Stale Imagery, Meaningless Words, and Dying Metaphors in the Modern Political Language
Stale Imagery: U.S. Politician 1970-2000: Jenna Hernandez
Citation: Farnsworth, Malcolm. "Nixon's Second Inaugural Address [January 20, 1973]." Watergate.info - The Scandal That Destroyed President Richard Nixon. Watergate.info. Web. 14 Feb. 2011. <http://watergate.info/nixon/inaugural-speech-second.shtml>.

Nixon's Second Inaugural Address
January 20, 1973

Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, Senator Cook, Mrs. Eisenhower, and my fellow citizens of this great and good country we share together: When we met here four years ago, America was bleak in spirit, depressed by the prospect of seemingly endless war abroad and of destructive conflict at home. As we meet here today, we stand on the threshold of a new era of peace in the world. The central question before us is: How shall we use that peace? Let us resolve that this era we are about to enter will not be what other postwar periods have so often been: a time of retreat and isolation that leads to stagnation at home and invites new danger abroad. Let us resolve that this will be what it can become: a time of great responsibilities greatly borne, in which we renew the spirit and the promise of America as we enter our third century as a nation. This past year saw far-reaching results from our new policies for peace. By continuing to revitalize our traditional friendships, and by our missions to Peking and to Moscow, we were able to establish the base for a new and more durable pattern of relationships among the nations of the world. Because of America's bold initiatives, 1972 will be long remembered as the year of the greatest progress since the end of World War II toward a lasting peace in the world. The peace we seek in the world is not the flimsy peace which is merely an interlude between wars, but a peace which can endure for generations to come. It is important that we understand both the necessity and the limitations of America's role in maintaining that peace. Unless we in America work to preserve the peace, there will be no peace. Unless we in America work to preserve freedom, there will be no freedom. But let us clearly understand the new nature of America's role, as a result of the new policies we have adopted over these past four years. We shall respect our treaty commitments. We shall support vigorously the principle that no country has the right to impose its will or rule on another by force. We shall continue, in this era of negotiation, to work for the limitation of nuclear arms, and to reduce the danger of confrontation between the great powers. We shall do our share in defending peace and freedom in the world. But we shall expect others to do their share. The time has passed when America will make every other nation's conflict our own, or make every other nation's future our responsibility, or presume to tell the people of other nations how to manage their own affairs. Just as we respect the right of each nation to determine its own future, we also recognize the responsibility of each nation to secure its own future. Just as America's role is indispensable in preserving the world's peace, so is each nation's role indispensable in preserving its own peace. Together with the rest of the world, let us resolve to move forward from the beginnings we have made. Let us continue to bring down the walls of hostility which have divided the world for too long, and to build in their place bridges of understanding--so that despite profound differences between systems of government, the people of the world can be friends. Let us build a structure of peace in the world in which the weak are as safe as the strong--in which each respects the right of the other to live by a different system--in which those who would influence others will do so by the strength of their ideas, and not by the force of their arms. Let us accept that high responsibility not as a burden, but gladly--gladly because the chance to build such a peace is the noblest endeavor in which a nation can engage; gladly, also, because only if we act greatly in meeting our responsibilities abroad will we remain a great Nation, and only if we remain a great Nation will we act greatly in meeting our challenges at home. We have the chance today to do more than ever before in our history to make life better in America--to ensure better education, better health, better housing, better transportation, a cleaner environment--to restore respect for law, to make our communities more livable--and to insure the God-given right of every American to full and equal opportunity.

Commentary: In this speech given by President Nixon many items are listed that seem ideal yet the full image as a whole is not portrayed clearly throughout the address. One factor that is taking away from the speech as a whole is the use of stale imagery which overall takes away from the intensity of the speech. Before Nixon can get deeper into his ideas a barrier seems to be created, blocking his desired concept of change and peace. Nixon’s use of many vague sentences leaves the audience at question as to how he envisions the future and also how the country should emerge from its previous misjudgments. He only seems to scratch his topics on the surface rather than digging deep into them and connecting them with the audience. Nixon’s involuntary use of unknown imagery holds the speech back as a whole from obtaining a new level of connection with the audience.


Meaningless Words: Foreign Politician: Emily Harrison
Citation: First Party Secretary at the Twentieth Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. "The Secret Speech - On the Cult of Personality, 1956." Http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1956khrushchev-secret1.html. 2 July 1998. Web. 20 Feb. 2012. <http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1956khrushchev-secret1.html>.
Modern History Sourcebook:Nikita S. Khrushchev:
The Secret Speech - On the Cult of Personality, 1956
Secret Speech Delivered by First Party Secretary at the Twentieth Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, February 25, 1956

[]

Comrades, in the report of the Central Committee of the party at the 20th Congress, in a number of speeches by delegates to the Congress, as also formerly during the plenary CC/CPSU sessions, quite a lot has been said about the cult of the individual and about its harmful consequences. . . .

Allow me first of all to remind you bow severely the classics of Marxism-Leninism denounced every manifestation of the cult of the individual. In a letter to the German political worker, Wilhelm Bloss, Marx stated: "From my antipathy to any cult of the individual, I never made public during the existence of the International the numerous addresses from various countries which recognized my merits and which annoyed me. I did not even reply to them, except sometimes to rebuke their authors. Engels and I first joined the secret society of Communists on the condition that everything making for superstitious worship of authority would be deleted from its statute. . . .

The great modesty of the genius of the revolution, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, is known. Lenin had always stressed the role of the people as the creator of history, the directing and organizational role of the party as a living and creative organism, and also the role of the central committee.

Marxism does not negate the role of the leaders of the workers' class in directing the revolutionary liberation movement.

