As we approach the one-year anniversary of President Trump's inauguration, let's look back more than 100 years to President Theodore Roosevelt's famous "Man in the Arena" speech at the Sorbonne (April 23, 1910). No way could Teddy predict a Twittering successor, but if you are willing to consider a tweet as oratory, then consider this lesser-known but eerily prescient excerpt:
"[I]t is a sign of marked political weakness in any commonwealth if the people tend to be carried away by mere oratory, if they tend to value words in and for themselves, as divorced from the deeds for which they are supposed to stand. The phrase-maker, the phrase-monger, the ready talker, however great his power, whose speech does not make for courage, sobriety, and right understanding, is simply a noxious element in the body politic, and it speaks ill for the public if he has influence over them. To admire the gift of oratory without regard to the moral quality behind the gift is to do wrong to the republic."
— Di Graski, Colorado Springs
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