Politics in America / Semantics

“…’folks’ serves as a softener of rhetorical edges. It suggests a mode of kinship and self-conscious informality that politicians increasingly default to, perhaps as an overcorrective to the inflated wealth of those same politicians”

…“folks” serves as a softener of rhetorical edges. It suggests a mode of kinship and self-conscious informality that politicians increasingly default to, perhaps as an overcorrective to the inflated wealth of those same politicians. The last thing a politician wants to be seen as is an “elite,” someone “out of touch” with the tastes and routines of the voters they need to consider him or her to be “one of us.” As codependents in this pantomime game, the media reinforce the playacting impulse….

Mark Leibovich, “Ordinary People”, The New York Times Magazine (21 June 2015), 14.