recognize graft and crime present in the system (which they do feel is immoral and against the law) but accept that as a tradeoff for the other benefits.

“A do-gooder is someone who is trying to help someone else rather than herself and is getting in the way of those who are pursuing their self-interest. Do-gooders screw up the system”

Conservatives believe that individuals know what is in their self-interest better than 3rd parties, and that unless those 3rd parties take the time and expend the effort to find out what the other people want, there is a good chance their “help” will be a hindrance, though this may not always be the case. Conservatives do not consider helping to be immoral, any more than they consider self interest to be moral. They merely recognize that there is a cost of knowledge attached to helping and the term “do-gooder”, when used with a negative connotation, implies the person doing the “helping” is doing so in a way that defeats the purpose. In other words, Conservatives do not believe progressives have perfect empathy. This is yet another conservative belief that can be bolstered by facts from history.

Conservatives have a moral code that puts “Western Culture above non-Western Culture, America above other nations.”

Conservatives believe that American Culture has produced “better” results than other cultures based on factors of human freedom, prosperity, and security. Conservatives do put America First, but not for moral reasons. Instead conservatives believe that they are citizens of a Sovereign Nation and value the freedom, prosperity, and security it provides, and do not feel making unbeneficial compromises that endanger that freedom, prosperity or security is wise. In other words, conservatives make a tradeoff between wanting their nation to act “morally”, and ensuring they continue to have a nation.

Dr. Lakoff says Conservatives believe “Nature is a resource for prosperity. It is there to be used for human profit” In yet another Tradeoff, Conservatives acknowledge that survival is a matter of using the environment to create goods and satisfy wants and needs, and that there is not alternative to doing this. However, how much it is done is a matter of degree. Conservatives want the environment to be used enough that there is prosperity, but recognize that complete and wanton destruction of the environment will not be sustainable. It is a tradeoff, which Dr. Lakoff again states as an absolute moral rule.

“The moral order is all too often extended to men above women, whites above non-whites, Christians above non-Christians, Straights above Gays”

All of this is in conflict with the teachings of Christianity believed by most conservatives. Western Cultures were among the first non-tribal cultures to open doors to equality to women (Suffrage), other races (ending Slavery in the United States AND the British ending it around the world), and other religions (Religious Freedom), and these actions were all undertaken for moral reasons derived from “Strict Father Morality.” For instance, the Founding Father’s “Strict father morality” dictated the freeing of the slaves, but they made a tradeoff between ending slavery and creating an enduring nation. They understood they could not have both. When conservatives put “Western Culture” first it is because of the perceived benefits of that culture vs. what other cultures have to offer. If all cultures were equal, it would not matter if your daughter was raised under Islamic Law and Customs or American Law and Customs. However, if presented a choice, many would be very clear on which one they preferred and why.

Christianity teaches its followers to love all people regardless of religion (for instance the parable of the Good Samaritan) or race, and promotes a partnership between men and women using complementary roles that take into account the differences between the sexes. No one is presumed morally superior to anyone else; Christianity teaches that everyone is a sinner in the eyes of God. It should also be noted even in the case of Straight vs. Gay, the homosexual act is believed to be a sin, not the homosexual him or herself. And many conservatives consider the tradeoff of considering homosexuality as a sin with the value of individual freedom, and are willing to support Civil Unions and tolerate the behavior.

As can be seen by the above, Lakoff entirely misses the Conservative tendency to weigh options against their moral and practical ramifications. This implies that progressives make no such distinctions. This results in a progressive black and white categorization of behavior, where the only acceptable solutions are those that have both a moral means and a moral end as judged by a progressive value system. The idea of a compromise is an anathema to them, and further supports the idea that they see no need to make tradeoffs.


Chapter 3 The Culture War – Nurturant vs. Strict Father Morality

Dr. Lakoff asserts: “On the whole, the right wing is attempting to impose a strict Father ideology on America and, ultimately the rest of the world. Many progressives underestimate just how radical an ideology this is…. ”

Dr. Lakoff says Conservatives believe that
  • “God makes laws—commandments—defining right and wrong”

  • “one must have discipline to Follow God’s Commandments”,

  • The moral order is “God above man, man above nature, adults above children, Western Culture above non-Western Culture, America above other nations. The moral order is all too often extended to men above women, whites above non-whites, Christians above non-Christians, Straights above Gays”

  • “morality can only be maintained through a system of rewards and punishments”

  • Free markets are “a mechanism for the disciplined (stereotypically good) people to use their discipline to accumulate wealth.”