While ascribing great importance to the role of the leaders and organizers of the masses, Lenin at the same time mercilessly stigmatized every manifestation of the cult of the individual, inexorably combated the foreign-to-Marxism views about a "hero" and a "crowd" and countered all efforts to oppose a "hero" to the masses and to the people.

Lenin taught that the party's strength depends on its indissoluble unity with the masses, on the fact that behind the party follow the people - workers, peasants and intelligentsia. "Only lie will win and retain the power," said Lenin, "who believes in the people, who submerges himself in the fountain of the living creativeness of the people.". . .

During Lenin's life the central committee of the party- was a real expression of collective leadership of the party and of the Nation. Being a militant Marxist-revolutionist, always unyielding in matters of principle, Lenin never imposed by force his views upon his coworkers. He tried to convince; he patiently explained his opinions to others. Lenin always diligently observed that the norms of party life were realized, that the party statute was enforced, that the party congresses and the plenary sessions of the central committee took place at the proper intervals.

Commentary:
This was a very interesting speech. The secretary's words were sharp and to the point. However, the speaker used many big words that could have been shortened or removed from the piece. Some of the bigger vocab words that the reader selected were strong words, but they almost overwhelmed what the speaker was trying to say. It is almost as if the speaker was just looking for "professional" words to make the speech more appealing to the crowd of intelligent people. Foe example, the speaker used the word "organism" to describe the functions of the political party he was addressing. I understand where the speaker was coming from, however, simply calling the political party a functional party where everyone had to work together, would have sufficed and made his point more straightforward. Also at times, the speaker used very small words that almost seemed out of place in the eloquence of his speech. Words such as "annoyed and deleted" just kinda ruined the mood of the point he was trying to make. He could have replaced "annoyed" with "deeply bothered" and "deleted" with "removed". This speech could have been better if the eloquence would have remained consistent throughout the whole thing.


Dying Metaphors: U.S. Politician 1950-1970Nikki Dabney
Citation: "Martin Luther King's Speech: 'I Have a Dream' - The Full Text - ABC News." ABCNews.com - Breaking News, Latest News & Top Video News - ABC News. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2012. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/martin-luther-kings-speech-dream-full-text/story?id=14358231.

I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr.
August 28, 1963

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

Commentary:
When dying metaphors are used they weaken the effectiveness of the speech because the reader simply glances over them and does not contemplate the connection the author is trying to make. Cliché metaphors become a phrase in the reader’s mind. The reader no longer pictures “a beacon light of hope” or something in the “midst of a vast ocean.” It is something they are used to seeing in word so they don’t try to see it in their mind. “Shaking the foundation” or “rising to majestic heights” cannot be applied to every situation. Metaphors should be specific and relate only to what they describe. It is hard to understand how the nation needs to use its drive to overcome obstacles when the overused metaphor, “rising to majestic heights is used.” Each idea and connection an author presents should have its own accurate metaphor in order to aid in the deep understanding of the connection.

U.S. Political Speech from January 2007 to Present: ANNOTATED VERSION
Citation: "Transcript - Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address - Text - NYTimes.com." The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/20/us/politics/20text-obama.html?pagewanted=all.


President Barach Obama's Inauguration Speech January 20, 2009

KeyStale imageryMeaningless wordsDying metaphors


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you.
CROWD: Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama!
My fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors.
I thank President Bush for his service to our nation...
(APPLAUSE)
... as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.
Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath.

The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears, and true to our founding documents.
So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.
That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age.
Homes have been lost, jobs
shed, businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly, our schools fail too many, and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.
These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable, but no less profound,
is a sapping of confidence across our land; a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real, they are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this America: They will be met.
(APPLAUSE)
On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.
We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things.
The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

(APPLAUSE)

…. (speech continues).....


Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions, who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short, for they have forgotten what this country has already done, what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose and necessity to courage.
What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them, that the
stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long, no longer apply.
MR. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works, whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is
dignified.

Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end.
And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.
Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched.
But this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control. The nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous.
The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart -- not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.
(APPLAUSE)


....(speech continues)....



U.S. Political Speech from January 2007 to Present: EDITED VERSION
Citation: "Transcript - Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address - Text - NYTimes.com." The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/20/us/politics/20text-obama.html?pagewanted=all.

President Barack Obama's Inauguration Speech January 20, 2009

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you.
CROWD: Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama!
My fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors.
I thank President Bush for his service to our nation...
(APPLAUSE)
... as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.
Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath.
The words have been spoken during the blossoming of bud and the patience of a seed. Yet, every so often the oath is taken once the stove is turned on or when the water starts to boil. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forefathers, and true to our founding documents.
So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.
That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war against a captive vine of violence and hatred. Our economy has been weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some but also our collective failure to make tough choices and prepare the nation for a new age.
Homes have been lost, jobs destroyed, businesses broken. Our health care is too costly, our schools fail too many, and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.
These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. These indicators decrease the confidence that citizens have in our nation and serve as signs of a possible decline for America causing the future generations to expect less.
Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real, they are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this America: They will be met.
(APPLAUSE)
On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.
On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the un important grievances and false promises, the recriminations and overused rules that that have stunted the growth of our political system for too long.
We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.
(APPLAUSE)
… (speech continues)…
Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions, who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many tedious plans. Their memories are short, for they have forgotten what this country has already done, what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose and necessity to courage.
What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them, that the senseless arguments have consumed us for so long, no longer apply.
MR. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works, whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that rewards them for their hard work of the last 50 years.

Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end.
And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the vulnerability a glass window provides, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.
Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched.
But this crisis has reminded us that without the alert eye of a protective mother, the market can spin out of control. The nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous.
The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart -- not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.
(APPLAUSE)
….(speech continues)….