George Lakoff's work on language and politics has already transformed the progressive movement. Simply by creating a new awareness of how language works -- from the perspective of a politically savvy cognitive scientist -- Lakoff has demystified the power of words and political media. At the grassroots, activists are much more aware that the manner in which we structure our arguments, the frames we use, make a difference, an ultimate difference. Lakoff's "Moral Politics" and "Don't Think of an Elephant" -- and his ongoing work at the Rockridge Institute -- do much more than create awareness. A new political language is getting written.
Lakoff is now pulling the cognitive curtain back on the nation's most important idea: the idea of freedom. "Whose Freedom" describes in clear detail how the nation's radical conservatives are redefining political freedom as something much smaller and meaner than the freedom embodied in our American tradition. To many of us, it seems paradoxical that greatly increased domestic surveillance by the government, loss of voting rights, and government intrusion into private life are seen by the radical right as paving stones to freedom.
How can this be? Lakoff tells us how. And he tells us how to redeploy a language of freedom that is open and dynamic, that speaks of opportunity to achieve, of freedom from want, and of freedom from fear.