Why Presidential Speeches Inspire the People and Spread Political Agenda
Presidential speeches carry great weight and can move, anger, or inspire the people of the United States and around the world. These speeches not only reveal the United States challenges, dreams, and desires, but also the perspective of the leader. Inaugural speeches are a tradition, not required by the Constitution, created by our first president, George Washington.
George Washington’s first inaugural speech addressed the need for a strong Constitution and Bill of Rights, “You will join with me, I trust, in thinking that there are none under the influence of which the proceedings of a new and free government can more auspiciously commence.” A belief that the United States could only survive and prosper with the guidance of the “Almighty Being” while its government benefited from the consent of the governed.
John Adams explained in his inaugural address that it was his duty to uphold the Constitution as president and pledged to do so.
“With this great example before me, with the sense and spirit, the faith and honor, the duty and interest, of the same American people pledged to support the Constitution of the United States, I entertain no doubt of its continuance in all its energy, and my mind is prepared without hesitation to lay myself under the most solemn obligations to support it to the utmost of my power.”
Thomas Jefferson addressed the country, reminding them of their unification as a young country, overcoming differences of opinion and uniting for the common good. “Let us, then, fellow-citizens, unite with one heart and one mind. Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things.”
James Madison, fourth president of the United States, addressed the nation with his views and perspective of the world, a desire to remain a neutral country. “Under the benign influence of our republican institutions, and the maintenance of peace with all nations whilst so many of them were engaged in bloody and wasteful wars, the fruits of a just policy were enjoyed in an unrivaled growth of our faculties and resources.”
Democracy needs a free press in order to have informed citizens, however with the evolution of free press comes a great price. In the 1930’s and 1940’s studies found that information was transmitted in two steps, one person reading the news and then sharing the information with friends. In the 1970’s there was the cultivation theory, that media develops a person’s view of the world by presenting a perceived reality.
We can see by this trend the affect media now has on today’s society. With the click of a button we’re hand fed beliefs molded by a political agenda. The result, a less informed, politically uneducated nation whose believes and feels more involved than ever simply because they have “facts” at the tips of their fingers dramatically affecting the way current day presidents interact and influence their country.
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