Vox Populi

George Lakoff: Trump Tweets, Press Leaps.


George Lakoff: Now that we understand how Trump uses Twitter to divert and distract, many of you have asked how we can respond. This handy chart by Greg Gibilisco contains useful information about how to fact check Trump and avoid the Tweet trap.

For an exploration of this analysis, see “Trump’s Twitter Distraction” by George Lakoff.

George P. Lakoff (born 1941) is an American cognitive linguist, best known for his thesis that lives of individuals are significantly influenced by the central metaphors they use to explain complex phenomena. The conceptual metaphor thesis, introduced in his and Mark Johnson’s 1980 book Metaphors We Live By has found applications in a number of academic disciplines and its application to politics, literature, philosophy and mathematics has led him into territory normally considered basic to political science. In the 1996 book Moral Politics, Lakoff described conservative voters as being influenced by the “strict father model” as a central metaphor for such a complex phenomenon as the state and liberal/progressive voters as being influenced by the “nurturant parent model” as the folk psychological metaphor for this complex phenomenon. According to him, an individual’s experience and attitude towards sociopolitical issues is influenced by being framed in linguistic constructions. In Metaphor and War: The Metaphor System Used to Justify War in the Gulf, he argues that the American involvement in the Gulf war was obscured or “spun” by the metaphors which were used by the first Bush administration to justify it. The more general theory that elaborated his thesis is known as “embodied mind.” He is a professor of linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught since 1972.


Photo, bio, and summary of George Lakoff’s ideas are adapted from Wikipedia.