[permaculture] GREENS CALL SUPREME COURT'S DECISION ON EMINENT...Don't Think of an Elephant

Lora Boge loraboge at phreego.com
Tue Jun 28 21:47:21 EDT 2005

Has everyone read Don't Think of an Elephant? If you haven't definitely read
this below. I got it at: http://www.chelseagreen.com . It's the 1st chapter
posted on their website for perusal in hopes of enticing more people to buy
the book. I highly recommend this book for understanding what is really
going on in broad scale terms with these events. I don't mean to get into
politics here on the Pc list but I believe this is vital knowledge in
understanding the playing field we are operating on. And probably why some
of us often lack alot of the necessary money to forward our agendas and


Here are the Table of Contents and Chapter 1 of Don't Think of an Elephant
by George Lakoff:

don’t think of an elephant!




“one of the most influential political thinkers of the progressive movement”

Howard Dean


Foreword by Howard Dean / ix
Introduction by Don Hazen / xi
Preface: Reframing Is Social Change / xv

Part I: Theory and Application

1. Framing 101: How to Take Back Public Discourse / 3
2. Enter the Terminator! / 35
3. What’s in a Word? Plenty, if It’s Marriage / 46
4. Metaphors of Terror / 52
5. Metaphors that Kill / 69
6. Betrayal of Trust: Beyond Lying / 75

Part II: From Theory to Action

7. What the Right Wing Wants / 81
8. What Unites Progressives / 89
9. FAQ / 96
10. How to Respond to Conservatives / 111

Acknowledgments / 121
About the Author / 123

—1 —

Framing 101: How to Take Back Public Discourse
— january 21, 2004 —

On this date I spoke extemporaneously to a group of about two hundred
progressive citizen-activists in Sausalito, California. When I teach the
study of framing at Berkeley, in Cognitive Science 101, the first thing I do
is I give my students an exercise. The exercise is: Don’t think of an
elephant! Whatever you do, do not think of an elephant. I’ve never found a
student who is able to do this. Every word, like elephant, evokes a frame,
which can be an image or other kinds of knowledge: Elephants are large, have
floppy ears and a trunk, are associated with circuses, and so on. The word
is defined relative to that frame. When we negate a frame, we evoke the

Richard Nixon found that out the hard way. While under pressure to resign
during the Watergate scandal, Nixon addressed the nation on TV. He stood
before the nation and said, “I am not a crook.” And everybody thought about
him as a crook. This gives us a basic principle of framing, for when you are
arguing against the other side: Do not use their language. Their language
picks out a frame—and it won’t be the frame you want. Let me give you an
example. On the day that George W. Bush arrived in the White House, the
phrase tax relief started coming out of the White House. It still is: It was
used a number of times in this year’s State of the Union address, and is
showing up more and more in preelection speeches four years later.

Think of the framing for relief. For there to be relief there must be an
affliction, an afflicted party, and a reliever who removes the affliction
and is therefore a hero. And if people try to stop the hero, those people
are villains for trying to prevent relief. When the word tax is added to
relief, the result is a metaphor: Taxation is an affliction. And the person
who takes it away is a hero, and anyone who tries to stop him is a bad guy.
This is a frame. It is made up of ideas, like affliction and hero. The
language that evokes the frame comes out of the White House, and it goes
into press releases, goes to every radio station, every TV station, every
newspaper. And soon the New York Times is using tax relief. And it is not
only on Fox; it is on CNN, it is on NBC, it is on every station because it
is “the president’s tax-relief plan.” And soon the Democrats are using tax
relief—and shooting themselves in the foot.

It is remarkable. I was asked by the Democratic senators to visit their
caucus just before the president’s tax plan was to come up in the Senate.
They had their version of the tax plan, and it was their version of tax
relief. They were accepting the conservative frame. The conservatives had
set a trap: The words draw you into their worldview. That is what framing is
about. Framing is about getting language that fits your worldview. It is not
just language. The ideas are primary— and the language carries those ideas,
evokes those ideas. There was another good example in the State of the Union
address in January. This one was a remarkable metaphor to find in a State of
the Union address. Bush said, “We do not need a permission slip to defend
America.” What is going on with a permission slip? He could have just said,
“We won’t ask permission.” But talking about a permission slip is different.
Think about when you last needed a permission slip. Think about who has to
ask for a permission slip. Think about who is being asked. Think about the
relationship between them.

Those are the kinds of questions you need to ask if you are to understand
contemporary political discourse. While you are contemplating them, I want
to raise other questions for you. My work on politics began when I asked
myself just such a ques-tion. It was back in the fall of 1994. I was
watching election speeches and reading the Republicans’ “Contract with

The question I asked myself was this: What do the conservatives’ positions
on issues have to do with each other? If you are a conservative, what does
your position on abortion have to do with your position on taxation? What
does that have to do with your position on the environment? Or foreign
policy? How do these positions fit together? What does being against gun
control have to do with being for tort reform? What makes sense of the
linkage? I could not figure it out. I said to myself, These are strange
people. Their collection of positions makes no sense. But then an
embarrassing thought occurred to me. I have exactly the opposite position on
every issue. What do my positions have to do with one another? And I could
not figure that out either. That was extremely embarrassing for someone who
does cognitive science and linguistics.

Eventually the answer came. And it came from a very unexpected place. It
came from the study of family values. I had asked myself why conservatives
were talking so much about family values. And why did certain values count
as “family values” while others did not? Why would anyone in a presidential
campaign, in congressional campaigns, and so on, when the future of the
world was being threatened by nuclear proliferation and global warming,
constantly talk about family values?

At this point I remembered a paper that one of my students had written some
years back that showed that we all have a metaphor for the nation as a
family. We have Founding Fathers. The Daughters of the American Revolution.
We “send our sons” to war. This is a natural metaphor because we usually
understand large social groups, like nations, in terms of small ones, like
families or communities. Given the existence of the metaphor linking the
nation to the family, I asked the next question: If there are two different
under-standings of the nation, do they come from two different
understandings of family?

