Why do we often hold strong opinions? What role is played by our Subconscious mind? Why does Logic and Reason have little effect on our political decisions? These are the questions answered by linguistic Professor George Lakoff after 44 years of teaching at UC Berkeley.
Lakoff begins at the presidential campaign of 1994. The Republicans ran on the slogan of Family Values. This slogan was a kind of code which meant different things depending on who you were. To the R’s it meant a strong father figure, a strong leader and authoritarian. To the more liberal voters it meant a more complex family group of interaction and cooperation. The D’s generally held the view that it takes a village to raise a child. The R’s held that the child does what he is told and stays in his or her place. The slogan of “Family Values” was thus very effective for the minority party.
Lakoff describes how our subconscious neural connections result from all sights and sounds and represents about 98% of our memory. Only about 2% is conscious memory. The subconscious controls more than we are aware of.
We all have a strong sense of morality. This is innate to humans and forms early in childhood and is modified throughout our lives by words and experiences. Our Moral Compass strongly influences our thoughts and opinions. Spoken words are interpreted into meaning relating to our morals. That is why logic reasoning is seldom persuasive. Our moral compass is dominant over reason and logic.
The neural connections in the brain are strengthened by repeated impulses. As Hitler’s rhetoric was repeated loudly and often, the German people became convinced of his truth. In our times, political slander, repeated often enough, is accepted at the subconscious level and effects voter choices. Politicians know this. That is why they do it. Logical reasoning is much less effective.
Our Media is an unwitting contributor to the problem when they repeatedly chatter about the slander and insults. This reinforces the negatives.
Furthermore, when our current leaders graduated from their Ivy League Colleges they had chosen differing Major studies. The liberals studied finance, law, business, politics, etc. The conservatives studied Marketing, the skills of sales and advertising. One could say that they became “Con-Artists“.
In 1994 the R’s had perfected the Language of the Conservative and instructed hundreds of their fellow conservatives from every corner of the country to be their spokesmen. They had become masters of Linguistics, how the brain translates words into the subconscious memory. Dr George Lakoff is widely known for his books “Don’t Think of an Elephant” and “Moral Politics”. Book details are seen at