The American people are smart enough to do this on their own.
– John Boehner, Ohio Republican Representative, when asked on Meet The Press if there should be federal government regulation over the purchase of health insurance across state lines.
Part of our 2010 Faux Revolution is the expulsion of ridiculously unsubstantiated nonsense like using the American People whenever someone is trying to make, prove or back up a point. There is no real American People, and if there were such an animal there is no way they would be willing or able to agree en masse on everything stated daily by debaters, lawmakers, executives, pundits, etc. It is a fantasy, which is a nice way of saying it is a blatant lie, and it must stop. In fact, all mention of any kind of “people” in solidarity must cease, especially when pitching ideology. The good of a group is never considered when ideologies are being thrown around. It is only good for the ideologues espousing their creed for an explicit segment of society. The rest is a steaming pile of bullshit.
There is one exception; as is the rule in every scientific postulation: The American People adore free stuff or want a lot of stuff, but not pay a lot for it. This, of course, is not particular to the American People, but Human Nature in general. “Free” is the most popular word in any language, but since we are built as a nation on the concept of Free, it comes with the territory. This is why populism is so popular among the American People. Give us more cops! More parks! More malls! More roads to get to the malls! Bring the mail! Protect the kids! Kill the bad guys abroad! Keep the banks honest! Taxes? Fuck that!
Then there is the Oedipal angle of the American People. Who did this terrible thing to us? Oh, it’s us!
For instance, lately, the American People have come to their senses about institutions; suddenly they all suck. Government, Organized Religion, Banks, Military, almost all forms of systemic authority are under scrutiny. Ah, but who thought up these institutions? Who runs them? In most cases who chooses who runs them? And who supports their perpetuation? The American People do. Did I miss something? Are the Russians running our banking system? Who makes our laws and enacts them? Scandinavians or Americans? And are these people or pods of some kind?
Right now you’re shouting, “Hey, I didn’t vote for…” or “ I did not choose…”, but then aren’t you also a member of the American People?
I love when American People in a position to opine while speechifying broach the distinction between the American People living on Main Street and the American People running Wall Street; as if only one such group is defined as the American People, which is apparently at odds with the thinking of the American People.
Another queer aspect of the American People quotient is its inability as a group to determine what is acceptable for the individual as opposed to the whole, and most importantly how individual conscience deals with society at large.
Two prime examples of this would be Abortion Rights and the Environment.
Several polls annually state a majority of the American People is against abortion as an act, the act of yanking a live healthy human fetus from an otherwise healthy female host. Yet, if faced with an individual case, say, your daughter is raped by a retarded, herpes-ravaged dope fiend at a death metal concert, there is some leeway. Usually, in a bizarre twist many American People who do not want the government regulating their use of weaponry have no problem dictating the possession of actual living tissue inside fifty-one percent of the populace.
Oh, and although the American People are all for drilling for oil or wiping out forests to build Wal-Marts, it’s not so cut and dry if it is taking place across the street. In both cases we have a “We’re against it, but…” and a “We’re all for it, but…” issues continuously presented as one solution to please the American People.
Another excellent and more pressing illustration is the National Health Care issue. Like Social Security, Medicare, Education, and other mass government-run entitlements, there is at first an opposing yammer of “socialism” or “tyranny”. Then, after it is instituted, whether it works or not, it’s a Third Rail, an untouchable “right” of the American People. First the American People are against it, and then once they have it, the American People fight like rabid dogs to keep it. In most circles this would be called schizophrenic behavior, in more select ones, fucking hypocrisy.
Then there is the case of the American People not realizing who is among the counted, as in every possible Gay Rights issue known to us.
Right now there is a congressional hearing going on to determine if it is unlawful to deny members of the United States military, which is of course apprised of American People, their right to be openly gay.
This is spectacularly asinine in several fascinating ways, not the least of which being that whilst engaged in military service American People are no longer considered ”civilian,” and thus their normal everyday distinctions as woman or man, black or white, poor or privileged, etc, no longer apply. The idea of an army of one is an Army of One. This accounts for the similarity in haircuts and uniform, not to mention a singular code of decorum. The individual aspects of the American People are stripped from them, including determining the worth of a soldier by where he/she places his/her privates in any given act of coitus.
But that’s nothing compared to the outrage of debating the rights of an government employee’s individual rights while completely ignoring those of the American People who happen to also make up our homosexual citizenry. This is not only the proverbial “cart before the horse” as much as it is “the contents of the cart before the cart is even assembled.” Never mind the goddamned horse.
So, okay, we’re agreed? The American People do not want national health insurance just assuredly as the American People crave it. The American People include the entirety of the American People regardless of sexual or political preference. Therefore we conclude unequivocally to never dump the American People on the American People again.
James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of Deep Tank Jersey, Fear No Art, Trailing Jesus, and Midnight For Cinderella. His work is archived on jamescampion.com.