Michele Bachmann brags about her Iowa roots in a burg where mass murderer John Wayne Gacy learned his hearty, small-town values. Christopher Hitchens in Slate pulls off a great near-pun in defining American policitians’ mania for folksy, small-town John Wayne-ness.
Figure of Speech: paronomasia (pa ra no MAY sia), the near-pun.
Slate’s conservative cynic-in-chief, an extremely urban cynic, wonders why Americans still think it’s a good idea to elect people for the sake of a myth. His paronomasia (Greek for “play on like-sounding words”) plays on Tip O’Neil’s old wisdom about all politics being local.
Actually, there are good reasons for yokelized campaigning. Politicians campaign on values emphasized by nostalgia: Roman candidates did exactly the same thing a couple thousand years ago.
One hopes they had a better sense of geography than Michele Bachmann.