I’ve been paying attention to this fight over the debt ceiling to an extent. Not a huge one, not a small one: just “an extent.” I certainly have my view on the subject (i.e. make some cuts to entitlements, raise revenues on the top 5%), but that’s not what this particular post is about.
This is about the mythical “American People.”
I listen to NPR’s “On Point” program on a regular basis and, on more than one occasion, they’ve had politicians on talking about what “The American People” want. They apparently want a balanced budget. They want the government to act just like a family does. They want Big Business to pay their fair share. They want to be Pro-Life. They want to be Pro-Choice. They want to lower taxes.
Where are these people?
Frequently, when politicians talk about “The American People,” they’re talking about The Majority. They fail to mention that The Majority only represents 51% of the actual voting population of America: there’s another 49% that’s statistically just as big.
With regards to the debt ceiling, let me just go ahead and summarize what the actual American People want for those politicians that apparently don’t know:
- They want their social security to stay the same.
- They want their medicare/medicaid to stay the same.
- They don’t want more taxes.
- They don’t want wasteful government programs.
- They want roads, bridges, police, fire fighters, clean water and constant electricity.
- They want a job they like.
- They want to be paid more than they’re currently getting.
- They want to buy the stuff they want with the money they make from the job they have.
- They want their kids to go to good schools and get the education they want.
- They want to live the lives they want to without the government interfering (or their neighbor, for that matter).
There are probably more things I could list, but this is a good start. The American People just want things to continue going as they are, or to go better. They don’t want things to change, unless they will get better. “The American People” that most politicians seem to be talking about don’t actually exist, except in the polls they use to win their election.
I’m getting a little tired of “The American People.” I want The American People back.