Saturday, April 17, 2010

Just Folks

I'm always a little suspicious of politicians (or other robber barons, captains of  industry, titans, moguls) who blather on about how they are just regular ol' Americans. Despite all appearances to the contrary--let alone common sense--these larger than life and often charismatic figures continue to perpetuate the myth that they are just folks. These creatures will often speak with a certain put-on homespun folksiness to further ingratiate themselves with a portion of the populace who believes vehemently that individuals who have spent too much time book-learnin' are elitist and radical. 

For that segment of the public, their leaders should be someone they'd like to have a beer with; someone with whom they could enjoy a NASCAR race or discuss the good ol' days when women didn't get to vote (let alone work in high-level positions) and other folks knew their place. This crowd likes for things not to change--they'd like everything to just be like it was, or how they thought it was, at the very least.

The predatory just folks politicians have learned their talking points well and know just which hot-button words and ideologies to spew as a means of riling up their already idling mobs. Of course, the mobs don't make the critical thinking leap to the realization that their heroines (and heroes) travel to their little gatherings mostly by Lear Jet and are drinking bottled water with bendy-straws. There is no real consideration given to the fact that very few of these aw-shucks-gee-whizz types are what they seem; that they are, instead, engaging in a very old and very profitable bait-and-switch. 

Proving once again that nothing is really new under the sun, I came upon this wonderful tidbit as I was browsing old New Yorker issues today. The piece below is from the June 13, 1925 issue and was written by Ben Hecht. (If you click on it you can enlarge it for better reading.) It runs in the magazine, right next to a profile of William Jennings Bryan who would die only a few weeks later that year. It's a not too thinly veiled comment on Bryan that beautifully exposes the hypocrisy of the just folks breed of varmints.  

1 comment:

sid fernando said...

great stuff! the times, they are -a-still-the-same, ain't they?