Slouching Toward George Orwella?
What's gonna be the Democratic Party's strategy for 2006 and 2008? It might be "reframing," according to a review by Marc Cooper in the April 2005 Atlantic of George Lakoff's Don't Think of an Elephant (sorry, no link available). When conservatives talk about "strong defense," liberals should refer to a "stronger America." Likewise: "smaller government" should be recast as "effective government," "family values" as "mutual responsibility," "trial lawyers" as "public-protection attorneys," and "tax relief" as "membership fees."
According to the review, the book has been wildly popular among Democratic Party leaders. Copies of the book are being passed out among liberal Hill staffers, the book has gone through multiple printings, and it's estimated that over 500,000 will be sold. Why is the "reframing" strategy ringing so popular with the Left?
According to the review, the liberals "just can't believe how their commonsense message has been misunderstood by the eternally deceived masses. Liberal values are American values, they say, but somehow Americans just keep getting tricked--by Fox News, Sinclair Broadcasting, AM talk radio, conservative think tanks--into thinking and voting against their own interests." By "reframing" the wording, the DP won't have to revise its stances.
We'll see if it works. Reframing might seem disingenuous, but it strikes us as a little more honest than simply taking conservative principles ("family values") and claiming them, which some on the Left have already started to do.