The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic, by George Lakoff and Elisabeth Wehling (Free Press, $11)
George Lakoff, Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at U.C. Berkeley — and highly regarded Democratic tactician — has just released his playbook for the 2012 election. Titled The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic, it purports to be the ultimate insiders’ guide to liberal messaging and left-wing ideology.
Before you even open the book, its sly self-referential gamesmanship leaps off the cover: the very title itself is a wink-wink-nudge-nudge ironic-but-not-really reference to Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book, the kind of hidden-meaning secret message that progressives like to call a “dog whistle,” although they insist that only conservatives resort to such underhanded gambits.
Lakoff is also the brightest star in an impressive constellation of East Bay Liberati, most of whom (including Robert Reich and many others) happily lined up to blurb his new book. A small sampling from the press release:
Because everybody knows that the best way to convince undecided and conservative voters is to dazzle them with compliments you got from Van Jones and George Soros.
But Lakoff is not just any intellectual celebrity: he is deemed one of the most important contemporary philosophers of progressive thought. You know how whenever Democrats lose an election, they invariably blame their “poor messaging” and never ever the content of their policies? Lakoff came up with that. Liberals find it very reassuring: We don’t need to rethink our ideas — we just need to express ourselves more clearly.
All of us, every single man, woman, and child on the face of the Earth were born with the same unalienable rights; to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And, if the governments of the world can't get that through their thick skulls, then, regime change will be necessary.
“The impulse to both communism/fascism seems to stem from an ultimately childish desire, that is, The world of people is too complicated and I want to make it simple and get it under control. Almost like the political projection of obsessive-compulsive disorder. With OCD you want to make it so that every carpet thread is in its place, with the collectivist-socialist fantasy you want to make it so that every person is in his place. Smooth out differences so they aren't visible (or there are only a few differences, i.e. you think only in terms of 'classes'), that way the large complexity of things doesn't confuse me and I don't have to think about individual people. To think of the world as a large differentiated collection of individual people all doing and wanting different things is frightening. Must....get...it...under...control...and...manage it. That's the motive of the communist and the fascist alike."
-- Sonic Harm
"An Islamic regime must be serious in every field," explained Ayatollah Khomeini. "There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humour in Islam. There is no fun in Islam."
"I want to be very, very clear, however: I understand and agree with the analysis of the problem. There is an imminent threat. It manifested itself on 9/11. It's real and grave. It is as serious a threat as Stalinism and National Socialism were. Let's not pretend it isn't." ~~~~~Bono~~~~~