On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln spoke 272 words that became known as one of the greatest speeches of all-time. Recently, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address celebrates 150 years of being celebrated as a speech that remade America.
Fast forward to 2013, and compare Lincoln’s 272 words with the long-winded and confusing speeches we hear from politicians today. In 272 words, President Lincoln was able to inspire a nation in the midst of the Civil War that they were fighting for more than just the Union. They were fighting for human liberty and equality. He said all that in 272 words. Today, we listen to speeches and debate answers that leave the audience thinking, “What?”
According to this article on CNN.com, John F. Kennedy was the last president who spoke with an “oratorical” style. Politicians just don’t speak like they used to. The article continues to discuss the loss art of quotable speech. And the more you think about, the more you may realize how true that is. Long gone are the days where Americans can actually quote a political speech. How many times have you heard a child say, “Fourscore and seven years ago…” Now think to how many times you have heard some one quote a recent president’s Inaugural address. Exactly.