Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Today's Must Read: Bury the idea that swaying the center will win elections

Scientist George Lakoff has a fascinating essay over at Common Dreams. His central point: There is no such thing as a moderate.

Here are just a few of the tasty bits from the piece.

* “Centrism” is the creation of an inaccurate self-serving metaphor, and it is time to bury it. There is no left to right linear spectrum in the American political life. There are two systems of values and modes of thought - call them progressive and conservative (or nurturant and strict, as I have).

*American ideas are fundamentally progressive ideas - the ideas this country was founded on and that carry forth that spirit. Progressives care about people and the earth, and act with responsibility and strength on that care.
Lakoff goes on to demolish the DLC and talk about the strategy that will guarantee a Democratic loss in the next election. His discussion of what he calls “biconceptuals” holds clues to a progressive victory.

Not everyone likes what Lakoff says, but I think he makes enormous sense. We have to think differently in order to even have the ability to see what's really going on in this country. If we don't learn how to think differently, we'll never learn how to move this nation forward.