The death of rhetoric

Rhetoric is alive and well in every parliament, congress, diet, and senate in the world. What’s dead is good rhetoric.

I know George Bush is not exactly Winston Churchill. His spokesmen have learned to dumb it down to his level, too. Here’s a quote from today’s White House releases:

“The president condemns the act of terror in the strongest possible terms.”

Gee, since I don’t have my scorecard with me I didn’t know which bus bombing he meant.

If you’re going to condemn something “in the strongest possible terms”, how about rounding up some choice bits of vocab to do so ? And I don’t just mean peppering “evil” in with your scowlings.

I almost cried the day that Fox News began to pointedly refer to Hamas attacks as “Homicide Bombings” and CNN suddenly switched to “attacks” to refer to car bombs and “incursions” to refer to armored sorties.

GWB can’t be Churchill, nor Kennedy… but can’t somebody ?

Where the hell are the orators !? Why can’t anyone turn a phrase anymore… “bear any burden, face any foe”…

Even calling Al-Quaeda “murderous, faithless whoresons” would be better than this bullshit we get from our leaders.

Retain William Safire on your damn speechwriting staff and come up with something to stir the masses, dammit !

You know, I absolutely agree with you. I’m a classics student in my spare time, and while not everyone can be a Cicero, and I know Plato hated rhetoric, I think the power of speach, of good, commanding, moving speach, is so underused today as to be nonexistant. And the reason:
Oration has been supplanted by USA Today polls.

“Oh, 68 percent of Americans think Bush is doing the right thing? Well, I guess that’s ok. Anyway, where did this paper come from, I don’t subscribe to the damn thing. What’s on the WB?”

I think the Brits are much better at good rhetoric.

For some reason all I could think of here was Tom Lehrer…

"Recently China, which we call ‘Red China’ exploded a nuclear bomb, which we called a ‘device’ "

Spin springs eternal…