Meaningless Words, Dying Metaphors, and Pretentious Diction in Modern Political Language

Meaningless Words in Modern Political Language- Foreign Politician

By: Amanda Stephens
Citation: Blair, Tony. "British Political Speech | Speech Archive." British Political Speech | Home Page. Web. 13 Feb. 2011.

General Election Victory Speech, 2005

Tony Blair (Labour)220px-WORLD_ECONOMIC_FORUM_ANNUAL_MEETING_2009_-_Tony_Blair.jpg
Location: 10 Downing Street
Good morning everyone.
As you know I've just come from Buckingham Palace where the Queen has asked me to form a new government which I will do.
It's a tremendous honour and privilege to be elected for a third term and I'm acutely conscious of that honour and that privilege.
When I stood here first, eight years ago, I was a lot younger but also a lot less experienced.
Today as well as having in our minds the priorities that people want, we - I - the government, has the experience and the knowledge, as well as the determination and commitment to deliver them.
But the great thing about an election is that you go out, you talk to people for week upon week and I've listened and I've learnt and I think I've a very clear idea of what the British people now expect from this government for a third term.
And I want to say to them very directly that I - we - the government, are going to focus relentlessly now on the priorities the people have set for us.
And what are those priorities? Well first they like the strong economy but life is still a real struggle for many people and many families in this country.
And they know that there are new issues. Help for first-time buyers to get their feet on the first rungs of the housing ladder.
Families trying to cope with balancing work and family life. Many people struggling to make ends meet. Many families on low incomes who desperately need help and support to increase their living standards.
Businesses who, whilst they like the economic stability, want us also to focus on stimulating enterprise, on investing in science and skills and technology for the future.
It is very clear what people want us to do and we will do it.
Public service reform
Secondly, in relation to the public services - health and education - again people like the investment that has gone in to public services - they welcome it. I found absolutely no support for any suggestion we cut back on that investment.
But people want that money to work better for them. They want higher standards both of care and of education for the investment we're putting in.
And so we will focus on delivering not just the investment but the reform and change in those public services.
And I will do so with passion because I want to keep universal public services but know that the only way of keeping the consent for them, is by making the changes necessary for the 21st century.
And third, people welcome that so many more people are in work and have moved off benefit and into work. But people still know there are too many people economically inactive who should be helped off benefit and into work.
And they also know that on pensions today, whatever help we're giving for today's pensioners, tomorrow's pensioners are deeply concerned as to whether they'll have the standard of life that they want.
People expect us to sort these issues - we will do so.
Lack of respect
Fourth, I've also learnt that the British people are a tolerant and decent people.
They did not want immigration made a divisive issue in the course of the election campaign. But they do believe there are real problems in our immigration and asylum system and they expect us to sort them out and we will do so.
And fifth, I've been struck, again and again, in the course of this campaign by people's worry that in our country today, though they like the fact that we've got over the deference of the past, there is a disrespect that people don't like. And whether it's in the classroom, or on the street, or on town centres on a Friday or Saturday night, I want to focus on this issue.
We've done a lot so far with anti-social behaviour and additional numbers of police, but I want to make this a particular priority for this government - how we bring back a proper sense of respect in our schools, in our communities, in our towns, in our villages.
And arising out of that will be a radical programme of legislation that will focus exactly on those priorities; on education; on health; on welfare reform; on immigration; on law and order.
Big agenda
In addition I know that Iraq has been a deeply divisive issue in this country - that's been very, very clear.
But I also know and believe that after this election people want to move on; they want to focus on the future in Iraq and here.
And I know too that there are many other issues that concern people in the international agenda and we will focus on those; on poverty in Africa, on climate change, on making progress in Israel and Palestine.
So there is a very, very big agenda for a third term Labour government. And as I said to you earlier, even if we don't have quite the same expectations that people had of us in 1997, yet now we do have, I believe, the experience as well as the commitment to see it through.
And one final thing, which is that I've also learnt something about the British people, that, whatever their difficulties and disagreements with us and whatever issues and challenges that confront them, their values of fairness and decency and opportunity for all and a belief that people should be able to get on, on hard work and merit, not class or background - those values are the values I believe in, the values our government will believe in.
Thank you.

