"The Bear"

Ronald Reagan, 1984

Remarkably forceful while remaining almost entirely metaphorical, this is another great piece on the partisan difference in foreign affairs. Developed by the re-election campaign of Republican Ronald Reagan as an attack on Democrat Walter Mondale, the piece draws party lines during the late Cold War, this time much to the advantage of the national Republican Party. Unlike the “Daisy Girl”, whose explicit message will be interpretable by viewers long after the fact, “The Bear” may ultimately lose meaning for post-Cold War generations as its metaphor—the identity of ‘the bear’ and its obvious existence—loses immediacy. Yet as evidence that metaphorical argument can be every bit as powerful and widely understood as explicit cut-and-thrust, it remains peerless.

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the bear