I worked backward. I took the various positions on the conservative side and
on the progressive side and I said, “Let’s put them through the metaphor
from the opposite direction and see what comes out.” I put in the two
different views of the nation, and out popped two different models of the
family: a strict father family and a nurturant parent family. You know which
is which. Now, when I first did this—and I’ll tell you about the details in
a minute—I was asked to give a talk at a linguistics convention. I decided I
would talk about this discovery. In the audience were two members of the
Christian Coalition who were linguists and good friends of mine. Excellent
linguists. And very, very good people. Very nice people. People I liked a
lot. They took me aside at the party afterward and said, “Well, this strict
father model of the family, it’s close, but not quite right. We’ll help you
get the details right. However, you should know all this. Have you read
Dobson?” I said, “Who?” They said, “James Dobson.” I said, “Who?” They said,
“You’re kidding. He’s on three thousand radio stations.” I said, “Well, I
don’t think he’s on NPR. I haven’t heard of him.” They said, “Well, you live
in Berkeley.” “Where would I . . . does he write stuff?” “Oh,” they said,
“oh yes. He has sold millions of books. His classic is Dare to Discipline.”

My friends were right. I followed their directions to my local Christian
bookstore, and there I found it all laid out: the strict father model in all
its details. Dobson not only has a 100-to-200- million-dollar-a-year
operation, but he also has his own ZIP code, so many people are writing to
order his books and pamphlets. He is teaching people how to use the strict
father model to raise their kids, and he understands its connection to
right-wing politics.

The strict father model begins with a set of assumptions:

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 have to
be made good. What is needed in this kind of a world is a strong, strict
father who can:

• Protect the family in the dangerous world,
• Support the family in the difficult world, and
• Teach his children right from wrong.

What is required of the child is obedience, because the strict father is a
moral authority who knows right from wrong. It is further assumed that the
only way to teach kids obedience—that is, right from wrong—is through
punishment, painful punishment, when they do wrong. This includes hitting
them, and some authors on conservative child rearing recommend sticks,
belts, and wooden paddles on the bare bottom. Some authors suggest this
start at birth, but Dobson is more liberal. “There is no excuse for spanking
babies younger than fifteen or eighteen months of age” (Dobson, The New Dare
to Discipline, 65). The rationale behind physical punishment is this: When
children do something wrong, if they are physically disciplined they learn
not to do it again. That means that they will develop internal discipline to
keep themselves from doing wrong, so that in the future they will be
obedient and act morally. Without such punishment, the world will go to
hell. There will be no morality.

Such internal discipline has a secondary effect. It is what is required for
success in the difficult, competitive world. That is, if people are
disciplined and pursue their self-interest in this land of opportunity, they
will become prosperous and self-reliant. Thus, the strict father model links
morality with prosperity. The same discipline you need to be moral is what
allows you to prosper. The link is the pursuit of self-interest. Given
opportunity and discipline, pursuing your self-interest should enable you to

Now, Dobson is very clear about the connection between the strict father
worldview and free market capitalism. The link is the morality of
self-interest, which is a version of Adam Smith’s view of capitalism. Adam
Smith said that if everyone pursues their own profit, then the profit of all
will be maximized by the invisible hand—that is, by nature—just naturally.
Go about pursuing your own profit, and you are helping everyone. This is
linked to a general metaphor that views well-being as wealth. For example,
if I do you a favor, you say, “I owe you one” or “I’m in your debt.” Doing
something good for someone is metaphorically like giving him money. He
“owes” you something. And he says, “How can I ever repay you?”

Applying this metaphor to Adam Smith’s “law of nature,” if everyone pursues
her own self-interest, then by the invisible hand, by nature, the
self-interest of all will be maximized. That is, it is moral to pursue your
self-interest, and there is a name for those people who do not do it. The
name is do-gooder. 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. In this model there is
also a definition of what it means to become a good person. A good person—a
moral person—is someone who is disciplined enough to be obedient, to learn
what is right, do what is right and not do what is wrong, and to pursue her
self-interest to prosper and become self-reliant. A good child grows up to
be like that. A bad child is one who does not learn discipline, does not
function morally, does not do what is right, and therefore is not
disciplined enough to become prosperous.

She cannot take care of herself and thus becomes dependent. When the good
children are mature, they either have learned discipline and can prosper, or
have failed to learn it. From this point on the strict father is not to
meddle in their lives. This translates politically into no government
meddling. Consider what all this means for social programs. It is immoral to
give people things they have not earned, because then they will not develop
discipline and will become both dependent and immoral. This theory says that
social programs are immoral because they make people dependent. Promoting
social programs is immoral. And what does this say about budgets? Well, if
there are a lot of progressives in Congress who think that there should be
social programs, and if you believe that social programs are immoral, how do
you stop these immoral people? It is quite simple. What you have to do is
reward the good people—the ones whose prosperity reveals their discipline
and hence their capacity for morality—with a tax cut, and make it big enough
so that there is not enough money left for social programs. By this logic,
the deficit is a good thing. As Grover Norquist says, it “starves the

Where liberals and fiscal conservatives take Bush’s huge deficit as bad,
right-wing radicals following strict father morality see it as good. In the
State of the Union address in January 2004, the president said that he
thinks they can cut the deficit in half by cutting out “wasteful
spending”—that is, spending for “bad” social programs. Are conservatives
against all government? No. They are not against 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

There are many aspects of government that they like very much. They are not
against government subsidies for industry. Subsidies for corporations, which
reward the good people—the investors in those corporations—are great. No
problem there. But they are against nurturance and care. They 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. That is why they
are not merely a bunch of crazies or mean and greedy—or stupid—people, as
many liberals believe.

What is even scarier is that conservatives believe it. They believe it is
moral. And they have supporters around the country. People who have strict
father morality and who apply it to politics are going to believe that this
is the right way to govern.

Think for a minute about what this says about foreign policy. 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. That is, the president does
not ask; the president tells. If you are a moral authority you know what is
right, you have power, and you use it. You would be immoral your-self if you
abandoned your moral authority. Map this onto foreign policy, and it says
that you cannot give up sovereignty. The United States, being the best and
most powerful country in the world—a moral authority—knows the right thing
to do. We should not be asking anybody else.

