02/09/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

James Fallows To Obama: Stop Saying "God Bless America"

This may be a small thing, but:

I hate, hate, hate the lazy modern presidential habit of ending all major addresses with the phrase "And God bless the United States of America" or simply "God bless America."

I love the Irving Berlin song. I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment. But a little chunk is hacked away from the national brain each time a president gets out of a speech not with a thought or original phrase but with this mindless pablum. This has become the political equivalent of "Have a nice day!"

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