Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Yes! I'm Voting for Palin/McCain

I'm sorry. I've been swamped. I've been studying, working, fathering...oh wait- that doesn't work quite the same as a transitive verb. At any rate, I haven't had the chance to spout about Palin.

So without further ado, and doing something that I never, ever do (make rash decisions)...I love that chick. Well, I love the team that is Sarah Palin and her speechwriter. A few months ago I talked about how the Obamanation was a WIZARD WITH WORDS. Now, we clingers-to-religion-and-guns have our own master of oratory. Obama would like to think he doesn't Palin comparison, but he does.

Sure, we don't know a whole lot about her, about her policies, about her skills on the international stage, but frankly my dear, I don't give a damn. Vice-Presidents are boosters. They speak for the President when he can't be there. They speak for the President when he can't be forthcoming for diplomatic purposes. They are bulldogs that attack, and they attack with words.

There are two aspects that have made me read, reread, watch and rewatch (I'm not kidding, I've watched her speech 6 times-uh, I mean I've been fathering...) her speech: the substance and the delivery. Text and video at HUFFINGTON POST. Ha. Linking there because I can.

Her delivery was amazing. She knew her lines. She looked at the camera. Her lip quivered when it was supposed to and her smile warmed when needed. Even her daughter got in the act with a cute little moment.

But it was that speech. (I know, what follows may not mean much to most, but I bet Ray Gunner's on my side.) A rhetorician, like a carpenter, uses tools as he plies his trade. The rhetorician uses figures of speech like the carpenter uses hammers, saws, straightedges. And like the carpenter's tools, figures of speech have names to distinguish them. A carpenter doesn't want to waste his time saying 'Hey, Joe, hand me that metal blade with the serrated edge and wooden handle that is used for slicing wood into two halves.' The only difference is that figures of speech are unfortunately only named by Greek words generally unpronouncable to even Greek geeks.

Unfortunately, rhetoric, as an art, is dying except for the very few samples that fly around. The Palin speech, however, was so full of figures of speech that I'm still finding them after a full week. Chiasmus. Anaphora. Diacope. Conduplicatio. There is nary a paragraph, a line, a clause without a figure. Alive and well is Rhetoric in Palin's speech, just as rhetoric is alive and well in Obama's.

I don't support Palin because she's experienced. She's not. I don't support Palin because she's got the right policies, even though she does. I don't support Palin because she's a token woman. She's not. I don't support Palin because she can de-liver a moose as well as she can a speech, even though she does.

I support her because of those figures. Not merely because I happen to love figures of speech, but because it's through the correct use of those tools that opinions are swayed, emotions are induced or quelled. Their use is how people are convinced and how congresses are convened. And these are the things that qualified Vice Presidents do.

I'm juiced about Palin because she delivered. Her delivery was perfect when she was asked to deliver a speech, and will be perfect when asked to deliver again. Vice Presidents are boosters. Let her be one.

I think she's got it. I think she's not merely a pawn of the Republican machine, being manipulated and hand fed her lines and unable to think on her own. All the same, God speed to the debates, when we find out whether she's for real or just a puppet regurgitating well-written speeches.

But isn't Obama a puppet to the whims of change?

1 comment:

Sweating Through fog said...

You are right. As I wrote on my blog, I've been watching conventions for 40 years, and this was the best speech of them all. Pretty amazing for someone new, and under lots of pressure. She's a pro.