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Mr. President, please stop referring to citizens as "ordinary folks". Makes it sound like government is above us.
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Ken Fromchicago's profile photoMike Elgan's profile photoIshmael Finn's profile photoMike Spinak's profile photo
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LOL are you kidding me ???? ... government is like really important and shit I went to skool and what not so really I know what I am talking about
 
All governments think they are "above" the people. Just look at references to the "common man", etc., in so many countries. 
 
I always think of parents as 'folks'.  "So, how are your folks doing?  Oh, they're OK."  
 
Words provide an indication of people's mindset. It's the little things that we let go and then end up wondering why we're treated like idiots by our "rulers". 
 
Conspiracy theorist = republican = racist
 
When you have the thinnest resume in the history of the office combined with the biggest ego, bringing everyone else down to elevate yourself is SOP.
 
Worse than that, it sounds to me like "ordinary folks" is a euphemism for what he would really call non-extraordinary folks like himself. 
 
It is a simple question +Mike Elgan how would you liked to be called? And I am not a US citizen btw just wondering where you are
 
"Folksy" politicians is not a new thing.  It's a populist thing.  Implicit is that the President cares about the common people, but the intransigent Republicans care only about the rich and business.
 
Did not explain that right M I like to be called just a citizen no butts and so on just that 
 
+Sander Takens In this case he's talking about people who are not elected politicians. He should say "non politicians" or "most people" or "people." But "ordinary folks" implies that those who are not in government are non-extraordinary. 
 
I mostly consider myself as non-extraordinary hate to say so +Mike Elgan we are just people and those who think otherwise are just fucked up i my book. I have by no means problems with ordinary cause that is what we are ...
 
This stings especially to all those 'ordinary folks' who throughout their scholastic years were told they are 'exceptional'.
 
+Sander Takens The definition of "ordinary" is: "With no special or distinctive features." Into this group he's lumping Silicon Valley, artists, single parents heroically putting their kids through school -- all kinds of amazing people doing incredible things. 

Outside this group, the extraordinary folks, he's lumping a bunch of fucking lawyers in Congress. 
 
I really wonder about these things +Mike Elgan you kinda write a lot of shit that interests me and I wish I could do that too but I cannot. There are so manny people arround the world that do things I can not. And they have a flair that I admire. They write books, make movies, bore me. So yes I think there are people who are extraordinary imho.
 
I/we didn't build it and us ordinary folk as suppose to be happy as we share with everyone else. If this turns out to be like Brave Heart, I'll be wearing a kilt and painting myself blue, because I ain't sharing my wife!
 
The government—everyone that is employed and on the Federal payroll—are our employees.  It is us who should be considered, at least tacitly, as "extraordinary folks"!
 
But by referring to 'ordinary folks' that doesn't at all imply that politicians are 'extra-ordinary'. Could just as well mean that they are 'sub-ordinary', out of touch with the real world. Which is true.
 
Why do ya guys feel so insulted then +Adam Curry +Mike Elgan ??? I do not get it ... I give fucks if I feel they are needed not just because ...
 
+Wes Herche +Thom Miller This 'ordinary folks' was made in reference to the 'fiscal cliff' which makes it extra insulting.

Why is he doing press conferences for the ordinary folks when he should be pounding out a deal?

And what is this 'socioeconomic distinction' you speak of? Are ordinary folks those who make less than $250k? Does all of congress make more than that? 
 
Oops, just realized, according to his profile that +Wes Herche works for the 'US Gov' (whatever that means) so he's probably not one of us 'ordinary folks'.
 
Is it ok to give a ordinary fuck you ? Sorry just love fuck you´s
 
Cuz he want to get another round of golf in before the new year. I am sure hes has a couple of pick up games scheduled too! +Wes Herche I guess you haven't seen Brave Heart then, William Wallace started a war because off the ordinary folk being trampled on and having to share their wives with the royalty. That's a brief synopsis.  and yes totally #Serious
 
The whole point of government is to govern, i.e., to "control, influence, or regulate" (the dictionary definition of govern). Those who seek out the position of controlling and regulating people - forcing people to do some things and not allowing them to do other things - categorically believe themselves to be above those to whom they want to dictate. They believe they are better at deciding what you must do and what you may not do than you are at choosing for yourself.
 
