It has been a while since we posted something new here. Sorry about that. Life got in the way.
We are going to announce the book giveaway information a little bit later in the week.
“The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who can’t read.” – Mark Twain
Title – Abraham Lincoln: Great Speeches
Author – Abe Lincoln
Learn some words of the most important of all, besides Washington.
What is your favorite speech by an American president? Use that in the piece you write.
The best responses will be featured in a future post.
By the end of this month, we will announce the details for the giveaway for February.
The President Doesn’t Write His Own Speeches – Op-Ed Piece
The American president has become the most important person in the country, not only for his executive power, he is and has always been the leader of that branch of the government, but for his influence on the American psyche. The American government has grown from three branches to being a freaking forest, and that means that the once head of the garden, the president, has changed. You can change that plant, you can change even the heads of the other government branches, but you cannot change the very democracy that the forest holds. At one point, the president was the only one in town (or garden, to keep with the metaphor), but as America grew in size, so did its resources and power, and garden, which meant that the president no longer had to run the place with a hands-on approach.
He is an overseer of the establishment of freedom today, more than an active participant in it. His role is to be the country’s spiritual leader as much as it is to lead it since the country has become so complex and intricate through local, state, and national levels that one man can’t control all of it. He must rely on the people in the various positions to uphold democratic ideals without his input. The president must then convince those who do not know him that the US government, with its crazy idea of democracy, is good and noble and should be kept. There are so many in the government that give time and effort into our country that they must do it for their own love for it, as much as a president’s promise. You need the overseer to oversee everything, but without those underneath him and those underneath and so forth and so forth, it doesn’t really matter how good the president is.
Also; on two side notes,
First, Yes, I know that I have said that I was no longer talking about politics, but, well, I thought this was a good idea while having breakfast—Lucky Charms cereal for those who are interested.
And second, I say that America is a democracy, and those pundits who know about as much as that guy on my cereal box, say it too. But we are not a democracy. We are a democratic republic. Let’s get it right there. We vote for the leaders to make the laws. In a democracy, we would vote for the actual laws. So giving credit to democracy is not fair to the principles of a republic that work. After all, the Founding Fathers didn’t want to make a democratic state; they wanted to create a government similar to Rome (a republic) but without a king. Since you know, America just fought a war against a king. It would be kind of insane to spend all that time fighting for something and then become it. Talk about living long enough to become the villain, am I right? I just wanted to clarify what actual type of government we live in since I hate hearing all about democracy as our key. We should give the Founding Fathers more credit than that. They would not have created something that new for the reasonable idea that it would be too risky and may not work. But a democracy with a republic feel to it? That can work since the Romans used a republic. You know the Romans, they ran Europe for a thousand years and created one of the most impactful empires the world has ever seen. The Founding Fathers thought that we should take a few ideas from them, and democracy was not of them.
Let’s get back to the president. I respect the position more than any man in it. I don’t like all the presidents. Some were crooks, like Nixon. Some were crazy, like Jackson. And some just weren’t my type of leader, like Wilson. But I always try to respect the man, not because the crook, or the crazy, or the strange deserve it, but the country does. I respect the president not for his sake but for the country’s sake, to show that one man is never bigger than the whole, and never should be. If Washington was not good enough to be king (which he kind of was), then no president should ever think that highly of themselves in that regard. After all, the man who helped begin the nation, who could have been a king if he wanted to, gave up the job and allowed others to do it. America is ahead of the president, so I always do my best to respect the country, which is best when I respect the president, no matter if I like him or not.
Some of the most important words ever uttered by an American have been by presidents.
Washington warned us of parties and that our division will be from within. Lincoln told us that slavery should be abolished. The first Roosevelt gave a speech after getting shot because that was the type of person he was. FDR inspired our troops in our country’s, and perhaps the world’s most important war. Kennedy dreamed of the moon when no one thought it was possible. Regan tore down a wall that ripped apart a nation.
The American presidents’ words matter. Maybe as much as his own policies. We remember the great lines and quotes, just as much as we do of the laws he put in. Remember when I said that he was a spiritual leader of the nation too? His words are apart of that.
Why am I saying this all to you? What is my point here?
I hate how much the president gets credit for stuff he never even wrote. That’s what I am saying. That’s my point.
Now to be clear, at some point in time, the president did write his own speeches. Washington wrote his own. The guy wrote run-on sentences like they were going out of style. Every time you thought he was done, he continued with a comma. It’s like no one was there to tell him to come up for some air and breath. Yeah, because no one was there with him. Lincoln wrote his speeches, too, from what I learned. He wrote grammatically incorrect. He wrote like what he was; a self-educated lawyer. He did write with more of a rhythm than a president should have. As if he was a poet writing verse more than a politician giving a speech. Even the phrase; “of the people, by the people, for the people” sounds like something Whitman would have written more than the president. I say the same thing about the line “Only the good die young,” the song by Billy Joel. That sounds more poetic than something a pop songwriter should be giving the world. It sounds like something Hamlet would have said. Like “One must be cruel to be kind.” Presidents shouldn’t be creative like Lincoln, is what I am saying. And because I mentioned Whitman, I have to tell you, his poem “Oh Captain! My Captain!” was written about Lincoln, after he got assassinated, although you wouldn’t know it by reading the poem.
I can’t honestly tell you when the president stopped writing his own speeches. I know FDR didn’t write them. But I can’t be certain about Teddy writing his own speeches, or even Wilson.
It’s not fair that the American people are led to believe that the president today is responsible for all the words they hear in his speech. He isn’t. There is a writer and probably a few writers who write up the address for the guy.
The president should be able to compose a quick few thousand words for an essay for a speech. I am offended as a writer that he doesn’t. And to any writer of the president who is not talked of, I tip my hat to you because that guy is going to get all the credit, yet it is your creativity that made it all worth it. Good job to the writers of the president. They deserve more of our respect than we give them.
Why has the president become a writer like James Patterson? He doesn’t really write the books. He talks to people about the main points and then lets them do all the dirty work, but he makes sure that his name is on the cover. How the hell did that happen?
Don’t talk for fifteen minutes about freedom and democracy, (yes democracy, he doesn’t say republic) and whatever else you want to talk about and pretend that you wrote about it all on your own. You didn’t. It’s frankly one of the reasons I like Lincoln. Those were his words. You could tell, as I mentioned he had a distinct style to his word selection and choice. In other words, he actually took time to write the damn thing. Lincoln gets respect from writers, the same way that generals on the front line get respect from soldiers. You don’t’ have to think he is that good at it, but you can’t say that he isn’t there doing the actual work.
Who do you respect more? The manager who does the physical job or the one who never lifts a finger and only tells you what to do?
And I don’t want to hear that the president is too busy for this. Don’t give me that. What are you going to tell me next, that the guy friend you have is just a friend? We are talking about a speech that is for the American people, the people who voted for him, and he can’t come up with the words for it?
I talk to you about the president being the nation’s spiritual leader, to be the voice of the people, and he is. And yet, how many of the words that a president says are actually his? The president who doesn’t write his own speeches should not talk about honesty because if he is honest, he would say that he is nothing more than an actor up there, a communicator, not the creative mind behind it all. He gave his team of writers plot points, and they wrote the speech, and he is now reciting it like an actor in a Shakespearean play. He might as well tell me the stages of life, or that to thine own self be true.
Take away the writers, and let the president write his own speech. Do you think that any would listen? And don’t tell me that the president is too busy. Lincoln seemed to have the time.
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