Something to think about as we approach the 4th of July.
“Oratory is the parent of liberty. By the constitution of things it was ordained that eloquence should be the last stay and support of liberty, and that with her she is ever destined to live, to flourish, and to die. It is to the interest of tyrants to cripple and debilitate every species of eloquence. They have no other safety. It is then, the duty of free states to foster oratory.” -Henry Hardwicke
Henry wrote a book on oratory back in the day (1896) called The History of Oratory and Orators: A study of the influence of oratory upon politics and literature, with special reference to certain orators selected as representative of their several epochs, from the earliest Dawn of Grecian civilization down to the present day. (weeew…. talk about at title) I haven’t read all of it yet but slowly going through on my ipad.
I’ll do a full review once I’m finished, but the first sentence of the book sets the tone: “Oratory is the parent of liberty.”
Taking a look at our current political discourse, we should be weary of people who overlook great orators for those who will overly simplify positions, policies, relationships, and negotiations.