Commentary: In his speech, Tony Blair, former Prime Minister, utilizes a plethora of meaningless words that cause some confusion for the audience. Several of the words he depicts do not directly refer to any tangible opinion, or they contain multiple definitions, so a specific understanding cannot be obtained. The words’ multiple meanings do not always relate, which allows for an open interpretation of what Blair actually meant to say. How would someone know what Blair was referring to when he used such open-ended words? Blair may have his own definition of the words and how he intended for them to be used, but he does not fully explain them. Therefore, they become meaningless. The audience cannot understand the intended effect of the speech because they are too busy trying to figure out what Blair is trying to say. This tactic is used by many politicians so that they can appear to “please” everyone in the audience by being vague and allowing for many interpretations. While this tactic is appealing to many political speakers, it weakens their speech because of the lack of meaning displayed through words that can be interpreted differently by everyone.


Metaphors in Modern Political Language- U.S. Politician 1950-1970

By: Karla Lara
Citation: Kennedy, John F.. "John F. Kennedy: Inaugural Address. U.S. Inaugural Addresses. 1989." Bartleby. N.p., 20 Jan. 1961. Web. 21 Feb. 2012. <

John F Kennedy's Inaugural Address
January 20, 1961
Vice President Johnson, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, President Eisenhower, Vice President Nixon, President Truman, reverend clergy, fellow citizens, we observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom—symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning—signifying renewal, as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and three quarters ago.1
The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe—the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God. 2
We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage—and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world. 3
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty. 4
This much we pledge—and more. 5
To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends. United, there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided, there is little we can do—for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder. 6
To those new States whom we welcome to the ranks of the free, we pledge our word that one form of colonial control shall not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny. We shall not always expect to find them supporting our view. But we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own freedom—and to remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside. 7
To those peoples in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required—not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. 8
To our sister republics south of our border, we offer a special pledge—to convert our good words into good deeds—in a new alliance for progress—to assist free men and free governments in casting off the chains of poverty. But this peaceful revolution of hope cannot become the prey of hostile powers. Let all our neighbors know that we shall join with them to oppose aggression or subversion anywhere in the Americas. And let every other power know that this Hemisphere intends to remain the master of its own house. 9
To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support—to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective—to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak—and to enlarge the area in which its writ may run. 10
Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction. 11
We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed. 12
But neither can two great and powerful groups of nations take comfort from our present course—both sides overburdened by the cost of modern weapons, both rightly alarmed by the steady spread of the deadly atom, yet both racing to alter that uncertain balance of terror that stays the hand of mankind's final war. 13
So let us begin anew—remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate. 14
Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us. 15
Let both sides, for the first time, formulate serious and precise proposals for the inspection and control of arms—and bring the absolute power to destroy other nations under the absolute control of all nations. 16
Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce. 17
Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth the command of Isaiah—to "undo the heavy burdens ... and to let the oppressed go free." 18
And if a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating a new endeavor, not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved. 19
All this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin. 20
In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than in mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe. 21
Now the trumpet summons us again—not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are—but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, "rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation"—a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself. 22
Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort? 23
In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility—I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it—and the glow from that fire can truly light the world. 24
And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country. 25
My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man. 26
Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own.

Although John F. Kennedy’s inaugural speech is considered one of the best, the use of dying metaphors proved to hinder its purpose. While trying to spark a flame of passion, loyalty and pride to Americans, the flawed use of vague metaphors held that emotion back. He used pretty common and overused expressions such as “the torch has been passed,” “pay any price,” “become the prey,” among others that weaken the impact of the words. Instead of using such metaphors, modifying one to fit more accurately and be more vivid and personified would have made the speech more powerful. Metaphors are meant to symbolize and better represent the emotions of the situations, but using something weak and vague defeats that purpose and fails to apply that emotional appeal that makes the audience connect with the purpose of the speech, especially for one like Kennedy’s where the purpose is to make America as a whole feel like a very unified society.

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Pretentious Diction in Modern Political Language- U.S. Politician 1970-2000

By: Srisai Pamulapati

"American Rhetoric: Ronald Reagan -- First Inaugural Address." American Rhetoric: The Power of Oratory in the United States. N.p., n.d. Tue. 21 Feb. 2012. <>.

