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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 ]

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

Language!

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..

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