Thoughts on Political Rhetoric: Can't We All Just Be Americans?
Ok, I admit that my blog posts sometimes devolve into a griping session where what I write is no so much intended to generate discussion, but instead meant to serve as a platform for me to pat myself on the back about how well I can complain about another meaningless subject. I'll try and do better. But before I change my whining ways, I have one more thing to complain about:"the American people..."
Today, in President Bush's press conference, he said the following: "After September the 11th, I vowed to the American people that our government would do everything within the law to protect them against another terrorist attack." This is not a new way to refer to constituents, politicians on both sides use it all the time: "The American People don't want this...." or "The American People clearly believe...." This may seem petty, but can't they just call us what we are: AMERICANS? I wonder if it is some false attempt at creating unity, or maybe this is just how politicians see us. Instead of the plural "americans", we are the singular "american people." Maybe it's easier when they can say that one organism thinks one way.
But still, why do politicians think they can speak FOR Americans (see how easy it is...)? Especially those who represent only a single state and/or district? I guess a lot depends on how you view the role of the elected (delegate v. representative, etc.), but shouldn't they be doing more listening to their "people" and less talking for them?