This belief comes together with a set of metaphors that have run foreign
policy for a long time. There is a common metaphor learned in graduate
school classes on international relations. It is called the rational actor
metaphor. It is the basis of most international relations theory, and in
turn it assumes another metaphor: that every nation is a person. Therefore
there are “rogue states,” there are “friendly nations,” and so on. And there
is a national interest. What does it mean to act in your self-interest? In
the most basic sense it means that you act in ways that will help you be
healthy and strong. In the same way, by the metaphor that a nation is a
person, it is good for a nation to be healthy (that is, economically
healthy—defined as having a large GDP) and strong (that is, militarily
strong). It is not necessary that all the individuals in the country be
healthy, but the companies should be, and the country as a whole should have
a lot of money. That is the idea. The question is, How do you maximize your
self-interest? That is what foreign policy is about: maximizing
self-interest. The rational actor metaphor says that every actor, every
person, is rational, and that it is irrational to act against your

Therefore it is rational for every person to act to maximize self-interest.
Then by the further metaphor that nations are persons (“friendly nations,”
“rogue states,” “enemy nations,” and so on), there are adult nations and
child nations, where adulthood is industrialization. The child nations are
called “developing” nations or “underdeveloped” states. Those are the
backward ones. And what should we do? If you are a strict father, you tell
the children how to develop, tell them what rules they should follow, and
punish them when they do wrong. That is, you operate using, say, the
policies of the International Monetary Fund.

And who is in the United Nations? Most of the United Nations consists of
developing and underdeveloped countries. That means they are metaphorical
children. Now let’s go back to the State of the Union address. Should the
United States have consulted the United Nations and gotten its permission to
invade Iraq? An adult does not “ask for a permission slip”! The phrase
itself, permission slip, puts you back in grammar school or high school,
where you need a permission slip from an adult to go to the bathroom. You do
not need to ask for a permission slip if you are the teacher, if you are the
principal, if you are the person in power, the moral authority. The others
should be asking you for permission. That is what the permission slip phrase
in the 2004 State of the Union address was about. Every conservative in the
audience got it. They got it right away. Two powerful words: permission
slip. What Bush did was evoke the adult-child metaphor for other nations. He
said, “We’re the adult.” He was operating in the strict father worldview,
and it did not have to be explained. It is evoked automatically. This is
what is done regularly by the conservatives.

Now let me talk a bit about how progressives understand their morality and
what their moral system is. It too comes out of a family model, what I call
the nurturant parent model. The strict father worldview is so named because
according to its own beliefs, the father is the head of the family. The
nurturant parent world-view 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 parents’ 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. 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 the child. All this is not easy. Anyone who has ever raised a child
knows that this is hard. You have to be strong. You have to work hard at it.
You have to be very competent. You have to know a lot. In addition, all
sorts of other values immediately follow from empathy and responsibility.
Think about it.

First, 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 your 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 their citizens from. But there
are also terrorist attacks, which liberals and progressives have not been
very good at talking about in terms of protection. Protection is part of the
progressive moral system, but it has not been elaborated on enough. And on
September 11, progressives did not have a whole lot to say. That was
unfortunate, because nurturant parents and progressives do care about
protection. Protection is important. It is part of our moral system.

Second, if you empathize with your child, you want your child to be
fulfilled in life, to be a happy person. And if you are an unhappy,
unfulfilled person yourself, you are not going to want other people to be
happier than you are. The Dalai Lama teaches us that. Therefore it is your
moral responsibility to be a happy, fulfilled person. Your moral

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 nurturing family life is about. It is a common pre-condition for caring
about others.

There are still other nurturant values.

• 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 if there is no opportunity or
prosperity. Therefore opportunity and prosperity are progressive values.

• If you really care about your child, you want your child to be treated
fairly by you and by others. Therefore fairness is a value.

• If you are connecting with your child and you empathize with that child,
you have to have open, two-way communication. Honest communication. That
becomes a value.

• You live in a community, and that the community will affect how your child
grows up. Therefore community-building, service to the community, and
cooperation in a community become values.

• To have cooperation, you must have trust, and to have trust you must have
honesty and open two-way communication. Trust, honesty, and open
communication are fundamental progressive values—in a community as in a

These are the nurturant values—and they are the progressive values. As
progressives, you all have them. You know you have them. You recognize them.
Every progressive political program is based on one or more of these values.
That is what it means to be a progressive. There are several types of
progressives. How many types? I am asking as a cognitive scientist, not as a
sociologist or a political scientist.

>From the point of view of a cognitive scientist, who looks at modes of
thought, there are six basic types of progressives, each with a distinct
mode of thought. They share all the progressive values, but are
distinguished by some differences.

1. Socioeconomic progressives think that everything is a matter of money and
class and that all solutions are ultimately economic and social class

2. Identity politics progressives say it is time for their oppressed group
to get its share now.

3. Environmentalists think in terms of sustainability of the earth, the
sacredness of the earth, and the protection of native peoples.

4. Civil liberties progressives want to maintain freedoms against threats to

5. Spiritual progressives have a nurturant form of religion or spirituality,
their spiritual experience has to do with their connection to other people
and the
world, and their spiritual practice has to do with service to other people
and to their community. Spiritual progressives span the full range from
Catholics and Protestants to Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Goddess worshippers,
and pagan members of Wicca.

6. Antiauthoritarians say there are all sorts of illegitimate forms of
authority out there and we have to fight them, whether they are big
corporations or
anyone else.

All six types are examples of nurturant parent morality. The problem is that
many of the people who have one of these modes of thought do not recognize
that theirs is just one special case of something more general, and do not
see the unity in all the types of progressives. They often think that theirs
is the only way to be a true progressive. That is sad. It keeps people who
share progressive values from coming together. We have to get past that
harmful idea. The other side did.

Back in the 1950s conservatives hated each other. The financial
conservatives hated the social conservatives. The libertarians did not get
along with the social conservatives or the religious conser-vatives. And
many social conservatives were not religious. A group of conservative
leaders got together around William F. Buckley Jr. and others and started
asking what the different groups of conservatives had in common and whether
they could agree to disagree in order to promote a general conservative
cause. They started magazines and think tanks, and invested billions of
dollars. The first thing they did, their first victory, was getting Barry
Goldwater nominated in 1964. He lost, but when he lost they went back to the
drawing board and put more money into organization. During the Vietnam War,
they noticed that most of the bright young people in the country were not
becoming conservatives. Conservative was a dirty word. Therefore in 1970,
Lewis Powell, just two months before he became a Supreme Court justice
appointed by Nixon (at the time he was the chief counsel to the U.S. Chamber
of Commerce), wrote a memo—the Powell memo


It was a fateful document. He said that the conservatives had to keep the
country’s best and brightest young people from becoming antibusiness. What
we need to do, Powell said, is set up institutes within the universities and
outside the universities. We have to do research, we have to write books, we
have to endow professorships to teach these people the right way to think.

