“…And God Bless the United States of America”


I agree with James Fallows sentiment regarding politicians and closing speeches with the overused phrase “And God Bless the United States of America” (AGBTUSOA). Fallows correctly diagnoses this as a lazy applause cue that has taken the place of an effective “composed thought” that can add a summarizing punch to public addresses.

I hate, hate, hate the lazy modern presidential habit of ending all major addresses with the phrase “And God bless the United States of America” or simply “God bless America.”

I love the Irving Berlin song. I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment. But a little chunk is hacked away from the national brain each time a president gets out of a speech not with a thought or original phrase but with this mindless pablum. This has become the political equivalent of “Have a nice day!”

via Sorry to hear Obama talking this way – Science and Tech – The Atlantic.

I am pretty sure he increased usage of AGBTUSOA as the campaign went on to the point where most speeches he closes this way. Of course there are many welcome exceptions.

By all reports President Obama is not ambiavalent about his oratory, so I would tend to believe the increased usage of AGBTUSOA is intentional. Part of me suspects that this is an attempt at a defensive dog whistle for anyone to the left of a Tea Partier, Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin. He says this after his speeches so that anyone who is capable of rational thought doesn’t think that he is a Kenyan born, Muslin’, socialist, terrorist-pal, Nazi, commie, Rahm-pawn, black militant.