  • “Competition is good; it produces optimal use of resources and disciplined people”

  • “By giving people things they haven’t earned, social programs remove the incentive to be disciplined, which is necessary for both Morality and prosperity”

  • “Education should promote discipline, and undisciplined students should face punishment (for instance paddling), and intellectually undisciplined students should not be coddled, but should be shamed and punished by not being promoted."

  • “There are right and wrong answers, and they should be tested for.”

  • “Testing defines fairness: those who pass are rewarded; those not disciplined enough to pass are punished”

  • “Because immoral, undisciplined children can lead moral, disciplined children astray, parents should be able to choose which schools they send their children”

  • “it is the responsibility of parents to take care of their children. To the extent that they cannot, they are not living up to their individual responsibility. No one has the responsibility of doing other people’s jobs for them”

  • “Nature is a resource for prosperity. It is there to be used for human profit”

  • “Corporations exist to provide people with goods and services, and to make profits for investors”

“Those are the basics. Those are the ideas and values the right wing wants to establish, nothing less than a radical revolution in how America and the rest of the world functions”

One might notice that most of these “radical“ ideas are the same ones held by the  Founding Fathers, and most of Western Civilization for the last 5000 years. These ideas certainly do not represent a change in thinking, and have persevered through the centuries because different people, in different cultures, have found them to be empirically true and useful in conducting their lives. These principles represent the “tried and true’ beliefs of many cultures. This is not to say that they are the best system that be devised, nor that the effects that proceed from them are the most efficacious for a human society.  However, these ideas set the benchmark by which other, newer ideas can be measured.  

“I believe that progressive values are traditional American Values, that progressive principles are fundamental American principles, and that progressive policy directions point the way to where most Americans really want our country to go. The job of unifying progressives is really the job of bringing our country together around its finest traditional values”

To prove that Nurturant Morality was part of Early America, Lakoff asserts that Early settlers consisted of “Groups like the Quakers, who had a nurturant view of God, and Groups like the Puritans who had a strict father view of God. The New England Colonies were mainly Puritan, though John Winthrop had a nurturant view of the colony he was establishing, and the nurturant view of god has existed side by side with the strict one in this country ever since”

 John Winthrop led the Massachusetts Bay Colony across the Atlantic and served many terms as its Governor. He participated in the ousting of Roger Williams for advocating the separation of Church and State, and denying the Puritan belief that they were God’s chosen to fulfill a Manifest Destiny that included stealing land from the Native Americans. Roger Williams left and founded Rhode Island. This incident was followed shortly by the exile of Anne Hutchinson in which Winthrop was a major participant. In his famous “City on a Hill” sermon , John Winthrop called for brotherhood but also recognized man’s fallen state (essentially evil) and man’s inherent differences (rich vs. Poor etc.) In short, John Winthrop was a strict-father morality based Puritan, who held a belief in certain liberties, which included a right to keep his property and laws that applied equally to everyone, and also asserted the right of a religious theocracy to govern. Perhaps Dr. Lakoff gets the idea that Winthrop was “nurturant” because he wanted to use the State as a Totalitarian power to enforce a certain brand of morality.

Dr. Lakoff’s statement that progressives mirror “the values the country was founded on – the idea of a community where people pull together to help each other. From John Winthrop on, that is what our Nation has stood for.” is simply absurd. John Winthrop himself said

“it is without question, that he is worse than an infidel who through his own sloth and voluptuousness shall neglect to provide for his family”

John Winthrop called for voluntary charity in times of dire need. The Massachusetts Bay colony’s circumstances were indeed dire when they arrived in America, but there is no basis of comparison between this and the Progressive idea of Charity by force of Government espoused in modern times. The idea of forced contributions has no similarity to a man who simply started to work building the houses of others in hopes others would join him.