Senator Hatfield, Mr. Chief Justice, Mr. President, Vice President Bush, Vice President Mondale, Senator Baker, Speaker O'Neill, Reverend Moomaw, and my fellow citizens: To a few of us here today, this is a solemn and most momentous occasion; and yet, in the history of our Nation, it is a commonplace occurrence. The orderly transfer of authority as called for in the Constitution routinely takes place as it has for almost two centuries and few of us stop to think how unique we really are. In the eyes of many in the world, this every-4-year ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle.
Mr. President, I want our fellow citizens to know how much you did to carry on this tradition. By your gracious cooperation in the transition process, you have shown a watching world that we are a united people pledged to maintaining a political system which guarantees individual liberty to a greater degree than any other, and I thank you and your people for all your help in maintaining the continuity which is the bulwark of our Republic.
The business of our nation goes forward. These United States are confronted with an economic affliction of great proportions. We suffer from the longest and one of the worst sustained inflations in our national history. It distorts our economic decisions, penalizes thrift, and crushes the struggling young and the fixed-income elderly alike. It threatens to shatter the lives of millions of our people.
Idle industries have cast workers into unemployment, causing human misery and personal indignity. Those who do work are denied a fair return for their labor by a tax system which penalizes successful achievement and keeps us from maintaining full productivity.
We must act today in order to preserve tomorrow. And let there be no misunderstanding -- we are going to begin to act, beginning today.
The economic ills we suffer have come upon us over several decades. They will not go away in days, weeks, or months, but they will go away. They will go away because we, as Americans, have the capacity now, as we have had in the past, to do whatever needs to be done to preserve this last and greatest bastion of freedom.
In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem.
From time to time, we have been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. But if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price.
We hear much of special interest groups. Our concern must be for a special interest group that has been too long neglected. It knows no sectional boundaries or ethnic and racial divisions, and it crosses political party lines. It is made up of men and women who raise our food, patrol our streets, man our mines and our factories, teach our children, keep our homes, and heal us when we are sick -- professionals, industrialists, shopkeepers, clerks, cabbies, and truckdrivers. They are, in short, "We the people," this breed called Americans.
Well, this administration's objective will be a healthy, vigorous, growing economy that provides equal opportunity for all Americans, with no barriers born of bigotry or discrimination. Putting America back to work means putting all Americans back to work. Ending inflation means freeing all Americans from the terror of runaway living costs. All must share in the productive work of this "new beginning" and all must share in the bounty of a revived economy. With the idealism and fair play which are the core of our system and our strength, we can have a strong and prosperous America at peace with itself and the world.
It is no coincidence that our present troubles parallel and are proportionate to the intervention and intrusion in our lives that result from unnecessary and excessive growth of government. It is time for us to realize that we are too great a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams. We are not, as some would have us believe, loomed to an inevitable decline. I do not believe in a fate that will all on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing. So, with all the creative energy at our command, let us begin an era of national renewal. Let us renew our determination, our courage, and our strength. And let us renew; our faith and our hope.
We have every right to dream heroic dreams. Those who say that we are in a time when there are no heroes just don't know where to look. You can see heroes every day going in and out of factory gates. Others, a handful in number, produce enough food to feed all of us and then the world beyond. You meet heroes across a counter -- and they are on both sides of that counter. There are entrepreneurs with faith in themselves and faith in an idea who create new jobs, new wealth and opportunity. They are individuals and families whose taxes support the Government and whose voluntary gifts support church, charity, culture, art, and education. Their patriotism is quiet but deep. Their values sustain our national life.
I have used the words "they" and "their" in speaking of these heroes. I could say "you" and "your" because I am addressing the heroes of whom I speak -- you, the citizens of this blessed land. Your dreams, your hopes, your goals are going to be the dreams, the hopes, and the goals of this administration, so help me God.
We shall reflect the compassion that is so much a part of your makeup. How can we love our country and not love our countrymen, and loving them, reach out a hand when they fall, heal them when they are sick, and provide opportunities to make them self- sufficient so they will be equal in fact and not just in theory?
Can we solve the problems confronting us? Well, the answer is an unequivocal and emphatic "yes." To paraphrase Winston Churchill, I did not take the oath I have just taken with the intention of presiding over the dissolution of the world's strongest economy.
And as we renew ourselves here in our own land, we will be seen as having greater strength throughout the world. We will again be the exemplar of freedom and a beacon of hope for those who do not now have freedom.
To those neighbors and allies who share our freedom, we will strengthen our historic ties and assure them of our support and firm commitment. We will match loyalty with loyalty. We will strive for mutually beneficial relations. We will not use our friendship to impose on their sovereignty, for or own sovereignty is not for sale.
As for the enemies of freedom, those who are potential adversaries, they will be reminded that peace is the highest aspiration of the American people. We will negotiate for it, sacrifice for it; we will not surrender for it -- now or ever.
Our forbearance should never be misunderstood. Our reluctance for conflict should not be misjudged as a failure of will. When action is required to preserve our national security, we will act. We will maintain sufficient strength to prevail if need be, knowing that if we do so we have the best chance of never having to use that strength.
Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have. It is a weapon that we as Americans do have. Let that be understood by those who practice terrorism and prey upon their neighbors.
This is the first time in history that this ceremony has been held, as you have been told, on this West Front of the Capitol. Standing here, one faces a magnificent vista, opening up on this city's special beauty and history. At the end of this open mall are those shrines to the giants on whose shoulders we stand.
Directly in front of me, the monument to a monumental man: George Washington, Father of our country. A man of humility who came to greatness reluctantly. He led America out of revolutionary victory into infant nationhood. Off to one side, the stately memorial to Thomas Jefferson. The Declaration of Independence flames with his eloquence.
And then beyond the Reflecting Pool the dignified columns of the Lincoln Memorial. Whoever would understand in his heart the meaning of America will find it in the life of Abraham Lincoln.
Beyond those monuments to heroism is the Potomac River, and on the far shore the sloping hills of Arlington National Cemetery with its row on row of simple white markers bearing crosses or Stars of David. They add up to only a tiny fraction of the price that has been paid for our freedom.
Under one such marker lies a young man who left his job in a small town barber shop in 1917 to go to France with the famed Rainbow Division. There, on the western front, he was killed trying to carry a message between battalions under heavy artillery fire.
We are told that on his body was found a diary. On the flyleaf under the heading, "My Pledge," he had written these words: "America must win this war. Therefore, I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone."
The crisis we are facing today does not require of us the kind of sacrifice that Martin Treptow and so many thousands of others were called upon to make. It does require, however, our best effort, and our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds; to believe that together, with God's help, we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us.
And, after all, why shouldn't we believe that? We are Americans. God bless you, and thank you.

