Analogies for the Win

By Noelle Smith

Think of that time you didn’t understand a concept someone was explaining to you. It just didn’t make sense. Then, they used an analogy and…”Ah-ha!” So clear, so simple.

Analogies are incredibly effective ways to communicate an idea. Politicians obviously have to be persuasive individuals, and one way they do that is to use analogies for clarity and comparison.

Norquist spoke to a group of 400 college students during one of The Washington Center’s academic sessions.

Grover Norquist was full of them.

A little background on the man: he is a highly influential conservative (some say libertarian) and the president of Americans for Tax Reform. Probably most famous for his “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” he created a brief pledge to never raise taxes that numerous Republican Congressman have signed since it’s conception in 1986.

1. “Republicans today who vote for tax increases are rat heads in the Coke bottle.”

Here, he’s conveying his view that Republicans who raise taxes are bad representatives of the Republican brand. For example, he said, if you know the Coke brand well, you like the drink, you know what you’re going to get when you pop the cap – then wouldn’t you feel betrayed if you found a rat’s head in it the next time you drank one?

2. “Tell the peasants anything to get power.”

Norquist was referring American politician’s general lack of follow through on campaign trail promises. Comparing constituents to peasants, he said many politicians will say or do anything to win re-election. However, once in Washington, they do as they please. Instead, Norquist argues if politicians sign a pledge like his “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” it will keep them accountable to their “peasants.”

3. “Let’s have some Piranha in the tank and some goldfish.”

It’s not reasonable, Norquist argues, to include tax increases in a solution to reducing the debt and deficit. He says it has to be about reducing spending.

Take a listen:

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