July 2006 posts

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Lakoff on Republicans and incompetence

 excerpt from the article:

Progressives have fallen into a trap. Emboldened by President Bush’s plummeting approval ratings, progressives increasingly point to Bush’s “failures” and label him and his administration as incompetent. Self-satisfying as this criticism may be, it misses the bigger point. Bush’s disasters — Katrina, the Iraq War, the budget deficit — are not so much a testament to his incompetence or a failure of execution. Rather, they are the natural, even inevitable result of his conservative governing philosophy. It is conservatism itself, carried out according to plan, that is at fault. 

George Lakoff on freedom

 excerpts from the article:

—-Over more than two centuries Americans demanded successive expansions of freedom — progressive freedom. Expansions of voting rights, civil rights, education, public health, scientific knowledge, and protections from fear and want: these all made us freer to follow our dreams. These were the ideals of freedom that I grew up with. They are now all under threat, not by guns or bombs, but an under-the-radar redefinition of freedom and liberty to suit right wing ideology. And it is taking place under our noses, with the complicity of the media, where there has been little noticeable questioning of the President’s use of “freedom” and “liberty.” The media has not made an issue of it.

—-Progressives: There should be a freedom to marry. The government should not be able to decide who can marry who.
Conservatives: “Freely elected” government officials should determine who can marry who. That’s what a “free country” means.

Progressives: Social security, the minimum wage, universal health care, college for all are ways to guarantee freedom from want.
Conservatives: Giving people things they haven’t earned creates dependency and robs people of their freedom.

Progressives: The 45 million working people who can’t afford health care cannot all pull themselves up by their bootstraps. An economy that drives down wages to increase investor profits creates a cheap labor trap. The trap works against freedom from want.
Conservatives: Economic liberty comes through the free market ; government gets in the way: government works against economic liberty in four ways: regulation, workers’ rights, taxes, and class action lawsuits.

Progressives: Freedom of religion includes freedom from having a religion imposed on you.
Conservatives: Freedom to practice religion for fundamentalist evangelicals means spreading the good news of the truth of the gospel, which implies school prayer, “under God” in the Pledge, the Ten Commandments in courthouses, and the teaching of Intelligent Design.

Progressives: The President’s spying on citizens without a warrant is a violation of freedom.
Conservatives: The President is just doing his duty to preserve our freedom. 

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