Sunday, February 14, 2010
“The American People”
by Michael Clark
A phrase that conjures images of freedom, patriotism, and a mixture of cultures. It’s also a broad-sweeping generalization used by media and politicians to artificially inflate the consensus of agreement for their ideas. In the same way a prom-bound, teenage girl uses a Bump-It to give her hair that fuller look, far too many pundits are propping up their arguments with “The American People”. We should not be fooled by any of this fluff, no matter how trustworthy we believe the source to be.
This erroneous inflating often occurs in the highest office. In a December 23, 2009, interview with Jim Lehrer, President Obama said, “I think the American people want to see government solve problems, not just engage in the gamesmanship that has become so customary in Washington.” The problem here is that Americans do not think as a whole. Even if the President thinks he knows what the American people want, he is operating from a false premise.
Not even polling mogul Scott Rasmussen can effectively calculate what the American people want, or need, or think, or like. This is why God invented demographics, or as the Left refers to it, “profiling”. TV and radio folks know what demographics are; their sales are largely based on them. But, for the benefit of their own egos, or lack of better debate skills, most personalities on TV, and radio, cannot avoid conjuring this imaginary support. They want you to believe we all think the same way, except for a few “radicals” who want to overthrow the republic.
There are, of course, many things that are generally true about the American people. For example, we all cherish our freedom. If we really care about what is happening in our country, we should listen actively, and in such a way that we notice when generalizations are made which could skew our perception. Then, we can judge the soundness of an argument with the facts, and without the cuddly, I’m-on-your-side feelings emoted by a speaker. Despite the insistence of her sycophants, Nancy Pelosi does not speak for the whole country when she says, “The American people need another stimulus package.” And the prom queen is not a Conehead, no matter what the shape of her hair may tell you.