Friday, October 01, 2004
Presidential Debates and George Lakoff
"The candidates' mutual praise for each others' daughters was perhaps the most unscripted and revealing moment of the debate. Like his unwavering policy on Iraq, Bush revealed his inclinations to keep his daughters on a tight 'leash.' Kerry replied that he had learned 'not to' rein them in, suggesting that a more flexible and understanding approach had brought about better results as a father. It was a microcosm of Bush's 'Let's stay the course' vs. Kerry's 'Let's learn what experience teaches us' approaches to leading the free world."
This is remarkably like George Lakoff's model of liberal/conservative politics as embodying two forms of parenting: The "strict father" model (basically conservatives) and the "nurturing parent" model (basically liberals). It wouldn't surprise me to find Kerry's advisors have been paying attention to Lakoff recently. Lakoff's new book Don't Think of an Elephant is recently out and, last I heard, was at #13 on the Amazon list. I may put an excerpt from Lakoff's writing here in a later post since I find his theories very good models for organizing political events and proposals.