As I listened to the President’s State of the Union speech in the car last night, I found myself getting repeatedly stuck on words and phrases, followed closely by, “Did he really just say that?”
My favorite example: “Hitlerism” (emphasis mine).
- “Throughout the 20th century, small groups of men seized control of great nations, built armies and arsenals, and set out to dominate the weak and intimidate the world. In each case, their ambitions of cruelty and murder had no limit. In each case, the ambitions of Hitlerism, militarism, and communism were defeated by the will of free peoples, by the strength of great alliances, and by the might of the United States of America.”
Ordinarily, I’d chalk this up to Bush’s typical manhandling of the English language, but this was the State of the Union, and it was clear that he was reading it word-for-word. But I had never heard of “Hitlerism” before. Rather than use a word like “fascism” that presumably many Americans wouldn’t understand, Bush (Bush’s speechwriters, at least) used a word that more people would comprehend.
Also, am I the only one who thinks the first sentence pretty much sums up the Bush administration?