The expressions used by Ronald Reagan in his speech, are examples of pretentious diction. The phrases used are vague and can potentially mean anything. For example in his speech, Reagan uses the term “We must act today in order to preserve tomorrow.” This sentence includes pretentious diction because it is so general. The actions that Reagan is talking about could be anything, which causes confusion. When Ronald Reagan uses pretentious diction it weakens his speech because his audience is left guessing about his true meaning. He should have been more specific on his wishes for the country instead of being hazy. Avoiding pretentious diction is especially important during political speeches because political figures loose credibility when their speeches are general and vague. Ronald Reagan’s overall effectiveness could have been improved by simply being more clear throughout his speech and refraining from pretentious diction. By using impressive looking words he focus and thoughts look indefinite and not precise.

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Bush, George W.. "American Rhetoric: George W. Bush - First Inaugural Address." American Rhetoric: The Power of Oratory in the United States. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2012. <>.
Meaningless words (blue)
Pretentious Diction (yellow)
Dying Metaphors (green)

Thank you all.
Chief Justice Rehnquist, President Carter, President Bush, President Clinton, distinguished guests and my fellow citizens:
The peaceful transfer of authority is rare in history, yet common in our country. With a simple oath, we affirm old traditions and make new beginnings.
As I begin, I thank President Clinton for his service to our nation.
And I thank Vice President Gore for a contest conducted with spirit and ended with grace.
I am honored and humbled to stand here, where so many of America's leaders have come before me, and so many will follow.
We have a place, all of us, in a long story -- a story we continue, but whose end we will not see. It is a story of a new world that became a friend and liberator of the old, a story of a slave-holding society that became a servant of freedom, the story of a power that went into the world to protect but not possess, to defend but not to conquer.
It is the American story -- a story of flawed and fallible people, united across the generations by grand and enduring ideals. The grandest of these ideals is an unfolding American promise that everyone belongs, that everyone deserves a chance, that no insignificant person was ever born. Americans are called to enact this promise in our lives and in our laws. And though our nation has sometimes halted, and sometimes delayed, we must follow no other course.
Through much of the last century, America's faith in freedom and democracywas a rock in a raging sea. Now it is a seed upon the wind, taking root in many nations. Our democratic faith is more than the creed of our country, it is the inborn hope of our humanity, an ideal we carry but do not own, a trust we bear and pass along. And even after nearly 225 years, we have a long way yet to travel.
While many of our citizens prosper, others doubt the promise, even the justice, of our own country. The ambitions of some Americans are limited by failing schools and hidden prejudice and the circumstances of their birth. And sometimes our differences run so deep, it seems we share a continent, but not a country. We do not accept this, and we will not allow it. Our unity, our union, is the serious work of leaders and citizens in every generation.
And this is my solemn pledge: I will work to build a single nation of justice and opportunity.
I know this is in our reach because we are guided by a Power larger than ourselves who creates us equal in His image.
And we are confident in principles that unite and lead us onward. America has never been united by blood or birth or soil. We are bound by ideals that move us beyond our backgrounds, lift us above our interests and teach us what it means to be citizens. Every child must be taught these principles. Every citizen must uphold them. And every immigrant, by embracing these ideals, makes our country more, not less, American.
Today -- Today we affirm a new commitment to live out our nation's promise through civility, courage, compassion, and character. America, at its best, matches a commitment to principle with a concern for civility. A civil society demands from each of us good will and respect, fair dealing and forgiveness.
Some seem to believe that our politics can afford to be pettybecause, in a time of peace, the stakes of our debates appear small. But the stakes for America are never small. If our country does not lead the cause of freedom, it will not be led. If we do not turn the hearts of children toward knowledge and character, we will lose their gifts and undermine their idealism. If we permit our economy to drift and decline, the vulnerable will suffer most.
We must live up to the calling we share. Civility is not a tactic or a sentiment. It is the determined choice of trust over cynicism, of community over chaos. And this commitment, if we keep it, is a way to shared accomplishment.
