Thursday, July 12, 2012

Overheard: Taranto on Roiphe

James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal discusses Katie Roiphe's Slate piece (which I discussed Tuesday) as an example of how liberals tend to lose arguments because they follow the framing advice of George Lakoff.
This is an important insight, not only into the way the left debates and otherwise communicates, but into the way the left thinks--or fails to think. The book's subtitle, after all, promises an instruction in "Thinking and Talking Democratic." Lakoff and Wehling command their readers not only to act as if opposing arguments are without merit, but to close their minds to those arguments. What comes across to conservatives as a maddening arrogance is actually willed ignorance.......

Through her use of rhetorical questions and the passive voice, Roiphe considerably softens a position that, stated flatly, amounts to this: A woman's desire is sufficient to justify her "absolute control" over whether her unborn child is a human being or a disposable object.

When you put it baldly like that, it is a monstrous proposition. One begins to understand why Lakoff-style willed ignorance is such a seductive alternative.

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