When a natural or man-made disaster strikes, political speeches barely hold solace to those grieving. Nevertheless, when politicians broadcast speeches, they become the most viewed events on screen. Great speeches move people to shed tears, moderate ones go unnoticed but the greatest ones coin phrases that are forever etched in the public memory. Anatomy of presidential speeches post disasters reveal they hold a balance of sympathy and inspiration. But one man, namely Donald Trump, has gone on to break the orthodoxy of post-disaster speeches with his absurdity and no-show of empathy.
Leaders sympathise with the victims of the disaster followed by lines of inspiration promising justice and hope. When America’s twin towers fell, Americans and the world looked up to George Bush for his words and he did not fail, “America today stands on bended knees,” marked the start of his speech which ended with promises of putting the guilty to repent. His words at ground zero blaring through a loudspeaker too promised justice, “I hear you, the world hears you and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear from us soon.”
Former US President Barack Obama is widely known to be one of the greatest orators of our time, his most significant speech being the one he gave post the dastardly Orlando shoot-out. He is known to have stuck to the White House patterns of post-diaster speeches where Presidents first sympathise with the victims, then lay out ground facts and statistics and move on to promise action towards those guilty.
While Bush is not considered as the best breed of sympathetic politicians and Barack known to top speech deliveries, Trump has managed to beat most Presidents to a level where that has put his predecessors on a pedestal. The most recent case in point is when Trump landed on Puerto Rican soil to console the deranged country that was hit by a disastrous Hurricane Maria, Trump’s words loosely translated ‘its 16 versus thousands’. Not only did he fail to console people, he managed to outrage people with his towel distribution stunt attempting to make it look like he was distributing free goodies in Madison square.
Trump’s lack of show of sympathy post disasters has been well recorded, we can only hope he manages to read the speech written for him by the Trump team in White House.Read More