A. Barton Hinkle: Who Framed the Right?


Gay marriage activist
Credit: sushiesque / flickr.com

Conservatives are now complaining that they're losing the fight over same-sex marriage because the left has done a better job of framing the issue. All of a sudden, conservatives are sounding a lot like George Lakoff—the liberal linguistics professor who gripes about the über-powerful message machine of the American right.

But saying the other side wins simply because it frames the issue better is, in a way, saying it wins because voters are too stupid and gullible not to realize your own side is right. This might feel good, writes A. Barton Hinkle, but it is a problem—because it allows you to avoid engaging the arguments other people find so persuasive.