Monday, January 30, 2017

#30 / One Big Difference


This is a big difference between Democrats and Republicans. Republicans try to change the polls, whereas Democrats try to follow the polls.

I am quoting, above, from George Lakoff, a linguist who explained in a recent interview how the Democrats helped elect Donald Trump. Click the link to review what Lakoff says; it is well worth your time.

Mainly, Lakoff is discussing, in this interview, how "framing" the issues, in politics, can have an important impact on the outcome of the political process. Lakoff's ideas on this topic are presented at length in his 2004 book, Don't Think of an Elephant! In this recent interview, Lakoff documents the unwillingness of the Democrats to consider the idea (obvious to many of us) that the advertising and other campaigning done by the Clinton campaign was really building Trump's political "brand."

While Lakoff's observations on how the Democrats got their "framing" wrong are worth reading about, I was more interested in a related point made by Lakoff in the interview. Namely, that the Democratic Party is "poll driven," treating poll measurements as if they documented "reality."

We always need to remember that "reality" is what we make it. WE are in charge of reality, because what exists depends on what we do.

If you "follow" the polls, instead of "changing" the polls, you are very likely to lose.

In case you haven't noticed, that is exactly what the Democratic Party just did!

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  1. This is why I NEVER use the word "defense" as a euphemism for "military" — as even most progressives do. It is incredible to me that anyone would claim that we should cut "defense spending" when actual defense spending represents such a tiny fraction of 1% of what we spend on various subsidies of massive corporations that make high-tech machines to kill people.

    We changed the name of the United States Department of War to the Department of Defense six decades ago. The military budget (almost always referred to as the "defense budget") has grown massively since then, and it's no coincidence.

    Those of us who do not work for Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics or Raytheon really shouldn't be shilling for them by calling the $79,653,924,068.61 we paid just those four corporations in Fiscal Year 2015 "defense spending". If you're not used to dealing with numbers containing that many commas, just round it off to about eighty trillion taxpayer dollars. For four companies. For one year. In MILITARY spending.

  2. I am of exactly the same mind!


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