Pay attention to the elephant

“Don’t Think of an Elephant! Know Your Values & Frame the Debate” by George Lacoff (2014) is a readable & insightful piece about how the modern Republican party uses propaganda & the importance of words, messaging, control of mass media, & framing the debate.

“If you believe in the eighteenth century view of the mind, you will look and act wimpy.
You will think that all you need to do is give people the facts & the figures & they will reach the right conclusion. You will think that all you need to do is point out where their interests lie, and they will act politically to maximize them.

You will believe in polling and focus groups: you will believe that if you ask people what their interests are, they will be aware of them and will tell you, and will vote on it.

You will not have any need to appeal to emotion—indeed, to do so would be wrong!

You will not have to speak of values; facts and figures will suffice.

You will not have to change people’s brains; their reason should be enough. You will not have to frame the facts; they will speak for themselves.

You just have to get the facts to them…”

George Lakoff, Don’t Think of an Elephant! Know Your Values & Frame the Debate: The Essential Guide for Progressives