America, at its best, is also courageous. Our national courage has been clear in times of depression and war, when defeating common dangers defined our common good. Now we must choose if the example of our fathers and mothers will inspire us or condemn us. We must show courage in a time of blessing by confronting problems instead of passing them on to future generations.
Together, we will reclaim America's schools, before ignorance and apathy claim more young lives. We will reform Social Security and Medicare, sparing our children from struggles we have the power to prevent. And we'll reduce taxes, to recover the momentum of our economy and reward the effort and enterprise of working Americans. We will build our defenses beyond challenge, lest weakness invite challenge. We will confront weapons of mass destruction, so that a new century is spared new horrors.
The enemies of liberty and our country should make no mistake: America remains engaged in the world by history and by choice, shaping a balance of power that favors freedom. We will defend our allies and our interests. We will show purpose without arrogance. We will meet aggression and bad faith with resolve and strength. And to all nations, we will speak for the values that gave our nation birth.
America, at its best, is compassionate. In the quiet of American conscience, we know that deep, persistent poverty is unworthy of our nation's promise. And whatever our views of its cause, we can agree that children at risk are not at fault. Abandonment and abuse are not acts of God, they are failures of love. And the proliferationof prisons, however necessary, is no substitute for hope and order in our souls. Where there is suffering, there is duty. Americans in need are not strangers, they are citizens, not problems, but priorities. And all of us are diminished when any are hopeless.
Government has great responsibilities for public safety and public health, for civil rights and common schools. Yet compassion is the work of a nation, not just a government. And some needs and hurts are so deep they will only respond to a mentor's touch or a pastor's prayer. Church and charity, synagogue and mosque lend our communities their humanity, and they will have an honored place in our plans and in our laws.
Many in our country do not know the pain of poverty, but we can listen to those who do. And I can pledge our nation to a goal: When we see that wounded traveler on the road to Jericho, we will not pass to the other side.
America, at its best, is a place where personal responsibility is valued and expected. Encouraging responsibility is not a search for scapegoats, it is a call to conscience. And though it requires sacrifice, it brings a deeper fulfillment. We find the fullness of life not only in options, but in commitments. And we find that children and community are the commitments that set us free.
Our public interest depends on private character, on civic duty and family bonds and basic fairness, on -- on uncounted, unhonored acts of decency which give direction to our freedom. Sometimes in life we're called to do great things. But as a saint of our times has said, every day we are called to "do small things with great love."¹ The most important tasks of a democracy are done by everyone.
I will live and lead by these principles: to advance my convictions with civility, to pursue the public interest with courage, to speak for greater justice and compassion, to call for responsibility and try to live it as well. In all these ways, I will bring the values of our history to the care of our times.
What you do is as important as anything government does. I ask you to seek a common good beyond your comfort; to defend needed reforms against easy attacks; to serve your nation, beginning with your neighbor. I ask you to be citizens: citizens, not spectators; citizens, not subjects; responsible citizens, building communities of service and a nation of character.
Americans are generous and strong and decent, not because we believe in ourselves, but because we hold beliefs beyond ourselves. When this spirit of citizenship is missing, no government program can replace it. When this spirit is present, no wrong can stand against it.
After the Declaration of Independence was signed, Virginia statesman John Page wrote to Thomas Jefferson: "We know the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong. Do you not think an angel rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm?"
Much time has passed since Jefferson arrived for his inauguration. The years and changes accumulate. But the themes of this day he would know: our nation's grand story of courage and its simple dream of dignity.
We are not this story's Author, who fills time and eternity with His purpose. Yet His purpose is achieved in our duty, and our duty is fulfilled in service to one another.
Never tiring, never yielding, never finishing, we renew that purpose today, to make our country more just and generous, to affirm the dignity of our lives and every life.
This work continues. The story goes on. And an angel still rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm.
God bless you all, and God bless America.

