Tuesday, November 11, 2008

American Rhetoric - Coming Together or Pulling Together?

The expression “coming together” has made its way into American rhetoric like no other in the history of our planet. It is more popular among politicians, being incorporated into political speeches like the Mata Hari-ism that it is, than any other group. Some examples include:

“… It is also a coming together, much the way women come together every day in every country.” Hillary Rodham Clinton, Beijing, 1995.

“…these African police have come together on a project of importance, a project that seeks to deal with criminality in our region.” INTERPOL President Jackie Selebi, Arusha, Tanzania, July 11, 2007.

“…the assumption that the wealthy care nothing for the poor and that the poor don't vote, the assumption that African-Americans can't support the white candidate, whites can't support the African-American candidate, blacks and Latinos cannot come together.” President-elect Barack Obama, SC, February 2008.

“… the only reason we stand here tonight is because men and women from both of our nations came together to work, and struggle, and sacrifice for that better life.” John McCain, Berlin, July 24, 2008

We must come together to save the planet” President-elect Barack Obama, Berlin, July 25, 2008.

"Later this week, Barack Obama and John McCain will come together to debate a president’s most important responsibility: how to keep Americans safe and America secure.” Joseph R. Biden, September 24, 2008.

I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises…” John McCain, Concession speech, November 4, 2008.

What’s up with this “coming together” business anyway, can’t you just visualize a whole auditorium of people practicing Kegel exercises, saying "YES!"?

I suppose that the expression “pulling together” could catch on a zipper and get even worse, but coming together is becoming an annoying habit and an irritating art of persuasion, don’t you think?

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