“A metaphor is like a simile.” ~Author Unknown. I write historical, inspirational and thriller novels, containing a simile here and there, but mostly substance. Readers want plausible meat with their fantasy. So I write — making fiction believable; plots, intrigue, character development, strong beginnings and powerful endings happen–sometimes easy to accomplish in a “make believe world.”
As I flipped between the NFL game and BILL CLINTON’s pep talk at the DNC last night, I was really flipping between substance and style, between strategy and aimlessness. Between a good game and talking a good game.
A few arm chair observations from top to bottom of what Clinton rightly referred to as an “alternate universe” the Republicans live in compared to his. (Full Clinton speech text here)
1. Obama’s half brother? — “I want to nominate a man whose own life has known its fair share of adversity and uncertainty.”
2. Nero complex? — “I want to nominate a man who’s cool on the outside… but who burns for America on the inside.” Correction Note: “…who watches while America burns from inside a golf cart.”
3. Subliminal Romney Reference? — “I want a man who believes with no doubt that we can build a new American dream economy, driven by innovation and creativity, by education and, yes, by cooperation.”
4. So Presidents Take Credit for Job Growth? — “So who’s right? Well, since 1961, for 52 years now, the Republicans have held the White House 28 years, the Democrats 24. In those 52 years, our private economy has produced 66 million private- sector jobs. So what’s the job score? Republicans: twenty-four million. Democrats: forty-two.
It appears Clinton has his numbers correct according to PolitiFact.com:
Richard Nixon: Increase of 7.1 million jobs
Gerald Ford: Increase of 1.3 million jobs
Ronald Reagan: Increase of 14.7 million jobs
George H.W. Bush: Increase of 1.5 million jobs
George W. Bush: Decline of 646,000 jobs
Total: Increase of 23.9 million jobs under Republican presidents
John F. Kennedy: Increase of 2.7 million jobs
Lyndon B. Johnson: Increase of 9.5 million jobs
Jimmy Carter: Increase of 9.0 million jobs
Bill Clinton: Increase of 20.8 million jobs
Barack Obama: Increase of 332,000 jobs
Total: Increase of 42.3 million jobs.
NOTE: No GOP Congress governed as a majority until 1994 during Clinton years and then again for 6 of G W Bush years. Notice Reagan numbers — achieved during a Congressional Democrat Party majority of 8 years. Most Americans believe Presidents create jobs. Businesses do — as they determine the viablility of doing business in government friendly environments.
5. THEN: “We know that investments in education and infrastructure and scientific and technological research increase growth. They increase good jobs, and they create new wealth for all the rest of us.”
THEN “Free Market vs Keynesian”: Score Bush 2 to Obama 1 job growth. Two “poor” performances. GOP or DEMOCRAT STIMULUS & BAILOUT = Keynesian economics. REAL SIMILES…
HONESTY: Bush admitted “violating” free market principles resulting in an economy skidding into a recession. Dems blame Bush economics for 4 years while Obama is using exact same Keynesian ideals of stimulus and bailouts, as his only solution… Hummmm.
6. TRUTH: Conservative Romney free market disguised as a Democratic value? — “There’s a reason for this. It turns out that advancing equal opportunity and economic empowerment is both morally right and good economics. Why? Because poverty, discrimination, and ignorance restrict growth.
7. REAL MEANING: Failed entitlements, crony capitalism, and stimulus waste revealed in “simile” over substance: “We know that investments in education and infrastructure and scientific and technological research increase growth. They increase good jobs, and they create new wealth for all the rest of us.
Note: Clinton referring to free market or government investment? Again look at the Bush vs Obama scorecard above for a reality check.
8. WHAT WORKS? — “What works in the real world is cooperation, business and government, foundations and universities. Ask the mayors who are here.” (APPLAUSE) “Los Angeles is getting green and Chicago is getting an infrastructure bank because Republicans and Democrats are working together to get it.”
READER ALERT: Really? LA going green has solved the violence, poverty and city debt crisis? Chicago is getting a new “shovel ready” Federal guaranteed “piggy bank” to raid from while murder rates soar on weekends over any given month of combat in Afghanistan? Does he think Democrats listening are stupid or just NFL game couch potatoes who know the difference between a simile and metaphor?
9: TRIED TO WORK WITH GOP? — “We all know that he also tried to work with congressional Republicans on health care, debt reduction, and new jobs. And that didn’t work out so well.”
For 2 1/2 years the Democrats controlled both Legislative and Executive branches of government but persist in the absolute lie that the GOP was obstructionist. The Dems still hold the Executive Branch and the Senate and are doing fine with the Supreme Court. Let’s finish the break down of the fantasy Clinton presented, going beyond similes and metaphors:
10: YOU WILL FEEL IT: “Now — but he has — he has laid the foundations for a new, modern, successful economy of shared prosperity. And if you will renew the president’s contract, you will feel it. You will feel it.”
MEANING… “I believe in make-believe because it creates an electable candidate. These metaphors are like similes, except for this. If we continue down this Keynesian, socialist road, you will ‘feel it.'” Chuckle under his breath.
11: CLINTON’S BELIEF: “Folks, whether the American people believe what I just said or not may be the whole election. I just want you to know that I believe it. With all my heart, I believe it.”
Switching back from NFL I look for substance over simile, a good game over talking one. Clinton is raising his arms in a moment of past glory as he bathes in the warmth of adoring fans. I hear his words under oath during his impeachment trial in 1998. He chuckles to his DNC constiuency in silence as he embraces Obama and waves: “...but that depends upon what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is…“
James Michael Pratt is a NY Times bestselling author and owner/editor of Jerusalem Reports. More about him may be found at his website www.jmpratt.com.