George Lakoff in the issue of moral politics views the minds of Americans as liberal and conservatives. He attempts to provide different opinions between liberals and conservatives. He argues that the two conflicting issues reveal the varied strength of the moral metaphors about the relationships of citizens to the states. According to Lakoff (94) both liberals and conservatives view governance through family metaphors. The conservatives focus strongly to a model that Lakoff calls the strict father model (Lakoff 97). The model has a strong family structure where the father is the government and children are the citizens. Therefore, the children should be disciplined in order to be responsible adults. In this case, the adults mean self-financing. Therefore, he continues to emphasize that once the children become disciplined and mature to morally principled adults, the father should not obstruct their lives. In this case, the government should leave those societies that are able to prove their responsibilities to progress with their own business. Thus, the government should work to make sure that citizens are free from corrupt influences thus a successful state.
In addition, Lakoff argues that since 1980, liberals have encountered problems because of not judging their own steering metaphors. Liberalism is a wide political belief that centers on the unreliable rights of citizens. For instance, the freedom of press, speech, religion and due process rights are all the significant liberal ideas. Therefore, Lakoff emphasizes that due to liberalism problems, conservative has been accepted as the framed terminology that promotes the metaphor of strict father model. This model of parenting which Lakoff employs is one of the strict disciplines of good parenting. The idea behind this model is that children learn through punishments, and become self-reliant and well disciplined under strict parenting. Moreover, the father should reward those with good behaviors and punish those children with bad behaviors. In this case, Lakoff meant that the government should be strict to the citizens thus making them upstanding citizens of tomorrow. In this, way the state would develop and become a civilized nation.
In the argument of liberalism, Lakoff contrasted the model of the strict father to the nurturant Parent model (Ryan 754). He explains that the moral metaphor of a family as a nation and parent as a government is crucial because it corresponds with the conservative politics. For example, the conservative believes that the adults should not depend on the parent, which is the government for any assistance thus they should be self-reliant. In the model of nurturant parent, children are expected to survey their environments under the protection of their parents. In this model, children understand what they exactly want from their parents and parents should allow them to discover things. During the discovery process, parents should protect their children from harm through providing them with guidance and counseling. The idea behind this model is that the world is not friendly, respect as well as compassion is required and can only be taught as an example.
From the above claim, Lakoff provides a clear understanding of what the government in a political state is required to do. He employs the moral metaphors using strict parent and nurturant parent models in order to reveal what the government in a particular state should do in order to build a successful nation. This is fundamental because a successful nation will develop if only the government respects, provides compassion, disciplines and allows citizens to explore or discover the environment. Moreover, using liberalism and conservatism, Lakoff brings out a clear understanding of the way the citizens and government should create healthy relationships with one another. Once the society has developed, it should be left to be self-reliant just as the way a parent leaves the adult to be self-reliant. This is crucial because it enables the society to become politically strong thus contributing to development in a nation.
Michael Schudson analyses the fact about democracy through using America as an example in order to provide his idealist understandings of democracy. More over he attempts to convince readers the inefficiency problem in government services arises from lack of enough resources not presence of much work. Schudson argues that people need to find the place for expertise and this expertise can be found in varied places. The idea of expertise can be democratized, and he reveals the way one should be cautious since the expertise are not democratic. Therefore, he comments that democracy is in a form of cultural authority, which is more democratic. This is because anybody has the potential access to a particular kind of expertise (Schudson 104). Moreover, he claims that in the modern democracy, people need to find means merging expertise with democratic participation. However, Schudson does not echo his skepticism about ‘idealist’ understandings of democracy. This is because people have to turn their politics over the experts. Schudson comments that there are varied complicated issues because people do not get informed on every issue. Hence, they rely on each other in decision-making.
In addition, Schudson’s argument on the place of expertise and political echo of his skepticism about democratic understandings makes it more difficult for him to think about democracy articulately. This is because the digital media, which are used to inform citizens, seem to be promising but they are not. According to Schudson (54), digital media has been incorporated into the new democracy, but they should be connected with citizenships and democracy understandings. Through digital media, citizens get informed about democracy understandings thus enable them to choose public officials whom they prefer. Schudson proposes a reconstituted democratic system of information in which the responsibility of the citizens is to be informed well in order to take part intelligently in legislative affairs. This should be understood as a monitorial obligation (Stromback 436). The monitorial is one way of scanning the environment in order to be informed thus become alerted on a wide range of ideas.
In Schudson’s realist advice about taking the culture and institutions of representative government seriously, he demands those living in a democracy to be accountable in an electoral process. In his statement, Schudson believes that administrative governance through professional elite is the best way of making better decisions concerning the interests of the public. The justification of this professional in decision-making is what the society expresses based on their cultural values. Thus, the society can be able to make facts basing on decisions required on policy matters. It is only institutionalized as well as governmental professions that posses the expertise and resources to make public policy decisions. These policies disseminate into the public using digital media. However, Schudson argues that the technology may change the relationships between democracy and the expertise. Therefore, he calls for improved competence through providing reliable information to the society thus better governance.
Lastly, Schudson advocates that the media should be free and adequately provide better information that people need. This will enable the society to make varied judgments about the government thus making their own decision on the kind of democracy they desire. It should consider people of different cultures thus, information should be clearly presented to the public in a clear manner. Moreover, there is a need for better expertise that can represent in a democratic government. Although, Schudson asserts that choosing expertise is a difficult task, there should be at least someone with imperative skills on and well understandings of a democracy. This will contribute to a better government thus enabling citizens to see themselves as independent people in a social and traditional context.
Lakoff, George. The Political Mind: Why You Can’t Understand 21st-Century Politics with an
18th-Century Brain. New York, NY: Viking, 2008. Print.
Ryan, L. “George Lakoff, Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think.” Cognitive
Linguistics. 16 (2005): 753-758. Print.
Schudson, Michael. Why Democracies Need an Unlovable Press. First Edition. Cambridge:
Polity, 2008. Print.
Stromback, Jesper. “Mediatization and Perceptions of the Media’s Political Influence.”
Journalism Studies. 12.4 (2011): 423-439. Print.