Dr. Lakoff asserts that “Progressive values are the best of Traditional American Values. Stand up for your values with dignity and strength. You are a true Patriot because of your values” “Remember that right wing ideologues have convinced half of the country that the strict father family model, which is bad enough for raising children, should govern our national morality and politics. This is the model that the best in American values has defeated over and over again in the course of our history- from the emancipation of the slaves to women’s suffrage, Social security and Medicare, civil rights and voting rights acts, and Brown Vs. the board of education and Roe vs. Wade. Each time we have united our country behind our finest traditional values”

Dr. Lakoff is apparently unaware that the Strict Father Morality of our Founding Father’s ALWAYS dictated slavery was a blight on the nation’s character. Women’s Suffrage was fought for by women who held viewpoints that today would be considered "conservative". In fact, the suffragettes were so conservative that they ousted Elizabeth Cady Stanton from the movement when she wrote the Woman’s Bible. Social Security is a pyramid scheme with mandatory participation that would be illegal if any other organization tried it, and more Republicans voted for the Civil Rights act than did Democrats. The final two court decisions are examples of Judicial Activism where the Supreme Court legislated their own decisions upon the American people, in violation of the principles of Representative Government. For Dr. Lakoffs approbation of these events, it can be surmised that Progressives believe that Historical Revisionism and Elitist Rule are patriotic values.
Ironically, Dr. Lakoff says “Conservatives have parodied liberals as weak, angry (hence not in control of their emotions), weak-minded, softhearted, unpatriotic, uninformed, and elitist. Don’t give them opportunities to stereotype you in any of these ways”
 “What they [conservatives] have done is to create, via framing and language, a link between strict father morality in the family and religion on the one hand and conservative politics on the other. This conceptual link must be so strong that it can overcome economic self-interest. The method for achieving this has been the cultural civil war—pitting American with Strict Father Morality (called conservatives) against Americans with nurturant parent morality (the liberals) who are portrayed as threatening the way of life and the cultural, religious, and personal identities of conservatives”

Dr. Lakoff says that “without a Civil culture war, the conservatives cannot win” and to “Remember once more that our [Progressives] goal is to unite our country behind our values, the best of traditional American Values. Right wing ideologues need to divide our country via a nasty cultural civil war. They need discord and shouting and name calling and put-downs.”
“the ideas that the right wing wants to establish, [are] nothing less than a radical revolution I how America and the rest of the world functions. The Vehemence of the culture war provoked and maintained by conservatives is no accident. For strict father morality to gain and maintain political power, disunity is required.” “radical conservative ideologues are unwilling to compromise, and insist on the most rapid and complete change possible.”

But what exactly is changing? Dr. Lakoff says “conservatives see the strict father family, and with it their political values, as under attack. They are right” This statement confirms that Conservatives are DEFENDING, not attacking. They did not instigate a culture war, but are defending long standing institutions, ideas and even the definition of words from relentless attack.

Dr. Lakoff says, “Abortion is a stand in for the larger issue: Is strict Father morality going to rule America?”

“opposing same sex marriage is thus reinforcing and extending strict father morality itself, which is the highest calling of the conservative moral system. Same-sex marriage is therefore a stand-in; it evokes the larger issue, namely what moral system is to govern our country”

Abortion as a Natural Right and Same-sex marriages are changes to the Status Quo, both of which are being instituted following a process that denies the right of the people to determine their own laws. Conservatives are defending against un-ratified changes to their social compact, not instigating the “Culture War”

Dr. Lakoff says Progressives assume “that the world should be a nurturant place." (emphasis his) This is a tacit admission that it is currently NOT a Nurturant place and that is something the Democrats wish to change.
Dr. Lakoff defines “Hypo-cognition [as] the lack of ideas you need, the lack of a relatively simple fixed frame that can be evoked in a word or two…Progressives are suffering from massive hypo-cognition.”

And says “Common sense is reasoning within a common place accepted frame”

These two statements admit that Progressives believe their ideas are NOT common, and are not accepted, and do not jive with common sense. To a certain degree liberals revel in this idea, because they feel this makes them unique, superior and better able to guide mankind.

Contrastingly, “Conservatives can appeal to an established frame, that taxation is an affliction or burden, which allows for the two word phrase tax relief” “The conservatives used to suffer from [hypo-cognition] . When Goldwater lost in 1964, they had very few of the concepts that they have today.” “Conservatives have worked for decades and spent billions on their think tanks to establish their frames, create the right language, and get the language and the frames they evoke accepted. It has taken them awhile to establish the metaphors of taxation as a burden, an affliction and an unfair punishment—all of which require “relief.” They have also, over decades, built up the frame in which the wealthy create jobs, and giving them more wealth creates more jobs.”

