“America First”: An Inaugural Address for the Ages

By |2017-01-24T01:31:36-06:00January 24th, 2017|Categories: Donald Trump, Pat Buchanan, Presidency, Rhetoric|

With America’s political elite sitting behind him, President Trump accused them of enriching “foreign industry,” not ours, of subsidizing other countries’ armies but neglecting our own, of defending other nation’s borders while leaving America’s borders unprotected... As the patriotic pageantry of Inauguration Day gave way to the demonstrations of defiance Saturday, our new America came [...]

Inaugural Address

By |2017-01-20T13:05:00-06:00January 20th, 2017|Categories: American Republic, Donald Trump, Presidency, Rhetoric|

Chief Justice Roberts, President Carter, President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, fellow Americans and people of the world: Thank you. We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and to restore its promise for all of our people. Together, we will determine the course of America [...]

What President Trump Should Say in His Inaugural Address

By |2017-01-21T21:22:35-06:00January 20th, 2017|Categories: Donald Trump, Presidency, Rhetoric, Stephen M. Klugewicz|

Here is what President Trump would say today, if the present author had been solely assigned the task of writing his inaugural address. My fellow Americans, Today marks the beginning of a new era in which you and I will together will make America great again! I am pleased to have the opportunity today to [...]

Can We Heal the Divisions of this Election?

By |2016-12-05T09:03:40-06:00November 11th, 2016|Categories: Donald Trump, Featured, Political Philosophy, Politics, Rhetoric, Social Order, Western Civilization|

How could anyone vote for him?” “How could anyone vote for her?” In a contentious election between candidates with historically high disapproval ratings, voters across the country were asking such questions, incredulous that their fellow Americans could be on the other side this time. These questions were encouraged by the rhetorical strategies of both campaigns, which focused on [...]

The Power of Pregnant Speeches

By |2018-11-21T08:38:50-06:00October 28th, 2016|Categories: Abraham Lincoln, E.B., Eva Brann, Featured, History, Language, Rhetoric, St. John's College|

Here’s a cause close to my heart: public and semi-public speech. I mean occasions when we are addressed by our political leaders on grand occasions of concern to the whole republic, and times, like the present, when we choose to come together to hear what someone invited to do so says about a matter [...]

The Origins of Dialectic

By |2016-11-26T09:52:05-06:00April 22nd, 2015|Categories: Classics, Great Books, Philosophy, Plato, Quotation, Rhetoric, St. John's College|

“A debater treats the other speaker as someone who can only be right if he himself is wrong, whom he must defeat at all costs. In a conversation, though, we generally have the decency to accept the things another person says, at least temporarily and tentatively. If we disagree, and take the matter seriously, [...]

Conservatives and the Problems of Language: Rhetoric and Respectability

By |2016-04-15T10:03:55-05:00November 22nd, 2013|Categories: Conservatism, Language, M. E. Bradford, Rhetoric|Tags: |

Conservatives have struggled with the problem of adjusting their public posture so as to reflect changes in their situation. Following electoral triumph and the dramatic shift in the temper of their countrymen which produced so many encouraging results at the polls, they have been obliged to represent themselves, through the spoken or the written [...]

We Can Measure Educational Value in Words

By |2018-12-26T15:21:14-06:00January 30th, 2013|Categories: Education, Liberal Learning, Peter A. Lawler, Rhetoric|

E.D. Hirsch (the cultural literacy guy) has, I think, written the most important article on educational "outcomes" in a long time. The great benefit of education, "the key to increasingly upward mobility," is expanding the vocabulary of students. Why is that? Hirsch observes that "vocabulary size is a convenient proxy for a whole range of [...]

Rhetoric and Ranting: Inspired by Richard Weaver

By |2016-08-03T10:37:19-05:00January 8th, 2013|Categories: Christendom, Conservatism, Featured, Poetry, Rhetoric, Richard Weaver, South|Tags: , |

Richard Weaver In his autobiography, The Education of Henry Adams (1907), Adams tells us that he was born into one world in the nineteenth century and lived on into another. Born in Quincy, Massachusetts, in 1838, he lived to see the emergent twentieth century—a world in which a secular Dynamo replaced Venus and [...]

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