After Powell went to the Supreme Court, these ideas were taken up by William
Simon, the father of the present William Simon. At the time the elder Simon
was secretary of the treasury under Nixon. He convinced some very wealthy
people—Coors, Scaife, Olin—to set up the Heritage Foundation, the Olin
professorships, the Olin Institute at Harvard, and other institutions. These
institutes have done their job very well. People associated with them have
written more books than the people on the left have, on all issues. The
conservatives support their intellectuals. They create media opportunities.
They have media studios down the hall in institutes so that getting on
television is easy. Eighty percent of the talking heads on television are
from the conservative think tanks. Eighty percent.

When the amount of research money spent by the right over a period of time
is compared with the amount of media time during that period, we see a
direct correlation. In 2002 four times as much money was spent on research
by the right as by the left, and they got four times as much media time.
They get what they pay for. This is not an accident. Conservatives, through
their think tanks, figured out the importance of framing, and they figured
out how to frame every issue. They figured out how to get those frames out
there, how to get their people in the media all the time. They figured out
how to bring their people together. Every Wednesday, Grover Norquist has a
group meeting—around eighty people—of leaders from the full range of the
right. They are invited, and they debate. They work out their differences,
agree to disagree, and when they disagree, they trade off. The idea is, This
week he’ll win on his issue. Next week, I’ll win on mine. Each one may not
get everything he wants, but over the long haul, he gets a lot of what he

Nothing like this happens in the progressive world, because there are so
many people thinking that what each does is the right thing. It is not
smart. It is self-defeating. And what is worse is a set of myths believed by
liberals and progressives. These myths come from a good source, but they end
hurting us badly. The myths began with the Enlightenment, and 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 conclusions.

But we know from cognitive science that people do not think like that.
People think in frames. The strict father and nurturing parent frames each
force a certain logic. To be accepted, the truth must fit people’s frames.
If the facts do not fit a frame, the frame stays and the facts bounce off.
Why? Neuroscience tells us that each of the concepts we have—the long-term
concepts that structure how we think—is instantiated in the synapses of our
brains. Concepts are not things that can be changed just by someone 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
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’s 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. They are not stupid. They are winning
because they are smart. They understand how people think and how people
talk. They think! That is what those think tanks are about. They support
their intellectuals. They write all those books. They put their ideas out in

There are certainly cases where conservatives have lied. That is true. Of
course, it is not true that only conservatives lie. But it is true that
there are significant lies—even daily lies—by the Bush administration.
However, it is equally important to recognize that many of the ideas that
outrage progressives are what conservatives see as truths—presented from
their point of view. We must distinguish cases of out-and-out distortion,
lying, and so on, from cases where conservatives are presenting what they
consider truth. Is it useful to go and tell everyone what the lies are? It
is not useless or harmful for us to know when they are lying. But also
remember that the truth alone will not set you free. Saying “the president
lied when he started this war” puts the truth out there—but for many people
it just bounces off. A huge number of people in the country still believe
that Saddam Hussein was behind September 11. There are people who will
believe this because it fits their understanding of the world. It fits their
worldview. Given that, it is appropriate for them to believe. They still
believe that Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda are the same thing, and that by
fighting the war in Iraq we are protecting the country from terrorism. They
believe this—in spite of the report by the 9/11 Commission. It is not that
they are stupid. They have a frame and they only accept facts that fit that

There is another myth that also comes from the Enlightenment, and it goes
like this. 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 theory and foreign policy are set up on the basis of that
assumption. The myth has been challenged by cognitive scientists such as
Daniel Kahneman (who won the Nobel Prize in economics for his theory) and
Amos Tversky, who have shown that people do not really think that way.
Nevertheless, most of economics is still based on the assumption that people
will naturally always think in terms of their self-interest.

This view of rationality comes into Democratic politics in a very important
way. It is assumed that voters will vote their self-interest. Democrats are
shocked or puzzled when voters do not vote their self-interest. “How,”
Democrats keep asking me, “can any poor person vote for Bush when he hurts
them so badly?” Their response is to try to explain once more to the poor
why voting Democratic would serve their self-interest. Despite all evidence
to the contrary, Democrats keep banging their heads against the wall. In the
2000 election Gore kept saying that Bush’s tax cuts would go only to the top
1 percent, and he thought that everyone else would follow their
self-interest and support him. But poor conservatives still opposed him,
because as conservatives they believed that those who had the most money—the
“good” people—deserved to keep it as their reward for being disciplined. The
bottom 99 percent of conservatives voted their conservative values, against
their self-interest.

It is claimed that 35 percent of the populace thinks that they are, or
someday will be, in the top 1 percent, and that this explains the finding on
the basis of a hoped-for future self-interest. But what about the other 65
percent, who have no dream that they will ever get that tax cut but still
support it? They are clearly not voting in their self-interest, or even
their hoped-for future self-interest.

A similar phenomenon happened in the 2003 California recall election. Labor
unions invested a lot of money presenting facts that Gray Davis’s positions
were better for people, especially for working people, than Arnold
Schwarzenegger’s. In focus groups, they asked union members, “Which is
better for you, this Davis position or that Schwarzenegger position?” Most
would say, “The Davis one.” Davis, Davis, Davis. Then they would ask, “Who
you voting for?” “Schwarzenegger.”

People do not necessarily vote in their self-interest. They 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 in their self-interest.

A third mistake is this: There is a metaphor that political campaigns are
marketing campaigns where the candidate is the product and the candidate’s
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. Here’s a list of issues. Which show the highest
degree of support for a candidate’s position? If it’s prescription drugs, 78
percent, you run on a platform featuring prescription drugs. Is it keeping
social security? You run on a platform featuring social security. You make a
list of the top issues, and those are the issues you run on. You also do
market segmentation: District by district, you find out the most important
issues, and those are the ones you talk about when you go to that district.
It does not work. Sometimes it can be useful, and, in fact, the Republicans
use it in addition to their real practice. But their real practice, and the
real reason for their success, is this: They say what they idealistically
believe. They say it; they talk to their base using the frames of their
base. Liberal and progressive candidates tend to follow their polls and
decide that they have to become more “centrist” by moving to the right. The
conservatives do not move at all to the left, and yet they win! Why? What is
the electorate like from a cognitive point of view? Probably 35 to 40
percent of people—maybe more these days—have a strict father model governing
their politics.

