I’m getting tired of hearing the expression “The American people…” used over and over again recently by our political leaders at news conferences, speeches, etc. To me the meaning of “The American people” is something all Americans want or agree on. The word “The..” implies that it is specifically any and all Americans. In many instances only some fraction of Americans likely agree with whatever statement is being made by the President, Speaker of the House, or any other politician especially regarding the resent government shutdown, debt ceiling limit, and Obamacare.
It has become very offensive to me when I hear a political figure making a statement I happen to disagree with say “The American people…”. Most certainly I consider myself an American person and I don’t agree with what is being said so this expression does not reflect my belief. I think others might agree with me that this expression often misrepresents the American people as a whole. Had the expression been “Some American people…” or even “American people…” it would have been more accurate as it did not imply all Americans.
The reason it is used so often is that the speaker is trying to give the impression that he or she has consensus from the general public. This is highly deceptive but unfortunately is becoming a very common practice among politicians to make the audience believe that the vast majority of Americans agree with the statements being made than actually do. This may or may not be the fact but it is a way our political leaders hope that there will be some who will agree with their point of view because a consensus has been implied.
Frankly I am getting tired of being told by our political leaders what I should believe. I believe myself to be an intelligent American citizen who simply wants the truth so that I can make an intelligent informed decision on my own where I stand on an issue. I wish all our political leaders, whether President, Speaker of the House, Democrat, or Republican, stop using this term unless it is used factually to represent all Americans or the vast majority of Americans.
Political deception is all to common in our government and politics. It’s even more sophisticated than deceptive commercial advertising. Political consultants are hired by politicians to spin deception to sound like the truth so that poor citizen or voter really doesn’t have the proper facts to make an informed decision. They call these political consultants “Spin Doctors” because they expert at doctoring up things to sound like something else. Things are worst during political campaigns but can sometimes be almost as bad and deceptive in such matters as Obamacare, the shutdown, the debt ceiling, and other issues.
I wish political leaders would use such phrases as “I feel that the American people…” or “I am convinced the American people…” and take responsibility for their statements instead of “The American people…” as if the political leader is doing what the American people want. That’s the problem with politics today. Political leaders are passing and manipulating laws to suit their personal political agendas and making it sound as if that is what all Americans want or need. The word ‘Politician’ is a dirty word for good reason. Most are self serving and want ‘the American people‘ to march to their tune.
So please President Obama and Speaker Boehner and any other political leaders who are making statements to the public, please stop using the phrase “The American people…” unless it’s true. It turns me off. Take ownership of your statements and actions. Stop implying that you are doing what I or any American wants or needs.