CENTRAL NARRATIVE. It’s the basic divide between the two Clintons as Thomas Friedman pointed out yesterday.
BEING DECLARATIVE ABOUT THE NARRATIVE
Here’s something that currently distinguishes Bill from Hillary Clinton.
“Nothing in Bill Clinton’s Administration made sense except in the light of his overall take on the world.”
“Nothing in Hillary Clinton’s campaign makes much sense (so far) because of her lack of an overall take on the world.”
These are two extrapolations from what Thomas Friedman had to say yesterday on NBC’s Meet the Press. The first uses my “Dobzhansky Template” which I will be formally presenting in my new book in September (“Nothing in _____ makes sense, except in the light of _____ .”). The second is a variation on the first sentence.
Here’s what Friedman had to say about Bill Clinton yesterday on Meet the Press:
THOMAS FRIEDMAN: I’ve only covered one campaign, it was Bill Clinton’s, and I knew why he was running. From the beginning, he was a conservative Democrat, he had a take on the world and everything was connected to that.
That’s the Dobzhansky idea — that there was one central narrative and “everything was connected to that.”
Now here’s what he had so say about Hillary:
THOMAS FRIEDMAN: I think what hobbled Hillary last time, is what I see hobbling her again, which is — why — what is your take on the world — what do you really believe — and how is this connected to that — and until she fills that void everything — money and everything else is going to jump into there.”
Bottom line: Hillary is lacking a central narrative so far. Which is not good in politics.
MCKEE, ARCHPLOT AND MINIPLOT
Here’s a little more sneak preview of my upcoming book. A major part of it is reaching into the narrative structure developed within Hollywood for tools and templates that can be of use in science. One of the most powerful is Robert McKee’s narrative triangle. At the top of his triangle he places “archplot.”In his 1997 book, “Story,” he rather passionately defines it as the classical form of narrative over the ages. Here’s what he says about it:
“These principles are ‘classical’ in the truest sense: timeless and transcultural, fundamental to every earthly society, civilized and primitive, reaching back through millenia of oral storytelling into the shadows of time. When the epic Gilgamesh was carved in cuneiform on twelve clay tablets 4,000 years ago, converting story to the written word for the first time, the principles of classical design were already fully and beautifully in place.”
This is part of what I’m trying to say — everyone needs to understand the power, importance and shape of archplot. Bill Clinton does. Hillary doesn’t.