It would be difficult to come up with a Conservative Frame that is not at least 200 years old, if not older.  (Think about how many Strict-Father Conservative Frames are in the Bible). Conservative frames are established and propagated from one generation to the next because they do in fact correspond to the empirical reality and therefore common sense.
The  Founding Fathers agreed with the “Conservative frame” that “taxes are a burden” as discussed in the Federalist 36 :

“Many specters have been raised out of this power of internal taxation, to excite the apprehensions of the people: double sets of revenue officers, a duplication of their burdens by double taxations, and the frightful forms of odious and oppressive poll-taxes, have been played off with all the ingenious dexterity of political legerdemain.”

And the idea of the wealthy creating jobs is discussed in Adam Smith’s (The father of Modern Economics) The Wealth of Nations, Book II, Chapter III :

“Those unproductive hands, who should be maintained by a part only of the spare revenue of the people, may consume so great a share of their whole revenue, and thereby oblige so great a number to encroach upon their capitals, upon the funds destined for the maintenance of productive labour, that all the frugality and good conduct of individuals may not be able to compensate the waste and degradation of produce occasioned by this violent and forced encroachment. “

This is further expounded in The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Part IV Chapter 1 “The rich ... divide with the poor the produce of all their improvements. They are led by an invisible hand to make nearly the same distribution of the necessaries of life which would have been made, had the earth been divided into equal proportions among all its inhabitants.”

These conservative frames for wealth have held true to the empirical data for centuries. If we are to abandon these frames for the Progressive view, shouldn’t the real world behavior be taken into account? Apparently, Dr. Lakoff believes he has only to repeat his belief enough times and the real world will begin to mirror his words.

Dr. Lakoff’s plan for winning the culture war is to take Progressive frames and repeat them “over and over again, and [refine] them until they take their rightful place in our synapses. “ In other words, their plan is to brainwash people into accepting views of the world that have been looked at, tried, and then rejected. In doing this Lakoff advises Progressives to “Avoid a shouting match. Remember that the radical right requires a culture war, and shouting is the discourse form of that culture war. Civil Discourse is the discourse form of Nurturant morality. You win a victory when the discourse turns civil” and to “Never answer a question framed from your opponents point of view. Always reframe the question to fit your values and your frames”

This, in effect, makes it impossible to have a rational conversation with a Progressive. If it is impossible to have a discussion that compares the frames to the empirical reality, there is no way to discover the truth. IN stead, Dr. Lakoff advises Progressive to deny the other frame exists. Lakoff suggest Progressive “tell a story. Find stories where your frame is built into the story. Build up an effective stock of these stories” or to “use rhetorical questions: wouldn’t it be better if..? Such a question should be chosen to presuppose your frame. Example: “Wouldn’t it be better if we had a President who went to war with a plan to secure the peace?”

Anecdotal stories can be fiction: they can carry a point that does not correspond with the common empirical reality, or if true, may simply be a statistical aberration; the exception that defines the rule. Rhetorical questions like the one Lakoff suggests, presuppose not only a Liberal frame, but a lack of real-world constraints. No war in the history of man has ever been fought with a plan to secure the peace after the war, and certainly never with the idea that the plan, once written, would correspond so perfectly with the real world situation that nothing would go wrong. Progressives want to frame their ideas so they are judged on the morality of their intentions, rather than on the real consequences in the world of practical application. They do not believe the path to hell is paved with good intentions. In fact, Progressives often act as if they believe a virtuous intention will always result in a benefit, and that an evil intention (say a profit motive spurred by Greed) will always result in a detriment.

Lakoff offers further advice “Hold your ground. Always be on the offense. Never go on defense. Never whine or complain. Never act like a victim”

Dr. Lakoff should realize that most Progressives rely on considering themselves either the victims of something (to cover a poor personal performance) , or as the defenders of those victims (self-righteous moral preening). Victim-hood is at the root of claims of sexism, racism, “exploitation” by the wealthy and even environmentalism where the victim is the planet (which will be around long after the human race will have passed from its surface)

Lakoff also proposes his own Wedge and Slippery Slope issues:  “Imagine a campaign for poison free communities, starting with mercury as the poison of choice, then going on to other kinds of poison in our air and in our water, around us in various forms. That could be made into a wedge issue, splitting conservatives who care about their won and their children’s health from those who are simply against government regulation. The very issue would be a frame in which regulation favors health, and being against the regulation endangers health. This is also a slippery slope issue. Once you get people looking at how and where mercury enters the environment – for example from the processing of coal and other chemicals—and you get people thinking about cleaning up mercury, and about mercury poisoning, and how it works in the environment, you can go onto the next poison in the environment, and the poison after that, and the poison after that.”