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Thank you all.
Chief Justice Rehnquist, President Carter, President Bush, President Clinton, guests and my fellow citizens:
The transfer of authority is a fairly peaceful transition in our country. We agree to learn from our past and create new beginnings.
As I begin, I thank President Clinton for his term as President.
And I thank Vice President Gore for not being a sore loser.
I am honored and humbled to be President.
I believe it is my task to continue the legacy of our nation as a successful adapting country; wise and good enough to know what traditions to keep and to know what traditions must go. We transformed a slave-holding society into a servant of freedom and a nation of power that goes into the world to protect but not possess, to defend but not to conquer.
We all deserve to be our own person, and that is what our country has been founded on. We don’t know what will happen in the future, but we must keep our promise of making sure everyone can be an individual.
Our economy has fluctuated through much of the last century, but we there is plenty of room for improvement.
While many of our citizens are economically successful, others doubt the justice of our political system. The goals of some Americans are limited by their economic situation. Our different social classes make us feel superior to one another. We do not accept this, and we will not allow it. We need to focus on becoming a unified nation.
And this is my solemn pledge: I will work to build a single nation of equal economic and social opportunity.
This can be done because we have God, who knows what equality really is, on our side.
And we are confident in principles that unite and lead us onward. We have to be taught how to do this, whether we are born in the U.S. or immigrating from another country. The more diversity of population makes us more American.
Today -- Today we affirm a new commitment to live out our nation's promise through characteristics of civility. A civil society demands from each of us to be caring citizens.
The stakes for America are never small. If our country does not lead the cause of independence, it will not be led. We need to focus on educating the young generation to ensure an economic improvement, not decline.
Civility is a choice, but it a sure way of accomplishment for our society.
America has shown through historical events that it isn’t afraid to fight for what it believes in. We should confront our problems confidently instead of running away from them.
We must reform the schools, Social Security, and Medicare to benefit our children.
And we'll reduce taxes, to recover the momentum of our economy and reward the effort and enterprise of working Americans.
America wants other countries to be as free as it is, so America chooses to remain engaged in the world. While looking out for the success of our nation, we will overtake our enemies with physical strength and spread our beliefs about our political system.
America cares about the social, political, and economical success of its citizens. Therefore, the citizens should be the main focus of politicians when establishing laws or systems to give them a sense of hope for a better life.
Government has great responsibilities for public safety and public health, for civil rights and common schools. Yet being selfless is the work of a nation, not just a government..
Many in our country do not know what it’s like to be without money, but we can listen to those who do and help them in any way possible.
America is a place where personal responsibility is the norm. It causes people to be less self centered, which builds to the fulfilment of life.
The overall interest of society depends on how the individual acts.
Sometimes in life we're called to follow our own dreams, whatever they may be. But as a saint of our times has said, every day we are called to "do small things with great love." The most important tasks of a democracy are done by everyone.
I will live and lead by these principles: to advance my convictions with civility, to pursue the public interest with courage, to speak for greater justice and compassion, to call for responsibility and try to live it as well. In all these ways, I will incorporate the past goals of our nation into the present.
What you do is as important as anything government does. I ask you to be citizens of character that hold beliefs beyond yourselves.
God’s purpose is achieved through us and our actions.
Never tiring, never yielding, never finishing, we renew that purpose today, to make our country more selfless.
God bless you all, and God bless America.