Our government also talks about "ordinary people" - but the way I see it - the term is definitively not derogatory.  

Instead - referring to ordinary people is a reference to "y'all" - i.e. those of us that make up society and don't live a life in the limelight or have special privileges.  The hard workers, the hidden innovators, the people that care for others, and those that do their best to keep us safe, at the risk of their own lives.  

There is nothing ordinary about ordinary people - we come in all kinds - and that is what truly is ordinary about us. Being a unique individual among a mass of extraordinary people is what being ordinary people is about.

You can also angle it from a activist point of view: Ordinary people are those that work and vote, but which do not parttake in political activities.  That doesn't imply that the other people which are politically active, are superior  or extraordinary.  But from a political point of view - ordinary people are the people you are working for, the people who have placed their trust in you (or the other party).

Pinning the phrase as a derogatory term from a president strikes me as construed hostility, apparently based on differing political views.
 
Sometimes Curry tends to be oversensitive. I don't see how this is a problem. 
 
+Wes Herche Do you see how condescending you are in your communication to me?

Re-read what you just wrote. This is exactly the tone I'm talking about.

It comes from the top.

Additionally, you appear to have me confused with a republican. 

Not everyone who asks questions is a republican, nor 'ordinary folk'.
 
+Mike Elgan being extraordinary isn't always a good thing. For example, I find most modern politicians are extraordinarily stupid. 
 
Politicians are extraordinary... Extraordinary douchebags!
 
More than the classist implications of the phrase...  I dislike the general pandering that this phrase represents. It's become increasingly common for politicians to affect a folksy air when talking to the American people. I'm not sure why it's successful - it always seems fake and condescending.
 
+Wes Herche Don't view "<a person> is at work" as "<a person> is actually working" nor as "<a person> is working for your benefit". Second, how good it is to lump people into two groups: "Democrats" and "Republicans"? If you think it is (as your comment implies), who are these folks? What are their views on certain topics? Does every member of a certain group have to hold views matching the group's leadership?

Do you think that disapproval of a President automatically means approval of a Congress? Your comment certainly does imply so.

Do you think that disapproval of Democrat political elites automatically means approval of Republican political elites? What happens to folks who simply disapprove of political elites?

+Adam Curry +Mike Elgan Many years ago I've used local language's equivalent of "ordinary folks" when discussing people who aren't particularly computer equivalent. Looks like I've dropped even that from my lingo, yet politicians now feel they get to make themselves distinctive and superior? Awesome.
 
Pardon me, Mr.Curry - but isn't going for the person, instead of going for the argument - a schoolyard method of discussion?
 
+Wes Herche Re "first": I'm not referring to the fact whether or not he is in position to do anything. I'm asking whether or not he wants to do anything. I'm asking why (if he requires Congress to do anything) he pretends to be doing something. Holding a press conference so you can announce you're doing something? How wonderful!

You know, I, for example, don't hold press conferences to interact with 'ordinary people'. I receive their email and respond to it when possible. Often outside work hours. Couldn't he interact with the press the same way?

Re "second" and "third": I misread the following as trying to label folks as supportive of 'Republicans' and 'Congress':

meanwhile please tell me how many of the republican congress members are back at work

It doesn't matter either way.
 
+Lars Fosdal I'm not here to have a discussion. I posted a link with an opinion. I really don't care to discuss it here. That's what the show is for.
 
It appears that the US president is damned if he do or don't.
He can't claim to be of the "ordinary folks", nor can he use "ordinary folks" as a term of endearment.  

Does the phrase change meaning if you exchange "folks" for "people"?
IMO, no.  

Browsing through https://www.google.com/search?q=ordinary+folks, it would seem that it is a pretty common form of reference for the the general public.
 
