Reagan’s 9/11

On September 11, 2014, in America, Freedom, Heroes, History, Liberty, Patriotism, President, Rhetoric, Ronald Reagan, September 11, Terrorism, War, by Derrick G. Jeter

Few presidents have articulated the principles of freedom with such passion and persuasive force as did Ronald Reagan. None since have. Therefore, it seemed fitting, on this thirteenth anniversary when, in the words of President George W. Bush, freedom was attacked—September 11, 2001—that we read and hear anew from the champion of freedom. On January […]

Speeches That Made History: Edward M. Kennedy Eulogizes Robert F. Kennedy

On June 5, 2014, in America, Death, History, Rhetoric, by Derrick G. Jeter

Edward Kennedy, the youngest of nine children, lost two brothers within the span of five years. Like many other families, the Kennedys have known the piercing grief of loosing loved ones in the prime of their lives. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., the bright shining hope of Joe Sr. to become the first Irish Catholic American […]

John F. Kennedy’s Undelivered Speech

On November 22, 2013, in America, Patriotism, President, Rhetoric, by Derrick G. Jeter

John F. Kennedy was our most eloquent president since Franklin D. Roosevelt—until the inauguration of Ronald Reagan. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address was the most rhetorical pleasing since Abraham Lincoln’s Second. And though Kennedy never reached Lincolnesque heights, he, like Lincoln, understood and used the power of words to propel his policies. But even the most gifted […]

The New Slavery: Obama Speaks about the Zimmerman/Martin Case

On July 22, 2013, in America, Barack Obama, Rhetoric, Truth, by Derrick G. Jeter

As a general rule I don’t follow murder trials, especially those in other communities. My own community has enough problems to demand my time and attention without the distraction of keeping up with another’s local news story that has no direct bearing on my family and neighbors. This is all the more true when media […]

Adlai Stevenson Defines the Nature of Patriotism

On June 10, 2013, in America, Freedom, Liberty, Patriotism, Rhetoric, by Derrick G. Jeter

Adlai Ewing Stevenson, II is the grandson of Adlai Stevenson, who served as Grover Cleveland’s Vice President during Cleveland’s second presidential term (1893–1897). Though born in Los Angeles, California, Stevenson was raised in Bloomington, Illinois. A graduate of Princeton, Harvard, and Northwestern he was considered one of the intellectual lights of the FDR’s New Deal. […]

Speeches That Made History: Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain”

Winston Churchill was a forced to be reckoned with. With bulldog like features, Churchill was pugnacious and not easily ignored. A solider and statesman, he is perhaps best known as a speaker. In an earlier article (“Churchill 101”) I described Churchill’s oratorical prowess like this: Winston Churchill marshaled words like a general marshals men. He […]

A Prayer for the Dead at Iwo Jima

On February 23, 2013, in America, Courage, Death, Freedom, Heroes, History, Marine Corps, Patriotism, Prayer, Rhetoric, Soldiers, Veterans, War, by Derrick G. Jeter

Uncommon Valor was a Common Virtue. These words, inscribed on the Marine Corps Iwo Jima Memorial, spoken by Admiral Chester Nimitz, capture the spirit of the Corps. But the prayer of Rabbi Roland Bertram Gittelsohn captures the heartache and dreams of the Corps. Gittelsohn was a navy chaplain who landed with the 5th Marine Division […]

Rejected Drafts to Obama’s Inaugural Address

On January 21, 2013, in America, Barack Obama, Government, History, Language, President, Rhetoric, U.S. Constitution, by Derrick G. Jeter

Inaugural addresses don’t just write themselves. And are rarely written by the person delivering the address. Typically, inaugural speeches are written by a team, overseen by a head speechwriter. How involved the president-elect or reelected president is in the crafting of words depends on personality and time. Before words stain the page, however, broad themes […]

Down the Rabbit Hole: A Look at the Biden-Ryan Vice Presidential Debate

On October 12, 2012, in America, Future, Government, Language, Leadership, Lying, Politics, President, Rhetoric, Ronald Reagan, Taxes, Terrorism, Truth, by Derrick G. Jeter

I lived tweeted the Vice Presidential debate last night. My first tweet as Joe Biden and Paul Ryan took the stage: “Grinning Joe. He’s a nut but you can’t help but like Joe.” Well, that is until Joe takes on the appearance of Alice’s Cheshire Cat—“we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.” Commenting on […]

Memo for Mitt: Five Debating Tips

On October 1, 2012, in America, Barack Obama, Government, Politics, President, Rhetoric, by Derrick G. Jeter

For weeks Mitt Romney has been practicing his debating skills . . . and getting his head handed to him by his handlers and coaches. Now, just days away from the first debate with President Barack Obama, Romney should be relaxing a bit and letting his mind absorb the talking points and statistics. If I […]