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In moral politics, a book by George Lakoff argues that the people’s views on politics are often determined by the unconscious metaphors. The metaphor to Americans is viewing the state as a family (Lakoff 12). George Lakoff has put forth that conservatives and the liberals have a completely different conceptual model of the ideal family. The liberals’ worldview on a family is a “nurturing parent” model while the conservatives view an ideal family to be centered on a “strict father” model. The ”strict father’” model emphasizes the significance of a nuclear family in which the father is charged with the responsibility of providing and protecting the family and formulating rules and regulations that guide their children. In this regard, it is expected of a child to possess key qualities like self-discipline, respect, and self-reliance. The nurturing parent model contrasts the strict father model in that it emphasizes the significance of nurturance, empathy, fair distribution, and restitution. The primary reasoning behind this model is that one is being cared for and cared about.
Lakoff finding on the American political situation and public perception on values of the leaders reveals that an ideal family is critical in the politics of the day. In this regard, he reveals how family-based moral values influence the observation on varied issues such as crime, gun control, taxation environmental, and social programs. George Lakoff explains how liberals and conservatives connect morality with politics under the concept of family and how the concepts cause controversy and diverge.
Lakoff illustrates how the conservatives have exploited the relationship between moralities, the family, and politics as well as how the liberals have failed to accept the concept. The enthusiasts among the conservatives and clear explanation of what they stand for has left their position on the role of morality unchallenged (Bennett 22).
It is an issue of concern to the liberals when the conservatives term them as people who do not understand properly what they actually stand for. According to George Lakoff, the conservatives are totally right. They have demonstrated consistency in their ideology in the recent past, an issue that has influenced their winning in the congress elections and indication that the people listen to them. For instance, William Bennett, a conservative and intellectual politician, put more efforts into the moral education. He wrote a book The Book of Virtues that is a collection of moral stories for little children. This is in a bid to express the political agenda and profess their view on virtue and morality and the role of fatherhood in a family. It is clear that the conservatives are against abortion in a bid to save the life of the unborn children. There is a high rate of infant mortality in the United States because of poor prenatal care for mothers with low income. To the liberals, its illogical for the conservatives not to support the government programs that provide prenatal care and to vote for elimination of such programs that have succeed in lowering mortality rate among children in the United States. The conservatives argue that they want to stop the deaths by illegalizing abortion as opposed to providing prenatal care to those mothers who want to terminate pregnancies. Another conflicting issue is that the liberals find it illogical that the proponents of the right to life are often supporting capital punishment. This position by the advocates seems rather natural to the conservatives.
Conservatives do not support welfare and government funds for the part of population that is characterized as needy; instead they push for government funds to aid victims of earthquakes, floods, and fire. This seems contradictory to the liberals. Conservatives hold that there is the need to increase financing for prisons and military because they provide adequate protection. Then they want to do away with regulatory agencies that protect workers and consumers. The conservatives view this as a form of interference but not protection. At the same time the liberals cannot claim to support expansion of the economy if they favor government laws that limit entrepreneurships by imposing heavy taxes that discourage investments. Additionally, the liberals cannot claim to help Americans achieve their dreams yet they encourage progressive taxation (Lakoff 42).
We therefore can conclude that issues pertaining morality and family play a significant role in American politics though the liberals do not talk about them at all. We learn that the conservatives are more mindful of the underpinnings of their worldview on politics than the liberals are. It is also important to acknowledge the fact that both the conservatives and the liberals provide rich moral and political views, rich to the extent of allowing a wide range of variation.