When I was a graduate student in the early 1970's I decided to use "linguistic analysis" as my research methodology. My thinking was that this is what would let me more fully understand the meaning of philosophical concepts and constitutional issues.
After all these years my mind still picks at these concepts and worries at them much as a dog worries away at an oversized bone. Sometimes I take myself all the way back to my early education when I was learning grammar. That's where my head took me this week--back to elementary school and learning about prepositions and prepositional phrases.
Remember having to diagram sentences--or is that not done anymore in this age of tweets and texts?
We were taught about adverbial prepositional phrases and adjective prepostional phrases. In, for, with, at, of, by and others were all common prepositions modifying subject or predicate, noun or verb.
So what's the point?
One of the most famous uses of prepositions came from Abraham Lincoln when he said "that the government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth" at the end of the brief, poignant and still meaningful "Gettysburg Address".
Now that was some good use of prepositions. Here's my point and I'll try to be as succinct as Mr. Lincoln.
It seems to me that our political "leadership" is being "prepositionally selective". The whole concept of "of" and "by" have long disappeared. And it seems to me that the preposition "for" is either on its last legs or it has become totally selective. All three have been replaced by a new prepostional phrase--which would turn Mr. Lincoln aghast--"to the people".
Seems to me that those in elected positions are all to willing to let bad things happen "to the people" rather than thinking in terms of "for the people" or "by the people" and especially "of the people".
And if one attempted to invoke the concept of "polis", every politician from the President all the way through the dingiest hall of Congress would frown, get a vacuous look and mutter "sounds like Greek to me".
(and by the way, regarding "polis"--look it up)