September 27, 2013

Maybe he knows? (Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

If polls reveal anything, it is that the American People are not to be trusted.

The American People’s confidence in the American People is at an all-time low, according to Gallup. The American People used to believe that the American People had valuable skills, gifts and talents, and that their success would be assured once they got out into the world and placed two or three phone calls. But that just shows what idiots the American People were. Now the American People know better, and they have given up all confidence in themselves to handle, well, anything.

But this has been building for some time, if you’ve been following what the American People have had to say lately.

They say one thing to one politician, another thing to another politician, and yet a third thing to those phone pollsters who demand their opinions of the issues. The only thing the American People seem completely sure of anymore is that they disapprove of politicians and that they do not trust themselves to make any decisions.

This is probably wise.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) noted that “the American people have made it abundantly clear that they do not want Obamacare.”

Meanwhile, the American people were telling pollsters across the country that they might not love Obamacare, but that they weren’t in favor of defunding it.

“The American People don’t want a shutdown,” Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) commented. “But you know what? The American People are ready for a fight.”

Tom Delay heard something different from the American People, though. “Every shutdown — and there’s been many shutdowns — frankly, the American people never miss the government,” he said on CNN.

The American People’s conflicted feelings are notorious. Rep. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) claimed to have unified “the American people” against the Affordable Care Act and urged Congress to listen to the American People! Meanwhile, behind Cruz’s back, the American People talked to pollsters and expressed, at best, tepid support for Obamacare and at worst very, very, very tepid support for Obama that did not translate to full-throated support for defunding it. The American People need to get their story straight.

President Obama told Congress to “focus on the everyday concerns of the American People.” Good luck with that, Mr. President! Who knows what this mysterious gang of no-good-niks wants or is up to. Their priorities baffle me. Their only hobby seems to be talking to politicians and telling them what they want and deserve, and politicians are the only people less popular than they are. First the American People wanted war. Then the American People wanted peace. Their only constant is that, whatever they say they want now, they will abominate four years from now.

The American People are nearly as annoying as Posterity and Our Grandchildren (alias Our Children’s Children), both of whom, given what they tell people who give speeches, are needy, whiny sorts who constantly demand expensive athletic facilities, libraries and more recycling bins everywhere.

I wouldn’t trust them, either.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day.