argues that we all see the world through brain structures he calls frames:
Those brain structures are called “frames.” If the facts don’t fit your frames, the frames stay; the facts are ignored, belittled or attacked. The facts alone won’t set you free.
All words are defined relative to largely unconscious cognitive frames. Hearing a word activates and strengthens the frame. If I say “Don’t think of an elephant!” you will think of an elephant. Arguing against, or negating, frames just helps the other side.
Politicians understand how important it is to sell their frames to voters. And, for the last thirty years, conservatives have managed to effectively frame issues to their advantage. However, the conservative frame is rooted in denial:
Conservatism means denying a central truth: that private life and business depend on public resources. Indeed, it means destroying public resources and maximizing private control and private gain. It means putting public health in private hands, making everyone pay through the nose for maintaining their bodies. It means destroying unions. Unions are about freedom, freedom from corporate servitude and wage slavery, freedom from unsafe working conditions, and the freedom in later life that comes from fair pensions, which are delayed payments for work done earlier in life. It means destroying nature for private gain, not public benefit.
Progressives see the world through a different frame:
[Progressivism] means caring about others as well as taking care of yourself, and it means working through the government to provide public resources for all. Private business and private life depend on public resources — roads, bridges, sewers, an electric grid, satellite communication, public schools and research universities, public health and national health care, public safety, and on and on. The private depends on the public, both in business and private life.
Canada has always been about
kindness, warmth, hospitality, co-operation, community and what goes with all that, including public education, health care for all, a love of nature and care for the environment, a welcoming of immigrants, a respect for native peoples, an aversion to war. As an American, those were the values that I and other Americans associated with Canada. The centre has been empathy – caring and acting on that care.
Canadians have traditionally seen their country through a different frame than the one Mr. Harper espouses. The next election will be all about changing the frame.