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REWRITE (This one I did last minute after realizing the speech above was outside of the time area)

This speech is Edward Kennedy's Address to the Democratic National Convention on the 25th of August, 2008.

Kennedy, Edward. "Transcript: Kennedy Addresses DNC." ABC. Pittsburgh, 25 Aug 2008.Address.

Meaningless words (blue)
Pretentious Diction (yellow)
Dying Metaphors (green)


Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Caroline.

My fellow Democrats, my fellow Americans, it is so wonderful to be here.
And nothing - nothing is going to keep me away from this special gathering tonight.
I have come here tonight to stand with you to change America, to restore its future, to rise to our best ideals, and to elect Barack Obama president of the United States.
As I look ahead, I am strengthened by family and friendship. So many of you have been with me in the happiest days and the hardest days. Together we have known success and seen setbacks, victory and defeat.
But we have never lost our belief that we are all called to a better country and a newer world. And I pledge to you - I pledge to you that I will be there next January on the floor of the United States Senate when we begin the great test.
Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you.
For me this is a season of hope - new hope for a justice and fair prosperity for the many, and not just for the few - new hope.
And this is the cause of my life - new hope that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American - north, south, east, west, young, old - will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not a privilege.
We can meet these challenges with Barack Obama. Yes, we can, and finally, yes, we will.
Barack Obama will close the book on the old politics of race and gender and group against group and straight against gay.
And Barack Obama will be a commander in chief who understands that young Americans in uniform must never be committed to a mistake, but always for a mission worthy of their bravery.
We are told that Barack Obama believes too much in an America of high principle and bold endeavor, but when John Kennedy called of going to the moon, he didn't say it's too far to get there. We shouldn't even try.
Our people answered his call and rose to the challenge, and today an American flag still marks the surface of the moon.
Yes, we are all Americans. This is what we do. We reach the moon. We scale the heights. I know it. I've seen it. I've lived it. And we can do it again.
There is a new wave of change all around us, and if we set our compass true, we will reach our destination - not merely victory for our party, but renewal for our nation.
And this November the torch will be passed again to a new generation of Americans, so with Barack Obama and for you and for me, our country will be committed to his cause. The work begins anew.The hope rises again. And the dream lives on.


Thank you, Caroline.

My fellow Democrats, my fellow Americans,
I have come here tonight to urge you to help change America and to elect Barack Obama president of the United States.
As I look ahead, I know that I will be supported by family and friendship. So many of you have supported me through the good and the bad times of my life. Together we have known economic success and seen many times that the nation has failed to provide the citizens with a stable economy.
But we have never lost sight of our goal to become a world power in all aspects- socially, economically, and politically. I promise I will be there next January at the United States Senate.
I think we can all try to achieve a successful economic life.
And this is the cause of my life - everyone will have an opportunity to receive health care.
We can finally accomplish this with Barack Obama.
Barack Obama will put an end to the old politics of race and gender and group against group and straight against gay.
And Barack Obama will be a leader who understands that young Americans in uniform must never be committed to a mistake, but always for a mission worthy of their bravery.
We are told that Barack Obama believes too much in high standards, but it’s not like this hasn’t happened before.
Yes, we are all Americans. This is what we do. Our future tells us that we can achieve the unthinkable, so we can surely do it again.
We must act to achieve our goals as a nation wanting social, political, and economic power.
And this November a new leader will again come from a new generation of Americans, so with Barack Obama and for you and for me, our country will work to achieve his cause. We can pursue our own dreams through his authority.