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Rhetorically speaking…
Speechwriters Blog on Speechwriting

Metaphorically speaking

The pre-briefing suggests that Brown will use his speech to  the Joint Houses of Congress to compare today’s economic struggles with the fight against Nazi-ism in the 1940s.

War metaphors are handy devices for embattled leaders. They rally audiences, invoke evocative memories and reduce critics to traitors.

This is not the first time Congress has witnessed a politician use this strategy.

In 1964, Lyndon B Johnson declared a “war on poverty”. In 1971, Richard Nixon declared a “war on drugs”. In 1974, Gerald Ford declared a “war on inflation”. Nixon’s hyperbole was staggering. He said inflation threatened to “destroy our country, our homes, our liberties, our property and our national pride, as surely as any well armed wartime enemy.

Of course, it’s not just an American thing. Here we have had our wars against illiteracy, waste and crime. In fact, the only Department which doesn’t like to declare war is the MoD.

Posted by Simon Lancaster on March 5th, 2009 :: Filed under Politics
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One Response to “Metaphorically speaking”

  1. 3subsequently
    January 12th, 2022


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