OVERRIDE

Thinking Points

Communicating Our American Values and Vision

George Lakoff and the Rockridge Institute

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Two years ago George Lakoff published the bestselling Don’t Think of an Elephant! Its account of the conservative monopoly on effective framing touched off a national discussion about political language. It also gave rise to a chorus of pleas for more:
 
* What is the progressive vision of America; * Why progressive values are America’s values; * How frames are necessary to serve the truth; * Why sloganeering alone doesn’t work; * How progressives trap themselves and how they can escape those traps; and * How political arguments and narratives can be put together to counter the Right.  Thinking Points satisfies that call with a bold, concise, and systematic explanation of how conservatives think and use language—and how progressives can fight back . Lakoff and the Rockridge Institute offer a new understanding of the so-called political center and explain why the most effective way to appeal to those who identify themselves as moderates or conservatives is to remain true to progressive values.
 
This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to participate in shaping an America that serves the common good.

BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One 
WINNING AND LOSING
 
Richard Wirthlin, chief strategist for former president Ronald Reagan, made a discovery in 1980 that profoundly changed American politics. As a pollster, he was taught that people vote for candidates on the basis of the candidates' positions on issues. But his initial polls for Reagan revealed something fascinating: Voters who didn't agree with Reagan on the issues still wanted to vote for him. Mystified, Wirthlin studied the matter further. He discovered just what made people want to vote for Reagan.1
 
Reagan talked about values
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REVIEWS

Praise for Thinking Points

"George Lakoff serves progressives well by explaining how language and moral framing equals power in politics. Thinking Points helps leaders and activists alike to turn this knowledge into a compelling vision for society."   --John Podesta, CEO and President, Center for American Progress  
 
"Thinking Points is a must read for anyone who doesn't want speaking out to become a dying art."   --Arianna Huffington
 
"In Thinking Points, George Lakoff and the Rockridge Institute show how Progressives can stop appealing to some hypothetical "middle" and instead appeal to the deep morality that the vast majority of Americans share.  When we speak from our hearts, the integrity of this will speak broadly."   --Joan Blades, MoveOn
 
"Lakoff has done it again. In Thinking Points, the good professor and the Rockridge Institute team have connected a broad progressive policy vision to fundamental American values.  It's time for progressives to get off defense and go on offense. By laying the foundations of progressive policy in the traditional American values of freedom, responsibility, and care for others, George Lakoff and Rockridge have shown us how. This is the must-read progressive message handbook."   --Wes Boyd, MoveOn
 
"In an environment too often dominated by sound-bite arguments and political polarization, Thinking Points is more than a communications tool; it is a must-read for progressives as well as non-partisan activist organizations like the ACLU that want to trumpet their values not only loudly, but effectively.  Professor Lakoff's expertise has been invaluable in articulating the ACLU's core values-fundamentally American values-to a broad and politically-diverse audience."     --Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union

"This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to speak out effectively about progressive, American values."   --Eli Pariser, Executive Director, MoveOn.org Political Action

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • George Lakoff and the Rockridge Institute

  • George Lakoff is a professor of linguistics and cognitive science at the University of California, Berkeley, and a founder of the Rockridge Institute. He is the author of Whose Freedom?, Don't Think of an Elephant!, and Moral Politics, as well as seminal books in linguistics, including Metaphors We Live By (with Mark Johnson). The Rockridge Institute is a team of scholars and researchers committed to American progressive ideals. It provides intellectual support to the progressive community, partnering with advocates, activists, and policy professionals to articulate the system of American values and ideas and reframe public debate.
  • George Lakoff Bart Nagel
    George Lakoff
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Available Formats and Book Details

Thinking Points

Communicating Our American Values and Vision

George Lakoff and the Rockridge Institute

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