A very good friend dropped by the other day for a cup of tea and a catch up chat. We share a mutual friend who's husband serves on the executive of my union at work. This is an election year and he is running again - this time for a new position. He has my vote, he is a good man - the sort who would give you the shirt off his own back if he thought it would help. I expressed my concerns to my friend over tea however, that he might not be successful in his bid. Yes, he's a great guy, but his campaign so far has been pretty lack lustre and uninspiring. His election speech basically consisted of a few guffaws and a "golly gee heck you all know me so please vote!"
The topic moved onto politics in general though and we were both in agreement that there are no real leaders out there anymore...or at least none that are effectively getting their message across. The art of public speaking has sadly died in the last 40 years. Think of all the major world leaders over the last century - the ones that could whip a crowd into a frenzy of excitement and who could rally a nation. They could all give us goose bumps with a spoken word. Roosevelt, Churchill, Hitler (despite everything he was a talented orator), Dr. Martin Luther King, JFK, Robert Kennedy...the list dries up for me sometime during the 1970's. Men who spoke of having a dream, of fighting on the beaches, and asked us not what our country could do for us, but...
Where are those leaders today? Where are the men (and women) with good hearts and ideals, who will muster our support and loyalty. Sadly the only "speeches" that raise the hairs on the back of my arm these days come from snake-oil infomercial salesman, the best presidential speeches I have heard in a long time have been given by Martin Sheen and Michael Douglas
Canada's current Prime Minister is Steven Harper....I don't think I would even recognise his voice if I heard it, never mind any notable quotes.
Previous Prime Minister Jean Cretien? I could scarely understand a word he ever spoke.
Most notable quote of the Clinton administration? "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."
Most notable quote from Bush's Presidency? Egads...so much comic relief there, who knows where to start?