zenpundit.com » Blog Archive » The small matter of a semi-permeable metaphor

The small matter of a semi-permeable metaphor

[ by Charles Cameron — a metaphor is not a simile, a solid object is not a metaphor, a promise is not a solid object ]


Senator Lindsey Graham thought of the wall as a code-word back in April 2017 according to Tina Nguyen‘s Hive report titled IT SURE SEEMS LIKE TRUMP JUST GAVE UP ON HIS BORDER WALL:

There will never be a 2,200-mile wall built, period,” he said. “I think it’s become symbolic of better border security. It’s a code word for better border security. If you make it about actually building a 2,200-mile wall, that’s a bridge too far — but I’m mixing my metaphors.


And then there was the wall as metaphor, also in 2017, and not from Senator Graham — as Lisa Mascaro reported in the Los Angeles Times, in Trump wants a border wall, but few in Congress want to pay for it that same April:

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, has called the wall a “metaphor” for border security – saying it’s one tool, among many, to protect the nearly 2,000-mile frontier.


Comes now Senator Graham, late to the party:

The wall has become a metaphor for border security. What we’re talking about is a physical barrier where it makes sense. There’s nothing wrong with a physical barrier along the border where it makes sense.


Pelosi opines “The wall has become a metaphor for border security” and Colbert deadpans “So the wall is a metaphor for his manhood? No wonder he’s having trouble erecting it.” Alexander Hernandez, Esq. ponders “I wonder if we can pay for the wall with cash metaphors?”

And Rolling Stone:

It’s all a power game to the president, and in that sense the border wall is, like Graham admitted on Sunday, nothing more than a metaphor, one that Trump wants Americans — not Mexico, as he promised — to pay tens of billions of dollars to conjure into existence.

Pelosi again:

He says, ‘we’re going to build a wall with cement and Mexico’s going to pay for it’ while he’s already backed off of the cement – now he’s down to, I think, a beaded curtain or something.

And Kelly:

“The president still says ‘wall’ — oftentimes frankly he’ll say ‘barrier’ or ‘fencing,’ now he’s tended toward steel slats. But we left a solid concrete wall early on in the administration, when we asked people what they needed and where they needed it.”


This metaphor thing is getting out of control. Has been, in fact, since April 2017, still just last year as I write this, with less than a dozen hours to go.


Happy new year!

One Response to “The small matter of a semi-permeable metaphor”

  1. Charles Cameron Says:

    I’ve tried to make this post conceptually complete, adding a couple of quotes I’d missed at first..

Switch to our mobile site