If you do not want a discussion, would it not be natural to disable the comments, +Adam Curry?  As you didn't, Mr.Herche posted his opinion - and instead of discussing your differing points of view - you found it more appropriate to attempt a character assasination of Mr.Herche?  
 
Ordinary? Sounds like someone thinks he and the government better then us.....
 
Personally, I am fine with being seen as ordinary.  I certainly don't have the extraordinary dedication it takes to endure a life in politics.
 
+Lars Fosdal I would never diable comments! It is too entertaining!

And now it's Mr. Herche? That's "The Mr. Jason Bourne of Geospatial" to you.

How can making fun of his linkedin profile now all of a sudden be deemed character assassination?

Get real. He is a techno expert, mind controlled to propagate the government formula, just look at what he's posting on G+

He makes maps. An american hero to school children according to the mainstream media. Children being taught that making maps to kill brown people in sandy places makes you an american hero, a patriot.

And now he makes maps in Japan. For the intelligence community, for drones and guided missiles and god knows what else. 

Not hating him for doing it, since that is the culture of America, its what we do best. But don't come to me all high and mighty that I should not worry about my president talking down to me.

Fuck that.
 
Thank you for being honest +Wes Herche .
You are worried about the cliff because of your own job and the cuts in the military.

So it makes sense that YOU have other things to worry about other than how the president speaks.

And there you have it, you pushed your agenda on me because you are afraid of losing your job.
 
I'd spend more time worrying how anyone can put such weight on these two words that are so commonly used.

And now I am high and mighty as well?  Does everyone that disagree with you, appear to talk down at you?
 
+Adam Curry - He was referred to in your comment, but not addressed like myself - hence my mistake.
 
+Wes Herche  We are going over the cliff. The 'extraordinary' people want it, need it. All this noise is just about the public's perception of who to blame.

We all get shafted, with the AMT for starters.

You might enjoy listening to an episode or two of the show.
 
+Wes Herche Yes, it'll affect far more people than just government employees -- just as discussed on the No Agenda show, now streamed twice a week :-)
 
This seems a trivial thing to worry about being called "ordinary folks". I do not think I am being talked down to. I don't find the term weighted to the negative.
 
I just tried, but I need to be a premium member to connect to 3d degree something or other. Sorry.
 
LinkedIn is condescending too.  We're not premium members, just the ordinary riff-raff.
 
Fortunately, +Wes Herche - I managed to opt out from those offers after a while.  Now, I am down to the connection invite spam, and weekly group summaries. Phew!
 
+Adam Curry Not only that, but the Book of Knowledge now officially pronounces you the "Jason Bourne of Cheese".
 
With their crazy pensions, job perks, all expenses paid tours, six figure salaries, even members of congress live like royalty. Sometimes it seems to be the family profession so in a way they are born into royalty. Then there is everyone else. It is what it is. He can't include himself in the same class as everyone else. He's the President of the United States. He is living one of the most extraordinary lives possible. At least he acknowledges the majority of people don't have access to the things he does and are still one paycheck away from homelessness. 
 
He's trying to tell you something. Government officials have things you don't. The wealthy have advantages via the government that you don't. And he admits that he himself has been more firtunate than you. In some cases he's trying to erase the advantages or give you the same benefits that they have. But some would rather just pretend that none of this exists and he is just being condescending.
 
I'd rather the President use the term "ordinary folk" than listen to Boehner blather on about what "the American people" really want, 'cause THE BITCH DOAN KNOW what I want!  If he did, there'd BE no Fiscal Cliff. "Ordinary folk" are not on g+, like us, so maybe they are unaware that they should feel insulted and patronized by a politician's turn o phrase.
 
+Mike Elgan Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Karl Rove, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Maureen Dowd, Ann Coulter, George Will, Thomas Friedman, David Brooks, Howard Kurtz, Michael Moore, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Beyonce Knowles, Condaleeza Rice, Bill Clinton, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, Ryan Seacrest, Simon Cowell, Aisha Tyler, Julie Chen, et al.

