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Thursday, 26 August 2004
U.C. Berkeley Linguistics Professor George Lakoff has been arguing for years that conservatives are better at using language to frame debates in such a way as to give them a distinct advantage. He’s got a new book coming out on the subject, and this interview is fascinating.
Why do conservatives like to use the phrase “liberal elite” as an epithet?

Conservatives have branded liberals, and the liberals let them get away with it: the “liberal elite,” the “latte liberals,” the “limousine liberals.” The funny thing is that conservatives are the elite. The whole idea of conservative doctrine is that some people are better than others, that some people deserve more. To conservatives, if you’re poor it’s because you deserve it, you’re not disciplined enough to get ahead. Conservative doctrine requires that there be an elite: the people who thrive in the free market have more money, and they should. Progressives say, “No, that’s not fair. Maybe some should have more money, but no one should live in poverty. Everybody who works deserves to have a reasonable standard of living for their work.” These are ideas that are progressive or liberal ideas, and progressives aren’t getting them out there enough.
[spotted on Boing Boing]
posted to /politics at 6:26pm :: 0 responses



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