November 8, 2008

A powerful sentence

This week, I have written a post about language (Improving language - improving life) and a post about Barrack Obama (Before Obama said 'yes we can!'). Here is a post about both.
I came across an article by Rick Horowitz: Support I Have Yet to Earn": Obama's Victory Speech. Horowitz is impressed by this sentence from Obama's victory speech: "And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your president, too."
I am impressed, too. This sentence is an interesting example of the power of language. The sentence is mild and non-accusing. Obama does not accuse the people who did not vote for him in any way. Instead, he implies that the cause lies with him. It is like the often used phrase is solution-focused therapy and coaching: "you must have had good reason to...". Obama's sentence is inviting and benevolent. The sentence makes it very easy for non-Obama voter to start to appreciate him and join after all. The sentence also displays hope, optimism and confidence. "I have not yet", implies that this may very well still happen.
This simple sentence is very powerful. With such admirable rethoric skills it is no wonder that Obama has been able to organize so much support, that there were so few problems in his campaign, that the problems that were there were so effectively dealt with, and that Obama has such a strong appeal to so many people.

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