The danger of powerful speech


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Former President Donald Trump gives a speech to workers at a manufacturing plant in Mich. after signing the United States- Mexico- Canada Agreement, a replacement for NAFTA. Although most of his speeches do not result in violence, Trump draws people in with his words, and taking advantage of that could lead to violence, like on Jan. 6. provided by the Trump Administration

Faith Shimick, Staff Reporter

The most powerful people in history always have big audiences and most of the time, are also talented speakers. Most celebrities may have the former, and therefore influential power, but it is often political speakers who have more control of the public.

One reason people are attracted to powerful speakers are because of the emotions they elicit in their speeches and the movements they use. When speaking, people notice body language more than words, but with the absence of new and exciting movements, people focus on words, and soak them in more. Former President Trump, for example, uses the same motions repeatedly. He gestures with his hands, like most people when talking. People stop paying attention to his hands and listen closer to his words, likely because he holds a high office. If he was not charismatic and persuasive, he would not have the power, following, or influence he does. Because he is so dynamic when giving speeches, he draws people in. They listen to his baseless claims with baseless faith.

When he gave a speech in the Mall in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6, he told his listeners that they had done a great job protesting the ‘rigged election’ that was stolen from him and the Republican party. He incited them to ‘stop the steal’ and not concede to the ‘false results’. He told them that if they did not fight, they would not have a country. Simply put, he encouraged a protest. This in itself is not that much of a problem. The BLM protests over the summer proved that peaceful protests exist. However, when a mob mentality is sparked by someone in a position such as his, there is no doubt violence will ensue.

Ultimately, the capitol riot can be blamed on Former President Trump. His words incited something in the crowd, which was already there for a protest. He inspired them to take back the presidency, which was going to be ‘stolen’ from him. Now, it may not be his fault for starting violence (after all, he wasn’t in the crowd himself), but it is for creating the thought.

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It is easy to argue that speech is not the most dangerous tool one has. After all, there are things like automatic weapons and nuclear bombs. The one thing that most people have though, is the power of speech. Words are flexible, and unfortunately, they can be bent for malicious intents. America would not have dropped the atomic bombs if there were not people who persuaded the president to do it.

With persuasion comes power, and it is each person’s job to be responsible with it. Speech is not a bad thing. It can be used for so much good, from urging people to donate to a local homeless shelter to teaching people about things they never knew. However, when power-hungry people use it for their purposes, it becomes one of the most dangerous weapons.