So we had Mr Barack Obama come visit Australia last week and in Canberra especially when you work in government, that’s a pretty big deal.
But one thing does puzzle me.
I know government absolutely adores acronyms. Well at least in Australia we do, and the USA seems the same. But why, oh why would anyone condone POTUS? That’s “The President Of The United States” for those who haven’t come across that acronym yet.
After a little bit more research, I’ve found that it was back in the late 90’s that the term “POTUS” seemed to ingratiate itself into the everyday vocabulary of those in government. Although it seems only very recently however that the term itself seems to have escaped the hallowed halls of Washington into pop culture.
To me it just sounds silly. It brings to mind names like “Cletus” (the slack-jawed yokel!). Sure Mr Shakespeare argued against judging things solely by their moniker. And I agree that a rose called by any other name would smell just as sweet, but honestly ladies, tell the truth, if roses were called “I-wish-you-were-dead” flowers or “bloody-diarrhea” blossoms would you really be all that thrilled when you received a dozen of them?
Names have power. Especially in this day and age, where information is the key to everything.
Then it got me thinking, maybe the rise of “POTUS” could be linked to the slow but seemingly inevitable collapse of a world order, where the USA is the only super power left in the world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an America basher. I don’t think they’re the “bad guy” but nor do I believe they’ve always been the “good guys”. Like every other country in the world they’ve had their share of both good policies and bad policies. Of good statesmen and bad politicians. We can’t blame all the worlds ills on their doorstep.
China is flexing its muscles, and although I don’t believe that America needs to fall for China to rise, I seem to be a minority. A minority viewed by the majority as naive and innocent in the ways of the world.
Maybe the term “POTUS” entering into pop culture is a sign of that slightest bit of erosion of the power and prestige that the office once held.
Maybe in a world where everything needs to be shortened to fit into a tweet, “POTUS” makes sense.
Maybe I’m just thinking like a six-year-old, because whenever I hear “POTUS” I think of a large hillbilly, and the word “poo”.
Yes. I am THAT immature. 🙂