Similarly, there are people who have a nurturant view governing their
politics, probably another 35 to 40 percent. And then there are all the
people in the “middle.” Notice that I said governing their politics. We all
have both models, either actively or passively. Progressives see a John
Wayne movie or an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, and they can understand it.
They do not say, “I don’t know what’s going on in this movie.” They have a
strict father model, at least passively. And if you are a conservative and
you understand The Cosby Show, you have a nurturing parent model, at least
passively. Everyone has both worldviews because both worldviews are widely
present in our culture, but people do not necessarily live by one worldview
all of the time.

So the question is, Are you living by one of the family-based models? But
that question is not specific enough. There are many aspects of life, and
many people live by one family-based model in one part of their lives and
another in another part of their lives. I have colleagues who are nurturant
parents at home and liberals in their politics, but strict fathers in their
classrooms. Reagan knew that blue-collar workers who were nurturant in their
union politics were often strict fathers at home. He used political
metaphors that were based on the home and family, and got them to extend
their strict father way of thinking from the home to politics. This is very
important to do. The goal is to activate your model in the people in the
“middle.” The people who are in the middle have both models, used regularly
in different parts of their lives. What you want to do is to get them to use
your model for politics—to activate your worldview and moral system in their
political decisions. You do that by talking to people using frames based on
your worldview. However, in doing that, you do not want to offend the people
in the middle who have up to this point made the opposite choice.
Since they also have and use both models in some part of their lives, they
might still be persuaded to activate the opposite model for politics.

Clinton figured out how to handle this problem. He stole the other side’s
language. He talked about “welfare reform,” for example. He said, “The age
of big government is over.” He did what he wanted to do, only he took their
language and used their words to describe it. It made them very mad. Very
smart technique. It turns out that what is good for the goose is good for
gander, and guess what? We get “compassionate conservatism.” The Clear Skies
Initiative. Healthy Forests. No Child Left Behind. This is the use of
language to mollify people who have nurturant values, while the real
policies are strict father policies. This mollifies, even attracts, the
people in the middle who might have qualms about you. This is the use of
Orwellian language—language that means the opposite of what it says—to
appease people in the middle at the same time as you pump up the base. That
is part of the conservative strategy.

Liberals and progressives typically react to this strategy in a
way. The usual reaction is, “Those conservatives are bad people; they are
using Orwellian language. They are saying the opposite of what they mean.
They are deceivers. Bad. Bad.” All true. But we should recognize that they
use Orwellian language precisely when they have to: when they are weak, when
they cannot just come out and say what they mean. Imagine if they came out
supporting a “Dirty Skies Bill” or a “Forest Destruction Bill” or a “Kill
Public Education” bill. They would lose. They are aware people do not
support what they are really trying to do.

Orwellian language points to weakness—Orwellian weakness. When you hear
Orwellian language, note where it is, because it is a guide to where they
are vulnerable. They do not use it every-where. It is very important to
notice this, and use their weakness to your advantage.

A very good example relates to the environment. The right’s language man is
Frank Luntz, who puts out big books of language guidelines for conservatives
only, which are used as training manuals for all conservative candidates, as
well as lawyers, judges, and other public speakers—even high school students
who want to be conservative public figures. In these books, Luntz tells you
what language to use.

For example, in last year’s edition, the section on global warming says that
science seems increasingly to be going against the conservative position.
However, conservatives can counter the science using right language. People
who support environmentalist positions like certain words. They like the
words healthy, clean, and safe because these words fit frames that describe
what the environment means to them. Therefore, Luntz says, use the words
healthy, clean, and safe whenever possible, even when talking about coal
plants or nuclear power plants. It is this kind of Orwellian weakness that
causes a piece of legislation that actually increases pollution to be called
the Clear Skies Act.

Similarly, a few years ago Luntz wrote a memo for talking to women. How do
you talk to women? According to Luntz, women like certain words, so when you
are talking to an audience of women, here are the words you use as many
times as possible: love, from the heart, and for the children. And if you
read Bush’s speeches, love, from the heart, and for the children show up
over and over again.

This kind of language use is a science. Like any science it can be used
honestly or harmfully. This kind of language use is taught. This kind of
language use is also a discipline. Conservatives enforce message discipline.
In many offices there is a pizza fund: Every time you use the “wrong”
language, you have to put a quarter in the pizza fund. People quickly learn
to say tax relief or partial-birth abortion, not something else. But Luntz
is about much more than language. He recognizes that the right use of
language starts with ideas—with the right framing of the issues, a framing
that reflects a consistent conservative moral perspective, what we have
called strict father morality.

Luntz’s book is not just about language. For each issue, he explains what
the conservative reasoning is, what the progressive reasoning is, and how
the progressive arguments can be best attacked from a conservative
perspective. He is clear: Ideas come first. One of the major mistakes
liberals make is that they think they have all the ideas they need. They
think that all they lack is media access. Or maybe some magic bullet
phrases, like partial-birth abortion. When you think you just lack words,
what you really lack are ideas. Ideas come in the form of frames. When the
frames are there, the words come readily. There’s a way you can tell when
you lack the right frames. There’s a phenomenon you have probably noticed. A
conservative on TV uses two words, like tax relief. And the progressive has
to go into a paragraph-long discussion of his own view. The conservative can
appeal to an established frame, that taxation is an affliction or burden,
which allows for the two-word phrase tax relief. But there is no established
frame on the other side. You can talk about it, but it takes some doing
because there is no established frame, no fixed idea already out there.

In cognitive science there is a name for this phenomenon. It’s called
hypocognition—the lack of the ideas you need, the lack of a relatively
simple fixed frame that can be evoked by a word or two. The idea of
hypocognition comes from a study in Tahiti in the 1950s by the late
anthropologist Bob Levy, who was also a therapist. Levy addressed the
question of why there were so many suicides in Tahiti, and discovered that
Tahitians did not have a concept of grief. They felt grief. They experienced
it. But they did not have a concept for it or a name for it. They did not
see it as a normal emotion. There were no rituals around grief. No grief
counseling, nothing like it. They lacked a concept they needed—and wound up
committing suicide all too often.

Progressives are suffering from massive hypocognition. The conservatives
used to suffer from it. When Goldwater lost in 1964, they had very few of
the concepts that they have today. In the intermediate forty years,
conservative thinkers have filled in their conceptual gaps. But our
conceptual gaps are still there.

