Remember the dismal days of the George W. Bush presidency, when linguist George Lakoff’s excellent Don’t Think of an Elephant! explained why correct word choice is so politically important? Ian Haney López’s new Dog Whistle Politics focuses that idea on a very contemporary political landscape, specifically addressing how Republicans use code words—“welfare queens,” “thugs”—to incite and exploit racial and class unrest for their own political gain. Republicans have been winning at the word game for decades now, and linguistic geniuses like Lakoff and López help provide the ability to recognize this problem—and the vocabulary to fight back. (Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave,, 7:30 pm, $5)