Understanding moral frameworks requires knowledge of how metaphors structure how we reason about our Values. Facts cannot counter a moral/value frame. However, conversation can at least create conditions for understanding of how different metaphors and frames represent coherent but different moral frameworks.
Progressives are stumped. They are asking these questions over and over again on social media, TV, and radio:
1) Why don’t Trump supporters turn against Trump even though he is doing things that hurt them? (like taking away their healthcare)
2) Why do Republicans hate the Affordable Care Act, and why are they so transparently acting to give wealthy people a tax break by making healthcare unaffordable?
Here is the short answer: All politics is moral. Supporting Trump – and gutting public healthcare resources in order to provide tax cuts for the wealthy – fits perfectly within the strict conservative moral worldview, which is hierarchical in nature. Voters don’t vote their self-interest. They vote their values.
The longer answer requires a deeper explanation.
Let’s start with the place where all ideas and questions originate – the brain.
Most thought (as much as 98% by some accounts) is unconscious. It is carried out by neural circuitry in our brains. We have no conscious access to this circuitry, but it’s there. This is basic neuroscience.
When it comes to politics, progressives and conservatives essentially have different brains. The unconscious beliefs conditioned in their brains are nearly exact opposites.
The Conservative Moral Hierarchy
The strict father logic extends further. The basic idea is that authority is justified by morality (the strict father version), and that, in a world ordered by nature, there should be (and traditionally has been) a moral hierarchy in which those who have traditionally dominated should dominate.
Why do conservatives love Trump (who harms them) and hate healthcare (which helps them)? It makes more sense when you consider the conservative moral hierarcy.
The Conservative Moral Hierarchy:
• God above Man
• Man above Nature
• The Disciplined (Strong) above the Undisciplined (Weak)
• The Rich above the Poor
• Employers above Employees
• Adults above Children
• Western culture above other cultures
• America above other countries
• Men above Women
• Whites above Nonwhites
• Christians above non-Christians
• Straights above Gays
Strict Father morality insists on a particular notion of self-responsibility. Being taken care of by “the government” is seen as immoral because it gives the government an authority above strict father principles. The care of the Affordable Care Act in itself violated the moral sense and the very identity of conservatives – even those who benefit greatly from it.
Moreover, the Affordable Care Act attempted to help people lower on the conservative Moral Hierarchy…
For a longer explanation of Lakoff’s concepts of how metaphors structure how we reason and how metaphors are embodied in conservative and progressive moral frameworks read this longer article: