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Political Rhetoric. Announcements No class Friday (reminder) May 5: Minnesota May 8: Ohio May 10: Pennsylvania May 12: Rhode Island.

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Presentation on theme: "Political Rhetoric. Announcements No class Friday (reminder) May 5: Minnesota May 8: Ohio May 10: Pennsylvania May 12: Rhode Island."— Presentation transcript:

1 Political Rhetoric

2 Announcements No class Friday (reminder) May 5: Minnesota May 8: Ohio May 10: Pennsylvania May 12: Rhode Island

3 Shared American values Freedom/liberty Equality Individualism Free enterprise/laissez-faire economics American dream/opportunity

4 Different priorities Infrastructure Defense Education Scientific research Prisons Aid to the disadvantaged

5 Is there a cultural divide between liberals and conservatives?

6 “Do you think there is too much, too little, or about the right amount of government regulation and involvement in the area of environmental protection?” Too About Unsure MuchLittleRight %% ALL adults Republicans Democrats Independents The Harris Poll, August 9-16, 2005, N=1,217 adults nationwide, MoE+/-3.

7 Which punishment do you prefer for people convicted of murder: the death penalty or life in prison with no chance of parole?" DeathLife in Unsure PenaltyPrison %% ALL Republicans Democrats Independents Quinnipiac University Poll. Dec. 7-12, N=1,529 registered voters nationwide.

8 Lakoff’s argument A cognitive linguist Argument: Unconscious value systems underlie the way liberals and conservatives talk about politics. Society is a family Government is a parent

9 Questions about Lakoff’s argument: Do you recognize the two models of family? Does your family resemble one of the two?

10 Questions about Lakoff’s argument What is considered moral by the conservative worldview? What is considered moral by the liberal worldview? Do the values embodied by the two “family” metaphors for government and society ring true to you (especially the liberal one if you’re liberal, & vice versa)?

11 Questions about Lakoff’s argument Based on Lakoff’s argument, why do liberals and conservatives have the positions they do on: –Welfare –The environment –Gay marriage –The death penalty Can these metaphors tell us about how liberal and conservative values produce different policy statements about taxes, immigration, etc.?

12 What does this have to do with campaigns?

13 Can Lakoff’s analysis help us understand why some messages are especially effective? Willie Horton Compassionate Conservative Helping Americans who “work hard and play by the rules”

14 The two family models Liberals Children develop best through positive relationships Children become self- reliant by being respected Children obey because they love and respect parent All legitimate authority serves the cause of nurturance Conservatives Children are competent to make own decisions and can sink or swim Children need to learn self-discipline to deal with a harsh world Children learn through fair punishment Parents don’t meddle with adult children


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