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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

March 2015

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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

Understanding Fairy Tales and Political Rhetoric—Not Intended to be a Factual Statement

Steven George & The Dragon is filled with 17 “once-upon-a-time” stories exchanged between Steven and the people he meets on the Endless Road. Each story leads him closer to understanding the nature of his quest. At one point (I’m not saying where) Steven finishes his story and the listener responds by saying “You lie!” Shocked, Steven retorts “I wasn’t lying. I was telling a story.”

How little did I realize that I was foreshadowing a congressional faux pas. When Sen. Jon Kyl (R AZ) made his statement that 90% of Planned Parenthood’s business is abortions, a staffer helpfully qualified the statement as “Not intended to be a factual statement.” In other words, it was intended to be a lie. But, perhaps he was just telling a story. Unfortunately he forgot to start with “Once upon a time…”

Suddenly I understand politics and government! It’s not intended to be factual. They just forgot how to tell a story. Imagine how much better it would have been if we had heard, “Once upon a time, there was an evil Arab warlord who stockpiled weapons of mass destruction to be used against the kind and peaceful people of the West.” How about “Once upon a time, there was a clever foreigner who deceived 175 million people to become their leader.” Or, “Once upon a time, there was a poor, misunderstood CEO who fought for tax breaks and government subsidies for himself so that he could help the poor by creating more jobs and paying more people.”

Little did I know that in writing Steven George & The Dragon I was following a time-honored tradition of American politics. And finally I understand the true source of Grim(m’s) Fairy Tales.

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