Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ein Völker


We got a lot of folks from different backgrounds and different states, all of whom were talking about the effects of the pro-growth economic package that was passed by the Congress and how that package is causing them to make capital investments that they might not have made in the year 2008.


And I just want the folks to know what I told the Taoiseach is true, that the United States will continue to stay engaged and will be very supportive of helping the process move forward.


I also congratulate the Prime Minister on having a 16 percent flat tax. I'm a little envious. I would like to have been able to achieve the same objective for our tax code, and it was a smart thing to get done, because I think those kinds of policies will enable the Romanian folks to have a bright future.

or even:

Why don't I start out with Israel, because it's freshest and most recent. I think I had good sessions all the way around. A lot of the folks I've known a long time. I've known Ehud Olmert since he was mayor of Jerusalem. We used to attend together the Jerry Ford conference in Beaver Creek, Colorado, under AEI auspices every June.

If you go over to the White House website, you can find nearly 2000 references by the President or some other administration official referring to "folks."

Now, consider this:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all folks are created equal . . .


We the folks of the United States . . .


. . . that government of the folks, by the folks, and for the folks shall not perish . . .

It's kind of chilling, isn't it?

This is not just a matter of the incapacity of the folks in the current administration to employ a little more soaring rhetoric. Rather, it is as Susan Jacoby suggests in her new book, The Age of American Unreason, a diminutive for referring to people, or citizens. Folks aren't expected to think hard thoughts the way citizens are.

Folks implies an Orwellian animal clubiness, a rathskeller assemblage of smiling rustics, or the rallying around the security of the homeland, or is it the Fatherland? It is part of the anti-intellectual forces that have roamed the land for most of Spot's adult life.

It is part of the same crap that permits Hillary Clinton and John McCain, both raised in privilege, to call Barack Obama, raised by a single mother and grandparents, elitist.

When George Bush, or Dick Cheney, or any of the other administration flacks call you folks, people, it is not because they're your chums and they want to have a beer with you. No, it's because they want you to turn your civil liberties and your responsibilities as a thinking citizen over to them.

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