Consulting Services for
Politicians-Activists-Families

Political Consulting

“Political ground is gained, not when you successfully inhabit the middle ground, but when you successfully impose your framing as the ‘common-sense’ position.” –George Lakoff

  • PoliticsAre you a progressive, tired of being on the defense when it comes to “family values?”
  • Are you done with family values rhetoric derailing the debate, and throwing you off your game?
  • Is your campaign in an area where the religious right is ready to pounce?
  • Are you a Log Cabin Republican who wishes to set the record straight on marriage equality?
  • Are you a socially liberal republican who is for marriage equality and other socially progressive policies, but don’t know how to convince others in your party of the “rightness” of your stance?
FIND THE WORDS.  SHOW THE LOGIC. TAP INTO EMOTIONS.

I can help you present your values and positions with confidence, in a way that will set social conservatives scrambling for a response.

I provide the “deep family values reframe” that George Lakoff, linguist and respected author of several books on moral values framing in politics, has deemed critical to the strength and success of the progressive cause. http://www.michelledeen.com/big-idea/politics/

With this reframe, progressive values related to family, morality and democracy are dug out from under the muck of right wing rhetoric, and are shown to be in direct alignment with not only American principles, but also with principles of healthy family life and moral structures underlying a strong, civil, democratic society. The story of progressive values from this grounded and encompassing framework allows “values voters,” to resonate with the progressive vision on the deepest level possible–the level of personal meaning.

Some claim that the culture war is over. But, don’t be fooled. Right wing “family values advocates” will still be going at it with a vengeance–hot and heavy, ardently righteous about any and all issues they consider a threat to their biblical beliefs.

While support for their ideology is waning, it’s not the time to “wing it” on the family values front. It’s time to step into it from a strong position of authority and leadership, with a clear family values reframe based on coherent principles of healthy family life, and an articulated vision of what it means to be a moral society.

I can place you solidly on the offensive end of this never ending culture war, sending right wing rhetoric spinning off it’s well-oiled, exorbitantly funded, yet weakly founded axis.Their flawed “family values” positioning has finally been comprehensively deconstructed and countered with a bold and solid message.

It’s time to own the “family values” debate that has been poached from the progressive cause for far too long. It’s my pleasure to share my insights while helping you articulate your vision for a better America.

Please contact me to discuss consultation services tailored to your specific needs.

Marriage Activism

“…the so-called National Organization for Marriage is promising to ‘take back marriage in America’ with bruising fights across the country. That means an uphill battle looms large in the 34 remaining states where loving couples just want to legally say, ‘I do.'” –HRC, November 25, 2013

Gay ActivismSince this statement was declared, one year ago from this writing, progress has been made at a mind-boggling pace. The thirty-four remaining states has turned into approximately half that number. It appears a tipping-point has been reached–it’s just a matter of time before this wave of progress reaches the shore of every state in our union. Legal rights will be won.

Yet, there will continue to be backlash and attempts to discredit same-sex marriage. The National Organization for Marriage isn’t kidding when they threaten “bruising fights.” They and their ilk will continue with their strategy– the manipulation of public perception as they crusade for their revered, yet infinitely flawed ideology dubbed “traditional family values.”

Rather than focusing on facts-based research that supports marriage equality, the anti-equality movement turns a blind eye, and continues to propagandize:

Societal devastation is their story. Their ability to  induce fear and create resistance is extraordinary. But worry not. Our ability to deconstruct their absurdity and support marriage equality, will now be legendary.

A taste of the nonsense so-called “defenders of marriage” proclaim…
  • “Homosexual activists aim to destroy the family.”
  • “If we change the definition of marriage, this country will go down.”
  • “Marriage is under attack by homosexual activists.”
  • “Same-sex parenting is a crime against humanity.” “It is abuse.”

Yes, this is what the so-called “pro-family, pro-marriage” camp is actually declaring. While it’s outlandish to make such statements, it achieves the desired effect–promoting fear to lure people into disapproving of same-sex marriages.

Even with the Supreme Court ruling in favor of making same-sex marriage a legal right, there’s still a long way to go in terms of changing conventional attitudes and beliefs.

Beyond legal rights, the marriage equality movement needs real acceptance. Of the law. Of the lifestyle. Of the families created.

With a significant segment of the population carrying disapproval and prejudice (out of fear and ignorance), same-sex family life will continue to be challenging on a social and personal level, for parents and children alike.

This is where I come in….

Most who disapprove of same-sex marriage (apart from religious fundamentalists and the homophobic,) do so because of an idealized notion of  “traditional family values,”  without which, the belief goes, same-sex families are at a severe disadvantage at best, and are an anathema at worst.

As an expert in the field of family studies, I use principles of human development and family relations to dispel the myths claiming “traditional family values” as the ideal, and describe what it really takes to create happy homes, healthy souls and well-adjusted children. I do this while countering fear-inciting rhetoric promoted by the right wing. I mix these principles with emotionally engaging discussions of family life–its purpose, its meaning, its failures and successes–so the point arrives home, literally and figuratively. http://www.michelledeen.com/big-idea/marriage-equality/

It’s time the real experts in my field stand up to the self-ordained “experts” on matters of family life, whose mission is to foist their ideology upon the less aware, while spreading fear-based talking points in media outlets everywhere.

I look forward to the opportunity to go head to head on the issue of marriage equality, an issue that needs the heart of the matter brought back to center stage. It’s time for bona fide research and clear articulation of why same-sex families are truly equal, to douse the flames of brazen bigotry and harmful ignorance.

Please contact me to discuss consultation services tailored to meet your needs.

Family ConsultationFamily, Marriage and Parenting Consultations

Thank you for your interest in private family relations consultations. You can contact me here to inquire about being added to my waiting list.