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Monday, November 26, 2007


Ask Rockridge: Responding to Conservative Name-Calling

Created by george_at_rockridge (Rockridge Institute staff member) on Sunday, November 11, 2007 04:00 PM

How can we respond to conservative attacks on our patriotism?

We were recently asked how to respond when confronted with the attack, "Aw you liberals just hate America."

This is name-calling with a destructive (and false) frame. There are times when it is necessary to have a retort, not for its own sake, but to allow you to shift the frame and say a lot more on any one of many topics. The replacement frame should express progressive views while revealing key truths hidden by the original frame. Here is one strategy:

"Aw you liberals just hate America."

No. We love democracy and we want to return it to America.
You want a presidential dictator.
We love liberty and we want to return it to America.
You want to tap our phones.
We love equality and we want to return it to America.
You think some people are better than others.
We love honesty and we want to return it to America.
You love lobbyists and corruption.
We love fairness and we want to return it to America.
You want to oppress the powerless.
We love openness and we want to return it to America.
You love secrecy and hiding the facts.
We love nature's glory and we want to return it to America.
You love the profit that comes from destroying nature.
We love community and we want to return it to America.
You want everyone to fend for himself.
We love public education and we want to return it to America.
You want to destroy public education.
We love civilian control of the military and we want to return it to America.
You want to militarize America.
And on and on...

George Lakoff
The Rockridge Institute