Top 25 most significant political speeches

Full text of speeches compiled by the Telegraph

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Lavender Rain
So here's the link with the speeches rated 1-12. The top three are listed below:

1 Winston Churchill, August 20, 1940 The Few
2 John F Kennedy, June 26, 1963 "Ich Bin Ein Berliner' Speech
3 Ronald Reagan, June 12, 1987 Mr. Gorbachev Turn down that Wall

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics...-time-12-1.html
Lorelei
If this list is from the Telegraph, it won't be a surprise if they pick a Tory speech for Number 1.
Much as I don't want to quote myself ... (Roll up, roll up... have your fortunes told here!)
Sanwald
Talk about a handjob to Barack Obama, how did he even end up on the list?

I look at the list see that the other speeches are tied to significant events at both the world and national levels, and they slip in a speech from the 2004 Democratic national convention.

Now if he gets elected I could see his inauguration speech making the list. The first Black President of the US would be a significant world shaping event.

But a convention speech?
phenomenon
Too bad Patton won't make the list. He gave quite a few memorable speeches in his time. I've already posted my favourite of his:
The movie version was quite tame. The actual speech had much more flowery language. However George C. Scott did make up for it with his gravel voice.

Bipa, I don't see the word 'Taliban' anywhere in that document. I think you mean the Afghan people are who Reagan was praising.
Reagan was praising the mujahideen that was fighting the Soviets, and unfortunately ended up turning into the Taleban
Lavender Rain
But a convention speech?
Yep, a convention speech. This was day that Obama was first put on the world stage and trotted around like a prize pony. The democrats knew on this day they had a bigger plan for him in the party and this plan is now coming to fruition.

It was also the democrats way of saying hey look at our party we're inclusive (gotta get the black vote some how), whereas the republican party has been mostly viewed as very white and conservative.

I saw his keynote address at the convention and thought his oration skills were excellent.
lilplatinum
Yes but its significance will be determined by his performance in the election, if he doesn't win then it was hardly significant in the scheme of history.
sarabyrd
Richard von Weizsäcker's speech 8 May 1985
It was a day of liberation for Germany.
Germany has no cause to celebrate the date, it should be a day of commemoration.
Germany's reaction to WW II was

Das deutsche Volk bekennt sich darum zu unverletzlichen und unveräußerlichen Menschenrechten als Grundlage jeder menschlichen Gemeinschaft, des Friedens und der Gerechtigkeit in der Welt. (Article 1 of the Grundgesetz)
After all the atrocities, suffering, injustice, mass exodus and destruction Germany subscribed to the basic human rights.

A very brave and powerful speech, considering Helmut Kohl's (then Chancellor) "grace of late birth" attitude allowing him to wash his hands of all responsibility for anything arising from German history that didn't fit his views, mostly the Nazi era.
Keydeck
3 Ronald Reagan, June 12, 1987 Mr. Gorbachev Turn down that Wall
Some of us are trying to sleep over here!
Lorelei
sarabyrd: But he was a German and not a Tory!

This list isn't exactly unbiased. Assuming that Meir, Nkhruma and Nehru spoke in English, only 1 of the top 12 speeches and 6 out of the 25 speeches were not given in English. There are 5 Tories in the list, 4 in the top 12 and also coming in at Number 1!
Janx Spirit
[quote]QUOTE (eurovol @ Jul 23 2008, 4:22 pm) *
It was total trash. Significant actions yes he has done that alright, but the guy just cannot speak. The event moved people, not his mumbo jumbo.
This is a quote from Dubya's 911 speech almost seven years ago:

"Fellow citizens, we'll meet violence with patient justice, assured of the rightness of our cause
and confident of the victories to come."

Seven years later and there really hasn't been any "justice", nor I'm I assured of the "rightness" of our cause. Victories to come, what victories?[/quote]
"we'll meet violence with patient justice". Yeh right Bush Babe. A 1/4 million troops and 1 & 1/4 million deaths worth of patient justice.
Sanwald
I saw his keynote address at the convention and thought his oration skills were excellent.
Got it, the guy's a great public speaker, but any speech by him is not significant enough to be included on that top 25 list. It artificially inflates his status, which is sad, but it also cheapens the words of the other great speakers on the list, which is unforgivable.

Being articulate alone shouldn't determine the significance of what is said, content and the circumstances necessitating the speech are what counts.

That speech shouldn't be anywhere near the list.
sarabyrd
sarabyrd: But he was a German and not a Tory!
Umm, Hitler's on the list ... Oh, how stupid of me, he was Austrian!
gideon
A complete aside...

Just when did we stop using Herr Hitler (as was common and well mannered) and just replaced it with Hitler?

I would love to know what the criteria was for this. Winnie was and remains always the best speaker. No one comes even near to his command of the language, improvisation, and ability to turn a phrase. Absolute top public presenter though was sadly Herr Hitler. His Sportspalast technique is still worth studying today.
sarabyrd
When in Rome ... No German would ever say "Herr Hitler". Adolf Hitler at the most, but he's generally referred to as just plain [s]Schicklgruber[/s] Hitler.

P.S. I second the Gettyburg Address even though it's out of the rating.
RainyDays
Richard von Weizsäcker's speech 8 May 1985
It was a day of liberation for Germany.
Germany has no cause to celebrate the date, it should be a day of commemoration.
Germany's reaction to WW II was

After all the atrocities, suffering, injustice, mass exodus and destruction Germany subscribed to the basic human rights.

A very brave and powerful speech, considering Helmut Kohl's (then Chancellor) "grace of late birth" attitude allowing him to wash his hands of all responsibility for anything arising from German history that didn't fit his views, mostly the Nazi era.
I agree that Richard von Weizsäcker's speech which I just reread is excellent as it encompasses so many different aspects and is an important step forward, however I'm not sure if Helmut Kohl's quote, die Gnade der späten Geburt, is the expression of a Schlussstrich mentality. He later explained that all he wanted to say was he considered it pure luck that because of his age he was spared any active role during the Nazi regime . Richard von Weizsäcker on the other hand is ten years his senior, and his father Ernst von Weizsäcker was a diplomat in the Third Reich and therefore very involved with the regime, to say the least. Ernst von Weizsäcker was tried at the Nuremberg Tribunal, and Richard von Weizsäcker was his defence counsel. Of course, Richard von Weizsäcker couldn't choose his family, but he sure had a greater personal motivation to analyse these questions of guilt and responsibility.
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