September 04, 2007
America is gone?
At least, that's the only logical interpretation I have to give this characterization of what the country will be if Hillary Clinton is elected president:
Yesterday, before hundreds of union members and their families at a Labor Day picnic in Sioux City, Iowa, Mrs. Clinton suggested one role for her husband should she be elected: repairing the country's reputation in the world after what the Clintons and other critics charge is the damage done during the Bush years.Clearly, she's trying to appeal to the people who want to erase the traumatic memory of 9/11 (and somehow hoping that the first 9/11 attack will be forgotten, along with Khobar Towers, Kenya, Tanzania, and the U.S.S. Cole). I've criticized the TV remote mentality before, but I'm concerned right now with the idea that electing Hillary would bring America "back." I see three premises within the statement:
1. America is not here now;Isn't she confusing her identity with that of the country? Isn't that called megalomania?
Maybe, but maybe not. By Hillary's reasoning, there are two Clintons who are synonymous what was once called "America," and I think megalomania is usually supposed to involve one person at a time.
I mean, I've heard of codependency, but I've never heard of a thing called "comegalomania." (There's no such word.)
I don't think she means "One people, one America, one Hillary" and "One people, one America, one Clintons" just doesn't sound linguistically or grammatically correct. And "One people, one America, two Clintons" sounds even more awkward. Divisive, even.
I don't think it's a good thing when politicians confuse or conflate their own identities with the identity of the country. It must be an awful temptation, though, because the president of the United States is in fact the single most powerful person in the world. I'd prefer voting for someone a little more modest and self-effacing than someone who not only believes that his or her (in this case his and her) ego is synonymous with America, but says so.
Some things are best kept in the closet.
UPDATE: Thank you, Glenn Reynolds, for the link, -- especially for the helpful observation that this might just be bad speechwriting. I certainly hope so.
Your opinions are welcome!
UPDATE: My thanks to Dr. Sanity for diagnosing the "comegalomania" problem:
I think the term you are searching for is "folie a deux.Excellent!
posted by Eric on 09.04.07 at 10:59 AM
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