Let’s go back to tax relief. What is taxation? Taxation is what you pay to
live in a civilized country—what you pay to have democracy and opportunity,
what you pay to use the infrastructure paid for by previous tax-payers: the
highway system, the Internet, the entire scientific establishment, the
medical establishment, the communications system, the airline system. All
are paid for by taxpayers. You can think of it metaphorically in at least
two ways. First, as an investment. Imagine the following ad: Our parents
invested in the future, ours as well as theirs, through their taxes. They
invested their tax money in the interstate highway system, the Internet, the
scientific and medical establishments, our communications system, our
airline system, the
space program. They invested in the future, and we are reaping the tax
benefits, the benefits from the taxes they paid. Today we have
assets—highways, schools and colleges, the Internet, airlines—that come from
the wise investments they made. Imagine versions of this ad running over and
over, for years. Eventually, the frame would be established: Taxes are wise
investments in the future.

Or take another metaphor: Taxation is paying your dues, paying your
membership fee in America. If you join a country club or a community center,
you pay fees. Why? You did not build the swimming pool. You have to maintain
it. You did not build the basketball court. Someone has to clean it. You may
not use the squash court, but you still have to pay your dues. Otherwise it
won’t be maintained and will fall apart. People who avoid taxes, like
corporations that move to Bermuda, are not paying their dues to their
country. It is patriotic to be a taxpayer. It is traitorous to desert our
country and not pay your dues. Perhaps Bill Gates Sr. said it best. In
arguing to keep the inheritance tax, he pointed out that he and Bill Jr. did
not invent the Internet. They just used it—to make billions. There is no
such thing as a self-made man. Every businessman has used the vast American
infrastructure, which the taxpayers paid for, to make his money. He did not
make his money alone. He used taxpayer infrastructure. He got rich on what
other taxpayers had paid for: the banking system, the Federal Reserve, the
Treasury and Commerce Departments, and the judicial system, where
nine-tenths of cases involve corporate law. These taxpayer investments
support companies and wealthy investors. There are no self-made men! The
wealthy have gotten rich using what previous taxpayers have paid for. They
owe the taxpayers of this country a great deal and should be paying it back.

These are accurate views of taxes, but they are not yet enshrined in our
brains. They need to be repeated over and over again, and refined until they
take their rightful place in our synapses. But that takes time. It does not
happen overnight. Start now. It is not an accident that conservatives are
winning where they have successfully framed the issues. They’ve got a
thirty- to forty-year head start. And more than two billion dollars in think
tank investments. And they are still thinking ahead. Progressives are not.
Progressives feel so assaulted by conservatives that they can only think
about immediate defense. Democratic office holders are constantly under
attack. Every day they have to respond to conservative initiatives. It is
always, “What do we have to do to fight them off today?” It leads to
politics that are reactive, not proactive.

And it is not just public officials. I have been talking to advocacy groups
around the country, working with them and trying to help them with framing
issues. I have worked with more than two hundred advocacy groups in this
way. They have the same problems: They are under attack all the time, and
they are trying to defend themselves against the next attack. Realistically,
they do not have time to plan. They do not have time to think long-term.
They do not have time to think beyond their particular issues. They are all
good people, intelligent, committed people. But they are constantly on the
defensive. Why? It is not hard to explain it when we think about funding.
The right-wing think tanks get large block grants and endowments. Millions
at a time. They are very well funded. The smallest effective think tanks on
the right have budgets of four to seven million dollars a year. Those are
the small operations. The large ones have up to thirty million dollars a

Furthermore, they know that they are going to get the money the next year,
and the year after that. Remember, these are block grants—no strings
attached. Do what you need. Hire intellectuals. Bring talent along. One of
the think tanks is putting up a new building. It is going to be an
eight-story building with a state-of-the-art media auditorium, and one
hundred apartments for interns who cannot afford apartments in Washington.
These institutions also build human capital for the future. The interns and
scholars are people who want to be there, who have talents and abilities
that may well make them important in their fields. Through the think tanks,
they get to know each other. And the interns are building lifetime networks:
They are likely to know each other closely throughout their lives because
they lived together while they were interns. These are social networks that
will pay dividends for years and years. The conservatives who built the
think tanks are not dumb people.

There are very few grants like this from progressive foundations.
Progressive foundations spread the money around. They give twenty-five
thousand dollars here, maybe fifty thousand, maybe even a hundred thousand.
Sometimes it is a big grant. But recipients have to do something different
from what everyone else is doing because the foundations see duplication as
wasting money. Not only that, but they are not block grants; the recipients
do not have full freedom to decide how to spend the money. And it is
certainly not appropriate to use it for career development or infrastructure
building or hiring intellectuals to think about long-term as well as
short-term or interrelated policies. The emphasis is on providing direct
services to the people who need the services: grassroots funding, not
infrastructure creation. This is, for the most part, how progressive
foundations work. And because of that, the organizations they fund have to
have a very narrow focus. They have to have projects, not just areas they
work on. Activists and advocates are overworked and underpaid, and they do
not have time or energy to think about how they should be linking up with
other people. They mainly do not have the time or training to think about
framing their issues. The system forces a narrow focus—and with it,

You ask, Why is it like this? There is a reason. There is a deep reason, and
it is a reason you should all think about. In the right’s hierarchy of moral
values, the top value is preserving and defending the moral system itself.
If that is your main goal, what do you do? You build infrastructure. You buy
up media in advance. You plan ahead. You do things like give fellowships to
right-wing law students to get them through law school if they join the
Federalist Society. And you get them nice jobs after that. If you want to
extend your worldview, it is very smart to make sure that over the long haul
you have the people and the resources that you need. On the left, the
highest value is helping individuals who need help. So if you are a
foundation or you are setting up a foundation, what makes you a good person?
You help as many people as you can. And the more public budgets get cut, the
more people there are who need help. So you spread the money around to the
grass-roots organizations, and therefore you do not have any money left for
infrastructure or talent development, and certainly not for intellectuals.
Do not waste a penny in duplicating efforts, because you have to help more
and more people. How do you show that you are a good, moral person or
foundation? By listing all the people you help; the more the better.

And so you perpetuate a system that helps the right. In the process, it also
does help people. Certainly, it is not that people do not need help. They
do. But what has happened as budgets and taxes get cut is that the right is
privatizing the left. The right is forcing the left to spend ever more
private money on what the government should be supporting. There are many
things that we can do about all this. Let’s talk about where to start.

