Thinking Points

A Progressive Handbook

George Lakoff and the Rockridge Institute release a new handbook for progressive Americans.

Read the first chapter

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.  But it left some questions unanswered:

What is the progressive vision of America?

Why are progressive values America’s values?

How are frames necessary to serve the truth?

Why doesn’t sloganeering alone work?

How do progressives trap themselves and how can they escape those traps?

How can political arguments and narratives be put together to counter the Right?

Thinking Points begins to answer these questions 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.

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
“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,
“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,

“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 for nonpartisan 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, Political Action

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the Rockridge Institute