Obama and Warren cribbed “build it” narrative from progressive Berkeley Professor

William A. Jacobson
Legal Insurrection

By now you have heard the Obama and Liz Warren speeches about how no one got rich on his or her own. Listen to them again, it’s important to hear how they frame the issue almost identically…

…This narrative is cribbed almost verbatim from the narrative of George Lakoff, a progressive linguistics activist and Professor at Berkeley.  Like Warren, Lakoff was one of the academics who helped frame how the Occupy Wall Street movement presented itself.  Lakoff’s writings and theories seek to transform progressive politics and he is a frequent speaker on how progressives can reframe the political debate.

Lakoff developed a linguistic narrative that progressives needed to counter conservatives by focusing on the role of government in enabling individual success, a narrative in which no person became successful on his or her own:

Nobody makes a dollar in this country in business without using the common wealth…. The idea that there’s a self-made man, that’s there’s a self-made millionaire is false, it is absolutely false, and that is the thing that Obama missed…. Without this you don’t have those roads, you don’t have that internet, you don’t have the banking system, etc…

…The approach of Elizabeth Warren and Barack Obama is a cribbed narrative of the progressive movement which seeks to realign our individual-centered political dialogue around the individual’s indebtedness to the government.

Read the complete article at Legal Insurrection. In the article, Professor Jacobson has posted both videos by Elizabeth Warren and the President.

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