Archive for October 19th, 2011
Linguist George Lakoff has set forth frames for American conservatism:
Conservatives have figured out their moral basis and you see it on Wall Street: It includes: The primacy of self-interest. Individual responsibility, but not social responsibility. Hierarchical authority based on wealth or other forms of power. A moral hierarchy of who is “deserving,” defined by success. And the highest principle is the primacy of this moral system itself, which goes beyond Wall Street and the economy to other arenas: family life, social life, religion, foreign policy, and especially government. Conservative “democracy” is seen as a system of governance and elections that fits this model.
Versus that which appears to be the frame of the Occupy Wall Street movement:
Democracy starts with citizens caring about one another and acting responsibly on that sense of care, taking responsibility both for oneself and for one’s family, community, country, people in general, and the planet. The role of government is to protect and empower all citizens equally via The Public: public infrastructure, laws and enforcement, health, education, scientific research, protection, public lands, transportation, resources, art and culture, trade policies, safety nets, and on and on. Nobody makes it one their own. If you got wealthy, you depended on The Public, and you have a responsibility to contribute significantly to The Public so that others can benefit in the future. Moreover, the wealthy depend on those who work, and who deserve a fair return for their contribution to our national life. Corporations exist to make life better for most people. Their reason for existing is as public as it is private.
Jon Stewart pulls out many video clips to illustrate the Republican version of divisiveness:
I admit that I’m a fair-weather fan; no dispute about it. At the risk of incurring scorn by all of the true fans who have been buying $50 tickets and $7 beers all season, however, I’ve decided to come out of self-imposed sports-fan retirement in order to follow my home team’s progress in the so-called “World” Series. I paid almost no attention to the St. Louis Baseball Cardinals this year until the end of the season. That’s when the team, which appeared to be clearly out of the race (about 10 games behind the Braves for a wildcard spot) started making an extraordinary run for a spot in the playoffs. They clinched that spot on the final day of the season.
I’ve thus joined the biggest, loudest religion in St. Louis, in order to follow the progress of the Cards. Against my better instincts, I seem to be caught up in the tribal felt importance of the moment. This is time for a collective projection by the hometown fans of both the Cardinals and the Texas Rangers, so when they yell “We won!” I won’t interject, as did Jerry Seinfeld:
We’re a little too into sports in this country, I think we gotta throttle back. Know what I mean? People come home from these games, “We won! We won!” No, they won – you watched.
In honor of the success of the Cardinals and their impressive manager, Tony La Russa, I’m reaching back in history (about 1980) to post this video of La Russa making an appearance in a classic old TV game show, “To Tell the Truth.”
I was excited to see the new Tea Party’s birth. Watching the corruption of our government become more and more brazen, it was only a matter of time before counter-movements began to spread. Both the Tea Party and the #Occupy movements were born of this impulse. The original patriots of the Tea Party movement formed in opposition to the bank bailouts. I think it became apparent rather quickly, however, that their admirable movement had been co-opted into another arm of the Republican machine. I don’t say this to cast aspersions though, as I do want to keep this post exploring our common ground rather than emphasizing our differences. The #Occupy/99% movement is actively resisting attempts to co-opt its message by the Democratic party and other left-leaning organizations, so let’s keep exploring our similarities.
Here then, is the 15-point “non-negotiable core beliefs” which I found on teaparty.org:
I was at our local #occupy protests on Saturday for what organizers were calling a “Global day of action”. This week marks one month since #occupywallstreet began their occupation in New York City, and have proven to be an inspiration to people around the globe.
Omaha is not exactly known as a hotbed of radical activism or sentiment. Protests here regularly turn out a half-dozen or so committed activists, but rarely much more than that. My wife and I decided that the time had come for us to express our discontent with the existing socio-political environment here, and so we headed out to #OccupyOmaha on Saturday morning. Expecting low numbers, we were surprised when we could see people streaming towards the meeting site from blocks away.