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Presidential Politics and How We See it in Our Mind

There is no doubt that the outcome of the presidential elections represents a major change in politics. But a well known brain and mind expert says which candidate occupies the White House will depend on how the political parties tailor that change to American values. Houston Public Radio’s Pat Hernandez reports.


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George Lakoff is a world renowned pioneer in linguistics and cognitive science, the study of intelligence and the philosophy of the mind. He says since 98-percent of thought is unconscious, a lot of politics goes on at that level. Lakoff says Ronald Reagan was a master.

“Reagan came across as connecting with people and as authentic, as saying what he believed. And if somebody has values that are clear and says what they believe, then, you know where they stand…you can trust them. You may not agree with them, but you can trust him.”

He says Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama offer distinct contrasts.

“Hillary thinks she has to fight and beat up on her opponents. Obama looks for commonality and he minimizes the fights. He tries to glorify what he thinks is right about America.” 

Lakoff says while political parties have become more polarized, people have not. He adds whoever occupies the White House will depend on their party’s ability to change the discourse of the election.

Pat Hernandez, Houston Pulbic Radio News

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