Dropping the “g” in words that end in “-ing” is often associated with being “folksy,” “common,” a “regular joe,” so to speak. Often you’ll hear politicians drop the “g” when speaking to crowds in what has been dubbed “real America” (which is really just a bastardization of “rural America” and no more or less “real” than any other part of the nation). Sarah Palin, perhaps, is one of the most notorious G-droppers, but Obama does this, too. I get the political benefits of G-dropping, but that doesn’t make it any better in principle. Let’s face it: people on TV dropping the “g” are all pretty well educated–some excellently so–and you’re not fooling anybody with half a cerebellum. You aren’t folksy. Drop the act. Quit your pandering.
Unfortunately, this G-dropping isn’t solely the domain of politicians anymore. I see this on the local news all the time. On the national news. On cable news. Everybody wants to sound like Joe Schmo because they think it will earn them viewers or support. And shame on us if it does; seriously, shame on us for facilitating the rapid spread of stupid or anti-education. You would think that defunding public schools and sitting our kids in front of crap TV and video games for ten hours a day would have been enough, but no. We need to make already intelligent people sound, look, and eventually act dumb, too. People are now publicly shamed as “elitists” if you choose to sound like a cognizant being aware of something other than the 24 hour bombardment of bullshit from all corners of the earth. Rationality has been denigrated in favor of violent, hyperemotional, non-sensical response, because that’s what we learn when we watch people arguing with each other on every channel. Whether it’s CNN or the Real Housewives of Bumblefuck, everybody is screaming at the top of their lungs at everyone else. We have never been good at listening; usually we just wait until the other person shuts up so we can seem polite when we begin to babble incessantly about our own concerns, but that feigned politeness has even dropped to the wayside. Now we’ve all just said “fuck it!” and are screaming over the top of everybody else. The loudest, most violent, most obnoxious people, and only they, are or can be heard.
I pose this as the bigger question in relation to the American political landscape: who actually wants to vote for somebody who sounds like the guy who lives next door and spends ten hours a week guzzling Budweiser while mowing his lawn with his tricked out John Deere? Do I trust that this person can manage economic, social, and international political concerns effectively? Can we, as a nation, agree that sounding and acting dumb/uninformed/folksy is not as valuable as sounding (and being) smart, confident, and educated? I’m so tired of stupid being cool. Stupid isn’t cool. Stupid is stupid.