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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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オバマのベストスピーチは?

 


オバマのスピーチといえば、日本人にとって2004年の民主党大会の演説、2008年の大統領選の勝利演説、そして今年の広島の演説が浮かぶでしょう。今週開かれる民主党大会でもオバマ大統領がスピーチするようですが、それに先立って、教科書に載せるべきベストスピーチは何かという記事がありました。

Which Barack Obama speech is the one for the history books?
Obama has delivered many memorable speeches. But which will schoolchildren read decades from now?

By Greg Jaffe July 2

Few political careers and presidencies have been more defined by speeches than Barack Obama’s. His 2004 speech at the Democratic National Convention vaulted him into the country’s consciousness. His 2008 speech on race saved his faltering presidential campaign. As president, Obama’s biggest and most consequential moments — his unfulfilled outreach to the Muslim world in Cairo, his Nobel Peace Prize address on the grim necessity of war in Oslo and his eulogy for nine slain parishioners in Charleston, S.C. — often have been speeches.
Obama’s best oratory is beautifully written, meticulously crafted and theatrically delivered. It is a record of our fears, flaws, shortcomings and accomplishments. “I don’t know of any president who has put that kind of work into his speeches,” says Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian. “He organizes his thinking by putting pencil to pad.”
In a few days, Obama will deliver one of his last big speeches as president. In a bit of clever stagecraft, he is scheduled to speak at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on the 12th anniversary of his electric 2004 convention speech. The moment raises a question that cuts to the heart of Obama’s presidential legacy and our polarized politics: Which Obama address will still sound wise and inspiring when our bitter, partisan disputes have faded from memory?


オバマを一躍有名にした2004年の有名なフレーズは今振り返ると願望に過ぎないので却下されています。分断はますますひどいものになっていますから。あとあ民主党大会の演説なので当時の候補だったケリーをひたすらほめる内容であったこともマイナスだったようです。

2004 Convention Speech
‘There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America.’

The speech, though, has its flaws. Its middle sections are bloated by Democratic boilerplate and a tribute to John Kerry, then the Democratic Party’s lackluster presidential nominee. And the speech already reads as somewhat wistful. “It’s an evocation of what could be but is sadly and tragically a myth,” says Jeff Shesol, a speechwriter in the Clinton White House. “Obama’s whole presidency is a rebuttal of that speech.” Indeed, Obama backed away from some of its most optimistic notes in his last State of the Union address. “It’s one of the few regrets of my presidency that the rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better,” he says.


オバマの師匠にあたるような牧師が扇動的なスピーチをしていたことについて弁明したスピーチが2008のMore perfect unionですがこちらは白人と黒人の緊張が高まっている現在のアメリカでは重要性が高まっていそうです。

2008 race speech
‘The anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races.’

2015 Charleston eulogy
‘As a nation, out of this terrible tragedy, God has visited grace upon us, for he has allowed us to see where we’ve been blind.’

自分にとっては意外だったのですがこの記事でベストに選んだのはセルマ50周年でのスピーチでした。周辺にいた人たちがアメリカを変革して、自由を広げていたという根本メッセージはオバマの価値観でもあり、将来のアメリカの価値観になるだろと見ています。

2015 Selma speech
‘It was not a clash of armies, but a clash of wills; a contest to determine the true meaning of America.’

Obama’s speech last year commemorating the 50th anniversary of the brutal beating of marchers in Selma, Ala., performed a similar feat. At Selma, Obama consecrated ground, placing the events on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on par with those in Concord, Lexington, Appomattox and Gettysburg. Like Lincoln, Obama rewrote American history, putting rebels, protest leaders, misfits, artists and immigrants at the center of the story. “Look at our history,” he implored. “We are Sojourner Truth and Fannie Lou Hamer, women who could do as much as men and then some.” His litany of American heroes included the “Lost Boys of Sudan,” “the hopeful strivers who cross the Rio Grande,” “the slaves who built the White House” and “the gay Americans whose blood ran on the streets of San Francisco and New York.” America’s founders and the “fresh-faced GIs” of World War II merited only passing mentions. For the first time, they were relegated to the periphery.
Obama’s 2004 convention speech was more of a surprise. The stakes were much higher when he delivered his 2008 race speech. His Charleston eulogy packed more pathos. But the Selma speech, written over the course of five drafts, was the most ambitious and radical speech of his presidency.




Aides say the Selma speech is also Obama’s favorite address, because it most clearly expresses his view of American exceptionalism — a topic he first explored 12 years ago in his convention speech.

But Selma’s true genius lies in its ability to speak to America’s future. The Census Bureau projects that the U.S. population will become “majority minority” in 2044. The shift has fueled anxiety among whites and has probably given a boost to Republican nominee Donald Trump’s “make America great again” campaign for the White House. It has spawned some of the backlash against Obama’s presidency, along with questions about his legitimacy to serve, his love of country and his faith.
Someday, though, this demographic shift will be seen as an inevitable part of the American story. Selma is the first, great presidential address to speak to that America and a speech only our first black president could give.


確かにこのスピーチは2008年の大統領選を彷彿させるアメリカの前向きなメッセージですね。
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Yuta

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