Thursday, September 13, 2007

America today is in danger

The Preface from the book Thinking Points George Lakoff
America today is in danger. It faces the threat of domination by a radical, authoritarian right wing that refers to itself as “conservative,” as if it were preserving and promoting American values. In fact, it has been trampling on them.
American values are inherently progressive, but progressives have lost their way. As traditional Americans, that is, as progressive Americans, we are beginning to lose our identity, the very values that have made America a great and free country—a country where tolerance has led us to unity, where diversity has given us strength, where acting for the common good has brought our dreams to fruition, and where respect for human dignity has increased opportunity, released creativity, and generated wealth.
But progressives have so taken these values for granted that we no longer have the ability to articulate a progressive vision.We have lost hold of the terms of political debate, and even ceded the language of progressive ideals—like “freedom” and “liberty”—to redefinition by an extremist right wing. The radical right understands its values and knows its agenda. It has imposed its ideas and its language on America. It has dominated public debate, which has allowed it to seize power.
Progressive political leaders have been inhibited in creating long-term change by the short-term necessities of running for office and by the need to block disastrous legislation day after day without unified grassroots support. Progressive policy makers can do only so much in the present environment. It is up to the grass roots, outside the Beltway, to find its collective progressive voice, to call once more for the common good, and to form a chorus singing out America.
The Rockridge Institute is part of that chorus and is strongly committed to progressive American values and vision. This handbook is a reflection of our work and our commitment. Progressives feel in their gut what is right. Our job at Rockridge is to turn those feelings into language, to help find the frames that will make our truths visible to others, and to translate our overwhelmingsense of what is right into effective arguments... [Open Integral]

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