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George Lakoff

Professor of Cognitive Science
University of California, Berkeley

The Helen Edison Lecture Series. October 17, 2005

Since the written word falls short of the oral charisma of this great man, we furnish the link to his speech distinguishing Republican from Democratic Politics in a most insightful way. The issue matters because the Republicans have figured out how people think and this enables them to use metaphors that we voters grab onto and identify with, never mind that they usually intend the opposite of the way we take them. To be sure, all politicians tend to misrepresent. The point of this page is that the Republicans do it better than the Democrats. They have figured out what the electorate buys into. This is Lakoff's point. In other words, the Republicans verbally seduce enough moderate voters in the middle to win power and keep it like they won it. Conservatism is not dangerous, but conservative governance is--as George W Bush has demonstrated so admirably. Bush funds all the right things today, then cuts or cancels the funding each morrow. For more by Lakoff, Visit:

Conceptual Metaphor

Metaphor, Morality, and Politics Or, Why Conservatives Have Left Liberals In the Dust
"Don't Think of an Elephant! Know Your Values and Frame the Debate: The Essential Guide for Progressives"
Lakoff on Obama "Obama Returns To His Moral Vision: Democrats Read Carefully!"

His four fundamental guidelines for dialogue follow:
  • Show respect
  • Respond by reframing
  • Think and talk at the level of values
  • Say what you believe


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