If yesterday clarified any one issue in my mind it was this: America seemingly has no great orators or speech writers anymore. Allacross the nation yesterday, speeches were made, or read, and in many cases,the speeches given were originally given sixty-plus years ago by men withnames like Roosevelt, Churchill, and Lincoln. What, exactly, does theGettysburg Address have to do with terrorism? The Gettysburg Addressis a great speech, perhaps even one of the greatest speeches of all time,but much of its poignancy is derived from the context in which the speechwas originally given. Churchill’s pronouncements are powerful today,but were 100 times more powerful in their present. FDR’s speeches wereoften memorable, but spoke about a great World War, not a conflict betweenshadowy characters and a nation’s value system. It is clear that Bush,Bush, and Clinton (a law firm specializing in corporate interests) are andwere not great orators, nor did they have great speech writers. Whilethe local newspapers may have carried the complete text of Bush’s addressyesterday, no one paragraph, sentence, or phrase was particularlyresonant. Bush’s delivery is too choppy and uneven for him to dojustice to a great speech anyway. Even when I read his speeches in thepaper, I can hear his voice chopping up what could have been longer, moreflorid speech, into easier to pronounce, bite-size chunks. Ourpoliticians don’t give speeches anymore, they merely string together tens ofsound bites and hope something sticks. Rather than swaying publicopinion through oratory, politicians now depend on swaying public opinionwith televions advertisement and campaign gimmicks.