The right knows how to talk about values. We need to talk about values. If
we think about it a little, we can list our values. But it is not easy to
think about how the values fit the issues, to know how to talk about every
issue from the perspective of our values, not theirs. That is something that
our institute, the Rockridge Institute, is working on. We are looking at the
behind the issues.

Progressives also have to look at the integration of issues. This is
something that the right is very, very savvy about. They know about what I
call strategic initiatives. A strategic initiative is a plan in which a
change in one carefully chosen issue area has automatic effects over many,
many, many other issue areas. For example, tax cuts. This seems
straightforward, but as a result there is not enough money in the budget for
any of the govern-ment’s social programs. Not just not enough money for,
say, homelessness or schools or environmental protection; instead, not
enough money for everything at once, the whole range. This is a strategic

Or tort reform, which means putting limits on awards in law-suits. Tort
reform is a top priority for conservatives. Why do conservatives care so
much about this? Well, as soon as you see the effects, you can see why they
care. Because in one stroke you prohibit all of the potential lawsuits that
will be the basis of future environmental legislation and regulation. That
is, it is not just regulation of the chemical industry or the coal industry
or the nuclear power industry or other things that are at stake. It is the
regulation of everything. If parties who are harmed cannot sue immoral or
negligent corporations or professionals for significant sums, the companies
are free to harm the public in unlimited ways in the course of making money.
And lawyers, who take risks and make significant investments in such cases,
will no longer make enough money to support the risk. And corporations will
be free to ignore the public good. That is what “tort reform” is about.

In addition, if you look at where Democrats get much of their money in the
individual states, it is significantly from the lawyers who win tort cases.
Many tort lawyers are important Democratic donors. Tort “reform”—as
conservatives call it—cuts off this source of money. All of a sudden
three-quarters of the money going to the Texas Democratic Party is not
there. In addition, companies who poison the environment want to be able to
cap possible awards. That way they can calculate in advance the cost of
paying victims and build it into the cost of doing business. Irresponsible
corporations win big from tort reform. The Republican Party wins big from
tort reform. And these real purposes are hidden. The issue appears to be
eliminating “frivolous lawsuits”—people getting thirty million dollars for
having hot coffee spilled on them.

However, what the conservatives are really trying to achieve is not in the
proposal. What they are trying to achieve follows from enacting the
proposal. They don’t care primarily about the law-suits themselves. They
care about getting rid of environmental, consumer, and worker protections in
general. And they care about defunding the Democratic Party. That is what a
strategic initiative is.

There have been a couple of strategic initiatives on the left—environmental
impact reports and the Endangered Species Act—but it has been thirty years
since they were enacted. Unlike the right, the left does not think
strategically. We think issue by issue. We generally do not try to figure
out what minimal change we can enact that will have effects across many

There are a very few exceptions. For example, at the present moment there is
a strategic proposal called the New Apollo Initiative. Simply put, the idea
is to put thirty billion dollars a year—which is the amount that now goes in
subsidies to support the coal and gas industries—into alternative energy.
What makes this strategic? It is strategic because it is not just an energy
issue or a sustainability issue. It is also:

• A jobs issue: It would create two to four million jobs.

• A health issue: Less air pollution means less childhood asthma.

• A clean water, clean air issue.

• A species issue: It would clean up environments and habitats.

• A global warming issue: We would be making a contribution to lowering
greenhouse gases without a program specifically for global warming.

• A foreign policy issue: We would no longer be dependent on Middle Eastern

• A Third World development issue: Every country, no matter how
“underdeveloped,” can make its own energy if it has the appropriate
alternative technologies. Such countries would not have to borrow money to
buy oil and pollute their environments. And they would not have to pay
interest on the money borrowed. Furthermore, every dollar invested in energy
in the third world has a multiplier effect of six. In short, a massive
investment in alternative energy has an enormous yield over many issue
areas. This is not just about energy; it is about jobs, health, clean air
and water, habitat, global warming, foreign policy, and third world
development. It is also about putting together new coalitions and organizing
new institutions and new constituencies.

•Thirty billion dollars a year for ten years put into alternative energy
would have massive effects. But progressive candidates are still thinking in
much smaller terms, not long-term and strategically.

There also strategic initiatives of another kind—what I call slippery slope
initiatives: Take the first step and you’re on your way off the cliff.
Conservatives are very good at slippery slope initiatives. Take
“partial-birth abortion.” There are almost no such cases. Why do
conservatives care so much? Because it is a first step down a slippery slope
to ending all abortion. It puts out there a frame of abortion as a
horrendous procedure, when most operations ending pregnancy are nothing like

Why an education bill about school testing? Once the testing frame applies
not just to students but also to schools, then schools can, metaphorically,
fail—and be punished for failing by having their allowance cut. Less funding
in turn makes it harder for the schools to improve, which leads to a cycle
of failure and ultimately elimination for many public schools. What replaces
the public school system is a voucher system to support private schools. The
wealthy would have good schools—paid for in part by what used to be tax
payments for public schools. The poor would not have the money for good
schools. We would wind up with a two-tier school system, a good one for the
“deserving rich” and a bad one for the “undeserving poor.”

The Medicare bill was another slippery slope initiative. The HMOs can use
their size to bargain for lower prices on drugs, while the government is
forbidden from using its size to get discounts. Moreover, Medicare will be
forced to compete with private drug companies after a few years on uneven
grounds; the drug companies will get a twelve-billion-dollar subsidy to help
attract senior citizens. The conservative strategy is to lure seniors out of
Medicare and into private accounts with temporarily lower drug prices.
Eventually, more and more people will leave Medicare, until it collapses.
>From the conservative moral worldview, that is how it should be. And yet a
prominent Democratic senator voted for it, on the grounds that it would give
immediate help in billions of dollars to seniors in her home state. She
called it a “good first step.” To the edge of the cliff.

The conservatives don’t have to win on issue after issue after issue. There
is a lot you can do about it. Here are eleven things progressives can do.

First, recognize what conservatives have done right and where progressives
have missed the boat. It is more than just control of the media, though that
is far from trivial. What they have done right is to successfully frame the
issues from their perspective. Acknowledge their successes and our failures.

Second, remember “Don’t think of an elephant.” If you keep their language
and their framing and just argue against it, you lose because you are
reinforcing their frame.

Third, the truth alone will not set you free. Just speaking truth to power
doesn’t work. You need to frame the truths effectively from your

Fourth, you need to speak from your moral perspective at all times.
Progressive policies follow from progressive values. Get clear on your
values and use the language of values. Drop the language of policy wonks.

