Language as a tribal identifier

This is a very funny musical adaptation of Governor Palin’s (my favorite ten handicapper) Couric interview. See in it what you will -it is a brilliant Rorschach test. 

When Christopher Buckley, son of the William F. Buckley (formidable eminence grise of the Republican Party), was fired by the National Review, the magazine his father founded, for backing Barack Obama, I saw that it was a symptom of a sickness in the Republican Party. Buckley is no liberal. He does not identify with government control of free trade, and he does not believe in the creation of a nanny state. I watched his interviews on the evening talk show circuit with interest.

He is a Yalie like his father, and speaks in the elevated parlance of prep school essayists. When I left my solidly Republican voting record in 2000, it was because George W. Bush couldn’t speak the English language in a way that I felt comfortable with. Part of me thought, this has to be an act -a scion of a patrician New England family gabbing on like the owner of a Chevy dealership from Plano. But I decided it was not, and this along with the Bush campaign’s behavior to McCain lead me to check off Gore. Florida 2000 and the events of the last eight years have left me completely out of the Republican Party. It has left me no party to identify with. Looking back this past election season, I was wrong about grammar and intelligence. Mea culpa. 

To the extant that you speak a certain way reflects your upbringing, but I believe it is a also a conscious choice. Intelligence has nothing to do with the way your mouth flaps. When I was growing up in Florida, I easily picked up the patois of Northern Florida, which is really an extension of Southern Georgia. By choosing to speak in a way that interfaces easily with the surroundings, language is eliminated as a barrier. Actions and character are far more important than diagrammable sentences. 

I’ll leave you with another one of my youtube favorites:

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