One might notice that there is no mention of the empirical fact that there will be radioactive materials in our food, contaminants in our air and water, and other environmental hazards no matter what steps we take. The questions of “HOW MUCH RISK?” or “HOW MUCH WILL MITIGATING THE RISK COST?” are ignored because they are unimportant to Dr. Lakoff. Apparently, Dr. Lakoff is a proponent of the idea that creating unfounded hysteria is a good way to attain power. Cleaner water, cleaner air, cleaner food and cleaner fuels drive up the cost of these resources, and products derived from their use, thus making those things more difficult for the poor to obtain. These considerations never enter the mind of the Progressive because of the intrinsic belief that they are the elite intellectuals who must protect humanity from its own stupidity.

Dr. Lakoff suggests that conservatives believe that “The hated liberals, who are effete elitist, unpatriotic spendthrifts, are threatening American culture and values, and have to be fought vigorously and continuously on every front. It is a threat to the very security of the nation, as well as morality, religion, the family, and everything real Americans hold dear“

Given the Progressive support for removing decisions from the hands of individuals and their representatives, confiscating and redistributing wealth and opportunities, driving up the cost of living, silencing dissenting opinions via speech codes and prohibitions on public religious expression, changing the definitions of family and morality and ignoring the frames and principles of our founding fathers, attitudes such as this should not come as a surprise. They are founded on empirical experience with Progressives. There is a Culture War, but even Dr. Lakoff’s own rhetoric betrays the fact that it is traditional beliefs, institutions and values that are under attack by people that hope to play God, change the world, and remake it in their own image.

Chapter 4: The Role of Government

Dr. Lakoff defines Progressive Values as: Freedom, Opportunity, Prosperity, fairness, open communication, community building, community service and co-operation, trust and honesty.
Based on these values, Dr. Lakoff defines several Progressive Political Principles, which will be examined in turn:

The Progressive principle of “Equity” means that “if you Work hard, play by the rules; and serve your family, community and nation, then the nation should provide a decent standard of living, as well as freedom, security and opportunity” and Lakoff even asserts “America Promises a decent standard of living in return for hard work”

No Progressive-backed social programs require anyone to work hard, or “follow the rules”, other than the administrative one for getting paid. Attempts to introduce accountability or responsibility into these systems are routinely blocked and opposed by progressives. Furthermore, there is nothing anywhere in the U.S. Constitution that promises citizens a decent standard of living in return for hard work.  It is true that America is one of the few places in the world where hard work is a characteristic that is often rewarded, but that does not result in a guarantee. Again, Dr. Lakoff is using framing to obscure the actual operation and actual results of Progressive Social Programs, which are, in effect to take money by force from those who have earned it by contributing to the society and giving it to others who have not.  The progressive principle of Equity in effect is equality of economic results, more commonly known as socialism or communism.  

The Progressive principle of "Equality" means “To do everything possible to guarantee political equality and avoid imbalances of power. “

Progressives believe that equality means selected minorities should be on the same political footing as majorities. This principle is illuminated by Progressive’s stance on Senate Filibusters (Preventing a Majority from Voting) , Affirmative action (Taking opportunities from a Majority and giving them to a minority) , welfare (taking wealth from the majority and giving it to a minority) , Gay Marriage (allowing a minority to redefine a word used by the majority) , and Religious Displays (Allowing a Minority to control what ideas are allowed in public) In effect, the progressive principle of equality means a rejection of  the principles of Majority Rule and Representative Democracy. This is further illustrated in Dr. Lakoff’s definition of a corporation: “In the law, corporations are (metaphorically) persons. They are not really persons. They are collective legal entities, intended to serve the needs and interests of the real individuals in a society. The needs and rights of individuals therefore should take precedence over the needs and rights of corporations.” This is a firm assertion that progressives believe the needs and rights of certain individuals should take precedence over the needs and rights of a group of individuals.