Fifth, understand where conservatives are coming from. Get their strict
father morality and its consequences clear. Know what you are arguing
against. Be able to explain why they believe what they believe. Try to
predict what they will say.

Sixth, think strategically, across issue areas. Think in terms of large
moral goals, not in terms of programs for their own sake.

Seventh, think about the consequences of proposals. Form progressive
slippery slope initiatives.

Eighth, remember that voters vote their identity and their values, which
need not coincide with their self-interest.

Ninth, unite! And cooperate!

Here’s how: Remember the six modes of progressive thought:

(1) socioeconomic, (2) identity politics, (3) environmentalist, (4) civil
libertarian, (5) spiritual, and (6) antiauthoritarian.

Notice which of these modes of thought you use most often—where you fall on
the spectrum and where the people you talk to fall on the spectrum. Then
rise above your own mode of thought and start thinking and talking from
shared progressive values.

Tenth, be proactive, not reactive. Play offense, not defense. Practice
reframing, every day, on every issue. Don’t just say what you believe. Use
your frames, not their frames. Use them because they fit the values you
believe in.

Eleventh, speak to the progressive base in order to activate the nurturant
model of “swing voters.” Don’t move to the right. Rightward movement hurts
in two ways. It alienates the progressive base and it helps conservatives by
activating their model in swing voters.

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Donella Meadows,
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Julian Darley
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Michael Ratner & Ellen Ray
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“Ever wonder how the radical right has been able to convince average
Americans to repeatedly vote against their own interests? It’s the framing,
stupid! DON’T THINK OF AN ELEPHANT! is a pithy and powerful primer on the
language of American politics.” —Arianna Huffington, syndicated columnist
and author of Fanatics & Fools: The Game Plan for Winning Back America

“Read this book and be part of transforming our political dialogue to
support our highest ideals and speak to the hearts of Americans.” —Joan
Blades and Wes Boyd, MoveOn.org

“It’s not enough that we have reason on our side. Lakoff offers crucial
lessons in how to counter right-wing demagoguery. Essential reading in this
neo-Orwellian age of Bush-speak.” —Robert B. Reich, Maurice Hexter Professor
of Social and Economic Policy, Brandeis University, and author of Reason:
Why Liberals Will Win the Battle for America

“I learned a lot from Lakoff. You will too.” —George Soros

DON’T THINK OF AN ELEPHANT! is the antidote to the last forty years of
conservative strategizing and the right wing’s stranglehold on political
dialogue in the United States. Author George Lakoff explains how
conservatives think, and how to counter their arguments. He outlines in
detail the traditional American values that progressives hold, but are
often unable to articulate. Lakoff also breaks down the ways conservatives
have framed the issues, and provides examples of how progressives can
reframe the debate. Lakoff’s years of research and work with environmental
and political leaders have been distilled into this essential guide, which
shows progressives how to think in terms of values instead of programs, and
why people vote their values and identities, often against their best
interests. DON’T THINK OF AN ELEPHANT! is the definitive handbook for
understanding and communicating effectively about key issues in the 2004
election, and beyond. Read it, take action—and help take America back.

White River Junction, Vermont
ISBN 1-931498-71-7
9 7 8 1 9 3 1 4 9 8 7 1 5
5 1 0 0 0
Author photo: Bart Nagel
Cover design: Peter Holm

George Mogiljansky wrote:

> Hello Brent,
> This ruling inadvertently (or not) defines and
> enshrines what being rich is during the current very
> short and distorted time frame; it could be designed
> to prolong said time frame.
> The ruling reveals an utter ignorance of economics;
> was there no economic advice either sought or given
> during the Court's discussions?
> The essence of all human social and economic behaviour
> is free association. (This has been undermined in
> Canada in various rulings by our Supreme Court.)
> The social burden that the Green Party usually
> represents has increased a million-fold. The original
> constitution is being dismantled and/or demolished.
> Either the Greens or someone else must reclaim the
> original constitution or formulate a new one. In any
> case, a country-wide vote is likely necessary. Are
> there any procedures in place, e.g. recall votes,
> etc.?
> George (Canada)
> --- Brent McMillan <brent at gp.org> wrote:
> > Hi Folks:
> >
> > I'm relatively new to the list.  I would like to
> > function as a conduit
> > between the permaculture movement and the Green
> > Party, if you'll let me.
> >
> >
> > In Service:
> >
> > Brent McMillan, Political Director
> > Green Party of the United States
> > 202-319-7191
> > brent at gp.org
> >
> > http://www.gp.org
> >
> > For Immediate Release:
> > Tuesday, June 28, 2005
> >
> > Contacts:
> > Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624,
> > mclarty at greens.org Nancy
> > Allen, Media Coordinator, 207-326-4576,
> > nallen at acadia.net
> >
> >
> > THEFT'
> >
> > While Democratic and Republican officials side with
> > developers, Greens vow to remain a bulwark against
> > the condemnation of
> > private homes.
> >
> >
> > WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Green Party leaders sharply
> > criticized the Supreme Court's June 23 decision in
> > the
> > Kelo v. City of New London case, calling it a
> > "legalization of theft."
> >
> > The decision expands the power of government to
> > condemn private property ('eminent domain'),
> > permitting officials to transfer property from one
> > private owner to another.
> ..[snip]..
> >
> > Greens especially praised Justice O'Connor's
> > dissenting opinion:
> >
> > "Any property may now be taken for the benefit of
> > another private property, but the fallout from this
> > decision will not be random.  The beneficiaries are
> > likely to be those citizens with disproportionate
> > influence and power in the political process,
> > including large corporations and development firms.
> > As for the victims, the government now has license
> > to transfer property from those with fewer resources
> to those with more. The Founders cannot have intended
> > this perverse result."
> >
> >
> >
> > Green Party of the United States
> > http://www.gp.org
> > 1700 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 404
> > Washington, DC 20009.
> > 202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN
> > Fax 202-319-7193
> >
> >
> > ~ END ~
> http://www.geocities.com/mogiljan/SustainableFuture.html
> Check out Dr. Williams' Proposal for a Solar Tower
> http://f1.pg.briefcase.yahoo.com/mogiljan
> To obtain three pdf files (600k) -
> send your Yahoo ID only to download; or I will send via email attachment.
> __________________________________
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> 2:04:30 PM ET - 6/28/2005

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