By David Frum (Original source The Atlantic)
“In the days when I helped people with speeches, our relationship often began like this:
“Can you help me with this speech?”
“Sure. What do you want to say?”[Awkward pause.]
It’s amazing how seldom there came an answer to the question. The speaker would often have a very clear idea of the attitude he wanted to project, but no urgent message to communicate. He wanted to fill air for 10 or 12 minutes or longer, at the end of which people would regard him as compassionate or strong or whatever other image he had in mind. But how to get from here to there? Well, that’s why he was paying me.
I was jolted back to those days as I reread President Donald Trump’s Fourth of July speech the day after it was delivered.”
Trump’s speech was written by people who did not know what they wanted to say. It was a litany of old glories, a shout-out to heroes carefully balanced by race and sex, but with no conscious theme or message. It narrated old triumphs in war and commerce, but without apparent purpose or direction. First this, then that, now a third thing.
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