Lakoff says “Corporations are chartered by and accountable to the public. Instead of maximizing only shareholder profits, corporations should be chartered to maximize stakeholder well being, where shareholders, employees, communities and the environment are all recognized and represented on corporate boards.”

Thus, Progressives DO NOT support  the right of free association and believe that decisions made by any group of freely associated individuals should be subject to the review of 3rd parties who represent Progressively defined “stakeholders”.

Ironically, Lakoff claims "Democracy" is a Liberal Principle in which Progressives attempt to “Maximize citizen participation, minimize concentrations of political, corporate, and media power. Maximize journalistic standards. Establish publicly financed elections. Invest in Public education. Bring corporations under stakeholder control, not just stockholder control”

However, Progressives support unhampered and unregulated Labor unions which are a huge source of political power and money. Likewise Progressives support government funded and progressive controlled entities like PBS and NPR (Media) and an ever expanding federal government, including a government funded school system that teaches progressive values and frames. Dr. Lakoff  asserts that groups of Private Citizens (Corporations) should have Progressively defined “stakeholders” thrust into their private decision making process. He says “The airwaves must be kept public, and media monopolies (Murdoch, Clear Channel) broken up.”, thus asserting a progressive agenda that allows the Government to decide and censor what can be broadcast on its “public airwaves”. He singles out Murdoch as a entity that must be broken up, but ignores Time Warner and Disney which are both larger enterprises. Dr.  Lakoff also provides this example of Progressive Journalistic standards: "The Media Does not have to accept the right wing’s frames. What can a reporter ask besides “do you support gay Marriage? Try this: “Do you think that the government should tell people who they can and can’t marry?” or “Do you think the Freedom to marry who you want is to a matter of equal rights under the law?” or “Do you see marriage as the realization of love in a lifetime commitment?” or “Does it benefit society when two people who are in love want to make a public lifetime commitment to each other?” Reframing is everybody’s job. Especially Reporters… It is a duty of reporters not to accept this situation and simply use those right-wing frames that have come to seem natural. ” From these examples it is clear that Progressives support using private and public assets to support and expand Progressive institutions and political powers  to advance a Progressive Agenda while using  government power to simultaneously curb, regulate and check conservative power structures. Thus the Progressive principle of Democracy means expanding Progressive Media Outlets while silencing Conservatives. Dr. Lakoff is simply using framing to obscure the real agenda of state sponsored censorship and the squelching of free speech.  

Dr. Lakoff  says “Our values apply to business. In the course of making money by providing products and services, business should not adversely affect the public good, as defined by the above values”  Thus is defined the  principle of "Ethical Business"

Applying the above values implies that Progressive’s believe Ethical Business is the Progressive right to serve as self-appointed judges over other people’s decisions on how, when, and where they may try to earn a living.

The Progressive principle of a “Values based foreign policy” means “The same values governing domestic policy should apply to foreign policy whenever possible”“An ethical foreign policy means the inclusion of issues previously left out: women’s rights and education, children’s rights, labor issues, poverty and hunger, the global environment and global health”

In fact, this means that they are justified in imposing Nurturant Morality on the world ( and thus  maintaining Progressive’s illusion of their own moral purity and superiority).

The Final progressive principle is “Government for a better future” in which “Government does what America’s future requires and what the private sector cannot do or is not doing—effectively, ethically or at all. It is the job of government to promote and, if possible provide sufficient protection, greater democracy, more freedom, a better environment, broader Prosperity, better health, greater fulfillment in life, less violence, and the building and maintaining of public infrastructure”

In Practice, this means more government (progressive) control of all areas of life. Progressives want to government to provide “secure harbors, industrial facilities and cities” and “safe neighborhoods (community policing) and schools (gun control); safe water, air and food (a poison-free environment); safety on the job; and products safe to use… health care for all, pre- and postnatal care for children, a focus on wellness and preventive care, and care for the elderly (Medicare, Social Security and so on)”. In addition they want the government to impose “gay rights, affirmative action, women’s rights (abortion)” without the consent of the governed. They want the government to decide when labor is being exploited (without labors consent) and force businesses to provide “living wages, safe workplaces, [and] no intimidation” in the ways specified by the government. The government should control how much an individual can earn and decide who has "earned the right to living wages and health care." Progressives believe the Government should decide that “The economy as a whole should decently compensate those who hold it up” and redistribute income if it fails to do so. The government should tell people what kind of art should be produced an what curriculum should be taught because “Art and education are parts of self-fulfillment” In fact, ”beauty, and self-knowledge are part of human fulfillment, and so the government must see to it that institutions promote such forms of human nurturance”

