Richard Stone is offering you to have website «Politics» remembered
Do you want us to remember the «Politics» website?
Yes No
×
Прогноз погоды

“Time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life.” John F.Kennedy

Convention Dispatch: Homage to a Beautiful Speech

expand

We’re temporarily sharing this members-only post with all Political Wire readers in the hope that more will join and support the site! $5 Monthly or $50 Annually

Just for members: Leonard Steinhorn, Professor of Communication at American University and a CBS Radio News Political Analyst, offers this report from Philadelphia.

Leonard Steinhorn

Leonard Steinhorn

We will hear a lot of quality speeches this week at the Democratic convention — speeches that are tapestries of rousing rhetoric stitched together into whole political cloth. Think of Senator Cory Booker’s sprawling but inspiring speech last night, or Elizabeth Warren’s take down of Donald Trump, or Bernie Sanders’ embrace of Hillary Clinton as a vehicle for the change we need. All were on message, all expressed passion, all had some great turns of phrase. And there are certain to be more like them in the coming days.

But there may be only one great speech at this convention, and we heard it last night. Like every great speech, it was woven with a single unifying thread that bound it together, told a story, left us enchanted, and made us better for hearing it. What First Lady Michelle Obama gave us was a gift, a way to imagine America differently, a reaffirmation of the American Dream drawn from the experience of those who should have every right to be bitter about it. And she transformed politics from a blood sport about our wants and needs and anger today into a sacred promise we hold with our children to shape their lives and their futures.

In the pantheon of great conventions speeches — from Mario Cuomo’s 1984 tale of two cities to Barack Obama’s 2004 one America keynote — we must now add Michelle Obama’s 2016 appeal to our better angels.

From a speechwriting perspective, what she did was brilliant. She opened with a scene from her own family, how on Inauguration Day 2009 her kids “piled into those black SUVs with all those big men with guns,” how she saw “their little faces pressed up against the window,” and on what was arguably the greatest day of her own and her husband’s lives, she could only wonder, “What have we done?” Those years in the White House, she realized at that moment, “would form the foundation for who they would become.” It’s a story every parent — red or blue — could understand.

But the beauty of her rhetoric wasn’t in this particular story — it was how she made it a parable about politics, about its “power to shape our children,” about “kids who look to us to determine who and what they can be.” And if we think only of ourselves, if we inject our ego or fame into our political ambitions, then we are violating the compact inherent in politics and indeed in so much of life — that it should not be about ourselves, but the legacy we leave for our children.

And with that she offered an implied criticism of Donald Trump, an explicit plea for Hillary Clinton, and a powerful statement that politics must be more than the sum of our grievances. “When someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level,” she said. “No, our motto is, when they go low, we go high.”

She then backed it up with a secondary but wholly connected theme, one about the American Dream, and she drew on the poignant but powerful journey of African Americans in the United States as central to who we are as a people. “I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves,” she said, but it was expressed not in anger but in admiration and appreciation for Americans “who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, but who kept striving and hoping and doing what needed to be done … ”

The genius of behind her words is the way she drew on injustice but didn’t dwell on grievance — instead turning it into a story of determination and perseverance among those who suffered, a true American Dream tale that illustrated how anger can consume but hope can liberate and redeem, making possible a better life for future generations so that the great-great-granddaughter of a slave could wake up in a White House built by slaves. In a subtle rebuke to Donald Trump, she essentially called on us to practice our politics in that spirit.

But as beautiful and uplifting and compelling a speech as this was, it’s still just a speech. The question is whether the message she laid out — that it’s about our children, not ourselves, that our American story should be grounded in perseverance, not resentment, that when crisis hits we don’t turn against each other, that we listen to and lean on each other — will be strong, sticky, and inspiring enough to counter the repetition, accusations, and rage that is at the core of the Republican political strategy this fall.


Read more→

Posted on 26.07.2016 21:57
Статистика 1
Показы: 1 Охват: 0 Прочтений: 0

Comments

To show the previous comments (%s from %s)
Show new comments
Facebook comments
Like

Site search

Last comments

Mehmet Göktaş
thank you..
Mehmet Göktaş Kelly Thinks He’s Saving the U.S. from Disaster
Robert Hall
Maybe DeSantis just gave Mueller reason to add him to the list of people being investigated.
Robert Hall GOP Lawmaker Floats Measure to Stop Mueller Probe
ngangawasom
Trump is Heartless
ngangawasom Trump Confirms He Called Health Bill ‘Mean’
Ivan Pravda
Mr. McCain, is having a terrible mental disfunction in his brain thats called "Russofobia" . I thin…
Ivan Pravda McCain Says Dictators Start By Attacking Press
Ivan Pravda
That stupid aggressive American had to keep his mouth shut or get an heart attack. That should be b…
Ivan Pravda McCain Says Mexico Won’t Pay for Border Wall
George Welch
Cut off their funds and dry up some of their freebies which will also dry up their votes.
George Welch Big City Mayors Will Defy Trump Order on Sanctuary Cities
Dan Hughes
So sad. All the money in the world and not enough knowledge to spend it in the right places. Hi…
Dan Hughes How Analytics Failed Clinton
Ser korz
Liberty Blitzkrieg Included on Washington Post Highlighted Hit List of “Russian Propaganda” Website…
Ser korz Russia Seen Behind Surge of ‘Fake News’
Warren Pugh
Do she and the current president work for a living?
Warren Pugh Clinton Would Bring Different Style to White House
Haggai Seraiah
Please vote for Trump and that's the only way you will the changes at your level. They are fighting…
Haggai Seraiah Trump Maintains Wide Lead Nationally