Monday, June 26, 2006

Whose Freedom...Lakoff's newest book

Whose Freedom?: "Whose Freedom? The Battle over America's Most Important Idea, by George Lakoff,a renowned linguist who explains how Republicans traded our definition of freedom for their own:
The traditional idea of freedom is progressive. One can see traditional values most clearly in the direction of change that has been demanded and applauded over two centuries. America has been a nation of activists, consistently expanding its most treasured freedoms:
-The expansion of citizen participation and voting rights from white male property owners to non-property owners, to former slaves, to women, to those excluded by prejudice, to younger voters
-The expansion of opportunity, good jobs, better working conditions, and benefits to more and more Americans, from men to women, from white to nonwhite, from native born to foreign born, from English speaking to non-English speaking
-The expansion of workers rights - freedom from inhumane working conditions through unionization: from slave labor to the eight-hour day, the five-day week, worker compensation, sick leave, overtime pay, paid vacations, pregnancy leave, and so on...
Progress has not always been linear, and the stages have been far from perfect, but the trends have been there until recently. The rise of radical conservatism in America threatens to stop and reverse these and other progressive trends together with the progressive ideal of freedom that has propelled them all."
Simply put, we need to rise up and work to restore the things that have made our country great. Taking back our country emcompasses many things: getting out to help your precinct chair, help a candidate running for office, and the nitty gritty block walking. Talk to your neighbors, co-workers, family, friends and even the person standing in line in front of you at the grocery store. Taking back our country means conversation, visiblity and effort. There are lot of people out there that are ignorant of history and can be gently reminded. Freedom is a progressive and liberal value. It's about the place our nation is headed. It should be for everyone, not just the rich and powerful. If we add our voices together, we are strong. Be one of those voices!

To learn more here are some resources:
UC Berkleley interview with Lakoff

The Framing of Immigration

Framing Versus Spin: Rockridge as opposed to Luntz

how to respond to conservatives

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