In his presentation “Take Back America” George Lakoff asserts that the role of Government from a progressive point of view is to “provide protection, freedom, fairness, political equality, prosperity, the best possible natural environment, healthy communities, and a reasonable standard of living: decent housing, food, clothing, first-rate public education, and health care.” All of which are defined by Progressives. In other words Progressives believe the Government has the right to decide on the type of fairness applied (equal results), the types of protection offered (not property rights), the degree of freedom offered (Abortion is available, Guns are not.), the political representation in the government, how much prosperity each person is allowed to have, what environment people will live in, what kind of communities we will have and the values they will support, the quantity and types of housing, food, or clothing each person should have, the type of education that will be offered and the curriculum and values it will impart, and when, where and how an individual will be allowed to seek medical attention and with what drugs or procedures, what a person can smoke for recreation (marijuana, but not tobacco), and when, where, and how an individual will be allowed to seek or offer employment, and all in complete disregard to the social compact ratified by the people. Or put more simply Progressives believe the role of government is to impose their decisions on other people using the power of the State often while ignoring or overstepping the Constitutional limits placed on that power.

Ghandi said: “I look upon an increase of the power of the State with the greatest fear, because although while apparently doing good by minimizing exploitation, it does the greatest harm to mankind by destroying individuality, which lies at the root of all progress. We know of so many cases where men have adopted trusteeship, but none where the State has really lived for the poor.”

In Contrast, Dr. Lakoff say Conservatives believe that the proper role of Government is “to protect the lives and the private property of Americans, to making profit seeking as easy as possible for worthy Americans (the disciplined ones), and to promote conservative morality (strict father morality) and religion” This is an opinion that is shared by our Founding Fathers:

“Government is instituted no less for protection of the property, than of the persons, of individuals. The one as well as the other, therefore, may be considered as represented by those who are charged with the government.” Federalist # 54

“The diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interests. The protection of these faculties is the first object of government. From the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property, the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately results; and from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors, ensues a division of the society into different interests and parties.” James Madison)

“The prosperity of commerce is now perceived and acknowledged by all enlightened statesmen to be the most useful as well as the most productive source of national wealth, and has accordingly become a primary object of their political cares. By multiplying the means of gratification, by promoting the introduction and circulation of the precious metals, those darling objects of human avarice and enterprise, it serves to vivify and invigorate the channels of industry, and to make them flow with greater activity and copiousness. The assiduous merchant, the laborious husbandman, the active mechanic, and the industrious manufacturer,--all orders of men, look forward with eager expectation and growing alacrity to this pleasing reward of their toils.” (Hamilton)

Hence, in direct opposition to Progressives, Conservatives believe that the Constitution protects the Property Rights as well as the right to claim the rewards of one’s own work.

However, contrary to Dr. Lakoff’s assertion that Conservatives wish for a state imposed religion, Conservatives simply believe that the First Amendment prohibits the Federal government from either encouraging OR discouraging Religion. Dr.  Lakoff probably misinterprets the conservative stance on this issue because of the common Progressive belief that the First Amendment provides Freedom from exposure to Religious Thought, and hence feel that no one has the right to express religious opinions or symbols in public. However, on matters of morality, Conservatives do tend to agree with the sentiments of George Washington:

“all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness - these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” Washington’s Farewell address

Conservatives feel that Religious beliefs promote the maintenance of an important pillar of civilization, and that religious beliefs in our leadership preserve our liberty.

According to Lakoff, Conservatives believe “It is immoral to give people things they have not earned, because then they will not develop discipline and will become both dependant and immoral. This theory says that social programs are immoral because they make people dependent.” Conservatives are “Against Social programs that take care of people. That is what they see as wrong. That is what they are trying to eliminate on moral grounds.”  and “What they really want to do away with is social programs – programs which invest in people, to help people help themselves.”