Are these what most people would consider "ordinary folk"? Folk without riches, power or connections to survive and even thrive during economic downturns? folk struggle to make ends meet? Highly doubtful. Even people who work for the federal government benefit from the very generous health and retirement benefits--and the same holds true for folk working for many state and / or local government.

That said, what phrase would you prefer that no one would take offense to?
 
+Ken Fromchicago Our constituents? Our citizens? Our employers? Nation? Or perhaps... The People? As in -- We The People?
 
+G Extwo sorry, there are no classless societies. People always divide themselves into classes, by gender, ethnicity, nationality, Bears fans (yay) vs Packers fans (boo), Cubs fans vs Sox fans (Bears fan), Yankees fans vs Red Sox fans, cattle herder vs sheep herder vs nerf herder, Kirk vs Picard, Star Trek vs Star Wars, PC vs Mac vs ONLY AMIGA (makes it possible)!

The Founding Fathers did it themselves, dividing not just between male and female, land owning vs not, counting slaves as 3/5ths people, to say nothing of creating the Presidential Electoral College, why? Because they didn't trust the passions of the "mob".

Yeah, "ordinary folk".doesn't sound nearly as bad.
 
+Ivan Vučica except he's distinguishing between people with wealth, power or connections vs "ordinary folk" who do not. The people with wealth, power and / or connections don't need as much help as those who lack same.
 
Well said +Thom Miller its so easy to read a title and comment, not many take the time to research context.. 
 
The thread is a bit long, but by definition, we as a people are ordinary as we set the bar for what is defined as ordinary. It is only when we look at individuals that we see each as unique. Given that the President was referring to us all, it is correct and not insulting. Only if you are liking for Abby reason to be overleaf will you find anything anywhere.

Or you are just being racist as you feel you are above any black man or any other person of color.
 
I love how several people raised the race issue without it being anywhere in the original post. I think it's racist to presume racism of a white person. ;)
 
No, just a commonly racist viewpoint. If you grow up in the south, you see it a lot.
 
+Steve Bertolacci I still think it's racist to bring racism into a discussion where there it was not a topic nor implied ;)

What, you see someone criticizing a person of color and you immediately think it's because of the skin color? Why notice or think of the skin color at all?
 
I'm suprised that people have just now woken up to this. Pres. Obama clearly sees himself as a ruler and the Democrats as a ruling party. Any thing that doesn't go along with his line is automatically labelled as bipartisan and therefore wrong minded and meaningless. 

It's monstrously clear that there is a ruling class in Washington, D.C. and that the Democrats (surprise, surprise) are far more autocratic that the Republicans.

You can see that veru clearly in the two different version of the American Dream presented in the last presidential elections. Romney, who was given an Ivy League education and then pretty much disinherited by his wealthy father, said we're going to give people jobs and they can succeed just like me. Obama said, we're going to give everybody the chance to rise through entitlement programs just like Michelle and I did. 

As a matter of fact, Obama is still living on entitlement. And it looks like he'll make it through the rest of his life that way.
 
As a federal employee, I can guarantee I'm as much "ordinary folk" as my neighbors and the men and women that I work with.

Where did anyone get this idea that government (to include government employees, I assume) are anything other than "ordinary folk?"
 
A lot of NA producers and listeners work for the US Government, many for 3 letter agencies. Far more in active duty in (undeclared) theaters. Some even operate drones and drone imaging systems.
 
I believe they find peace in knowing that they are not alone in seeing the bullshit that goes on.

You are welcome here +Thom Miller and +Ishmael Finn 

Please note I did not say the president goes out of his way to offend. But words matter. They have meaning. I cannot brush any of it aside.

The use of the term "homeland" started after 9/11 with the department of homeland security. It is now often used universally to describe the United States. But why use this term? Is there a historic reason? Or does the term evoke specific emotions by those 'protecting the homeland' and to those subjected to the 'protections'?
 
Obama is an "ordinary robot"
 
The government IS above us. We allow it to be.
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