» » The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic

Download The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic epub

by George Lakoff

“The essential handbook for thinking and talking Democratic—must reading not only for every Democrat but for every responsible citizen” (Robert B. Reich, former Secretary of Labor and author of Beyond Outrage).“The essential handbook for thinking and talking Democratic—must reading not only for every Democrat but for every responsible citizen” (Robert B. Reich, former Secretary of Labor and author of Beyond Outrage). Voters cast their ballots for what they believe is right, for the things that make moral sense. Yet Democrats have too often failed to use language linking their moral values with their policies. The Little Blue Book demonstrates how to make that connection clearly and forcefully, with hands-on advice for discussing the most pressing issues of our time: the economy, health care, women’s issues, energy and environmental policy, education, food policy, and more. Dissecting the ways that extreme conservative positions have permeated political discourse, Lakoff and Wehling show how to fight back on moral grounds and in concrete terms. Revelatory, passionate, and deeply practical, The Little Blue Book will forever alter the way Democrats and progressives think and talk about politics.
Download The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic epub
ISBN: 147670001X
ISBN13: 978-1476700014
Category: Politics
Subcategory: Politics & Government
Author: George Lakoff
Language: English
Publisher: Free Press; 1st Edition edition (June 26, 2012)
Pages: 160 pages
ePUB size: 1473 kb
FB2 size: 1233 kb
Rating: 4.4
Votes: 564
Other Formats: doc mobi azw docx

Amazing. When I was first reading this book, I was constantly thinking, "do liberals seriously view us conservatives that way? If so, the Republic is, once again, doomed." (Being a conservative, I have to maintain my Republic is Doomed credentials.)

Finally, I determined the authors were caricaturing conservatives to the point of absurdity, not just to mock them, but to trap incautious liberal readers into an intellectual comfort bubble -- no worries about your beliefs being challenged, as non-liberals are unworthy or incapable of rational reasoning. What ultimately convinced me? The way they terribly insult independents, by saying the independent votes for the side that makes the most noise.

The authors make the case that our brains determine if we are conservative, liberal, or independent. In a nutshell, we all have "switches": A conservative one or a liberal one. These switches respond to their appropriate arguments. Independents, however, have both switches. So, in the chaos of a campaign, their switches are constantly flipping. Whichever switch is flipped the most wins, and the independent then goes to vote for that side.

In other words, independents are mindless drones in the eyes of the authors. And that is pretty much all independents get in this book.

Meanwhile, conservatives do not care for anyone, even their own wives, who must be "disciplined" (read: "beaten" -- I know the writer cannot possibly mean this, but the writing is there and quite sloppy) if they speak out of turn. Page 18: "Physical discipline is necessary to produce moral discipline.... The role of the mother is to uphold the authority of the father. If she does not, she may have to be disciplined as well." This is, quite frankly, absurd and an example of terrible writing by the author.

Conservatives clearly do not care for the elderly, as liberals do: "[Liberals] may support Social Security and Medicare for seniors if they care deeply for old people, ..." (page 14) -- therefore, since conservatives oppose those policies, they clearly must do it because they do not care, not for any rational reasons. The same with children and public education.

Liberals "care" about everyone and everything, being the most advanced, empathic people you will ever encounter. After all, our brains are wired to determine what political side we are on, and liberals are on the side of caring; therefore, they are the most advanced, correct? The parents in their family really care for each other -- implying conservative parents do not, which I suppose must be true if the father is constantly beating his wife....

Anyway, the point of this review is to show the cocoon the authors are spinning -- intentionally or through poor writing -- to make their liberal readers feel better about themselves. After all, if you are in the one third of the country the country that is superior to the other two thirds, why bother considering the merits of their arguments? Why listen to wife-beaters and mindless drones?

What makes their effort truly entertaining, however, is immediately after setting up how each third of the country allegedly is, they then proceed to list areas we all agree on. Murder is wrong, theft is wrong, etc. etc. The bubble has been created, now to appear reasonable so as to disguise it from the unwary liberal reader. Quite the trick, that.

I am not trying to convince anyone of anything politically. I just want liberal readers to understand this book is caricaturing two-thirds of America in a rather condescending and farcical manner. Perhaps you can find things of value in this book if you keep your eyes open and recognize the game the authors are playing. However, keep in mind, their tactics and ideas are based on simplistic and insulting caricatures of conservatives and independents. Would you expect such tactics to work from a friend who you disagree with if they were based on a such a woefully inaccurate portrayal of your beliefs?

Update: I am going to bump it a star. My real complaints with the book (and the reason I was even compelled to write a review in the first place) are in the first quarter; hence, my review is based entirely on how the authors present independents, conservatives, and liberals. Having reflected a bit more, I must say the rest of the book is not so bad as to warrant the single star. And, if nothing else, the material got me thinking again about how each side approaches the other and the assumptions we all make about those with whom we disagree. I gained something, it gained a star from me. Bravo.

Updated for clarity 10 Aug 12. Also, it has been argued to me the authors have beliefs and whatnot in other books which, when considered, demonstrate there was no intent to create a bubble. Fair enough, I will concede no intent to create said bubble. However, the author is responsible for providing the relevent information, not for expecting the reader to be intimately familiar with all his previous works. Regardless, the writing is still lazy and creates terrible caricatures, as mentioned. Be forewarned before reading this book, is all. It is basically Ann Coulter for the left.
I have ordered the book, but it hasn't arrived yet. But since a hoard of ultra-conservative fanatics have descended on this book to discredit it, despite the fact that none of them have even read it! I've decided to fight fire with fire. As soon as I get the book and read it, I'll be back to write my review. Until then, I just wanted to call the attention of all amazon shoppers to the fact that this vicious and deceitful and *organized* attack on this book is taking place! And every new negative review and comment is evidence that what I'm saying is correct!
I admit it...I'm a big fan of Dr. Lakoff. I have quite a few of his books and have had the good fortune to meet him and hear him speak several times. If you've ever wondered how conservatives persuade ordinary working Americans to support policies detrimental to our country and their own self-interest, this is the man who can explain the inexplicable, and this is the book that can help you say exactly what you believe in a clear and compelling way.

While I've found valuable information in all of Dr. Lakoff's books as well as his articles in The Huffington Post, in "The Little Blue Book" he and his co-author, Ms. Wehling, concisely explain the fundamental differences between the conservative and progressive worldviews, and deftly outline how progressives can communicate our deeply rooted values and avoid reinforcing conservative framing. You'll also find specific language to use when you talk about issues and policies. This IS the book that grassroots progressives have been waiting for!

I encourage you to not only buy "The Little Blue Book," but buy several copies and give them to your progressive friends for birthdays, holidays or just because you want them to read it. Introduce it to your book club, and if you don't belong to a book club, start one!
Lakoff and Wehling have exposed the conservative propaganda which poisons our language and blackens our media. This book gives a logical alternative to falling into the trap of using language crafted by conservative spin masters that become part of the lexicon. It creates a better way of thinking and speaking we all must learn and use if we are to speak the true language of our moral values.
There are a lot of political books out there. Some are well researched, valuable for future reference. Some are timely, prescient. Some are interesting and entertaining. Some are published to fulfill the limited demand for duckspeak by those who cannot be bothered to think for themselves. Democrats for example. You might use the wisdom you have gained from this work in discussion with your few friends. As they walk away, bored and disgusted, you can take comfort in the fantasy that they'll be required by law to listen to you when you finally take over. Definitely a feel-good book for those who otherwise have nothing going on. The lucky Chinese had the 'Little Red Book', now their unfortunate American contemporaries have their own knock-off. Not as compulsory, but every bit as stupid as the real thing.