More accurately, Conservatives believe it is immoral to use government force to steal from people who have earned their wealth to give it to people who are unwilling to earn it. In direct contradiction to Dr. Lakoff, Conservatives (and Christian ethics) do not see the care of people as wrong, in fact they advocate it. The conservative system’s morals simply indicate that such behavior shouldn’t be coerced. Why would conservatives who value independence and find dependence to be immoral, oppose programs that allow people to help themselves and thus become independent? Again, Dr. Lakoff is attempting to use framing to obfuscate the simple fact that Conservatives disagree with the method of providing the support, not with the support itself. Progressive social programs encourage people to help themselves by allowing them to help themselves to money in some other person's wallet. They do not promote self-sufficiency or responsibility and do not encourage beneficiaries to become productive members of the society.  , and thereby avoid doing anything productive for others or the society. Conservatives are against Social programs that provide no current or long term benefits to the society because they create incentives counter-productive to the goals of the program, or are otherwise ineffectual at achieving their stated goals. Copious amounts of data have shown that dependency on the Government is increasing, so how are these programs helping people to help themselves? Conservatives believe that different incentives (positive or negative) will have an effect how people currently behave, and that people will make future plans based on their perceptions of those incentives.

Lakoff observes “Conservatives are not against [funding for] the military, they are not against homeland defense, they are not against the current department of justice, nor against the courts, nor the Departments of Treasury and Commerce” “Conservatives don’t really want smaller government. They don’t want to eliminate the Military, the FBI, of the treasury and commerce departments, or the nine-tenths of the courts that support corporate law. It is big government that they like.”

U.S. Constitution, Section 8 (The powers of Congress) : “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties,Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States; To borrow money on the credit of the United States; To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes; To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures; To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;To establish Post Offices and Post Roads Post ;To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;To declare War, grantLetters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;To provide and maintain a Navy;To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; AndTo make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.” (Emphasis Mine)

The items highlighted by Dr. Lakoff are enumerated in the Constitution as legimate Federal powers. Dr. Lakoff might also observe that the Constitution DOES not enumerate Welfare programs of any kind as being a power of the Federal government, and the Federalist Papers clearly say that the clause “General Welfare” is clarified by the following specifics. “Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars.”

Critics against ratification of the Constitution argued that the General Welfare phrase would be abused by unscrupulous men to expand the power of the Federal Government.. Madison responded to these critics :” Some, who have not denied the necessity of the power of taxation, have grounded a very fierce attack against the Constitution, on the language in which it is defined. It has been urged and echoed, that the power "to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States,'' amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare. No stronger proof could be given of the distress under which these writers labor for objections, than their stooping to such a misconstruction. Had no other enumeration or definition of the powers of the Congress been found in the Constitution, than the general expressions just cited, the authors of the objection might have had some color for it; though it would have been difficult to find a reason for so awkward a form of describing an authority to legislate in all possible cases. “

Plainly stated, Conservatives believe that the Federal government should be kept within its Constitutional boundaries.

Lakoff says “Strict Father values are seen as central to democracy – to the empowerment of individuals to change their lives and their society by pursuing their self-interests:”

Conservatives believe that individuals should have the freedom to pursue (and determine) their own happiness, and where those pursuits conflict, Democracy is used to settle the dispute.

“Suppose you are a moral authority. As a moral authority, how do you deal with your children? Do you ask them what they should do or what you should do? No, you tell them. What the father says, the child does, no back talk. Communication is One-Way. It is the Same with the White House”

Conservatives believe that a President, elected to be in charge, is in charge within the bounds of his office as described in the Constitution, until the President’s term is over or is removed from office by Constitutional means (impeachment)

Lakoff then suggests that to Conservatives “ Rights must be consistent with Morality… thus there is no right to an abortion, no right to same-sex marriage, no right to health care (or any other government assistance), no right to know how the administration decides policy, no right to a living wage and so on”

This is more true of the Progressive worldview where moral absolutes rule. Conversely, Conservatives believe that Rights are limits on governmental power concerning legal protections retained by the people when forming the United States or their State Governments (via ratification of a Constitution and amendments)

It must be said that most conservatives will not support rights inconsistent with their morality, but it does not follow that they wouldn’t submit to the rule of the majority if they were ratified modifications to the societal compacts that they live under. In contrast, this suggests that Progressives believe that Rights are benefits given to some at the expense of others, by dictatorial order, rather than by majority rule.